What are different research methods?
Research is an intrinsic part of the degree, post-degree or doctoral programs in the education sector. It is also relevant in professional fields like research & development, marketing, data science, etc. Explorers employ different research methods depending upon the nature of enquiry, data sample size and requirements of hypothesis explanation.
Listed here are some of the popular research methods that are relevant, to-the-point and approved by the reviewing authorities.
- Surveys: It is the research method useful for drawing information from a large group of respondents. The information is collected by administering a set of questions to the people. Sometimes, the questions are asked before and after the event; at others, these are used only to get an opinion on a certain issue. With newer technological interventions, surveys can be carried out through online, telephonic and social media.
- Interviews: Interviews are face-to-face interactions, which can happen through online video calling apps too. Setting where the interview is conducted, types of questions, recording after consent, etc. are some of the factors that help assure a good quality of interview.
- Literature Review: When researchers take up any topic to explore, they can collect facts and information from previous researchers’ works. It is also categorized as secondary research. The study involves going through the journals, theses and research papers; sometimes, high authority magazines are also used as a literature resource. These days, online research papers and conference presentations are also available to explore.
- Sample testing: Researchers apply this method of exploration to get a starting view about any product or service launched. They chalk out customer expectations from feedback received from the respondents’ sample. Also, they use this information for improving product features or to plug loopholes in the design or functionalities.
- Descriptive research: In this method, the subject will be observed without the intervention of any kind. It helps find the natural expression or usual response of the respondent in any situation. Thus, it is an essential part of behavioral analysis. Descriptive research can also focus on a situation, and analyze it from various perspectives.
- Experiments: Experiments are of various natures and mean differently in various settings. Students do experiments in laboratories, scientific researchers perform tests in advanced production research labs, and these two differ in the purpose, sensitivity, correctness, etc. Further, there are certain social experiments, too, that help find the state of moral values among people. Experiment is done either to accept or refute the hypothesis.
- Case studies: It is a well-structured research source that puts the person or situation on spot. The analysts examine the present conditions, explore corrective measures or methods applicable, and the expected outcomes to draw a clearer picture.
All research methods have their respective utilities and relevances. The researchers have to ensure that the sampling is not skewed, and if skewed, the variance has to be within an acceptable range.
The choice of research methods depends upon the type of research explorer wants to do. Also, the purpose of research worldwide views and type of data collection method required dictates the methodology to be followed.