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An Analysis Of Research Methodolgy English Language

Essay add: 24-10-2015, 21:50   /   Views: 249

The method of collecting data for research projects is known as research methodology. The data may be collected for either theoretical or practical research.Several key factors in research methodology consist of validity of research data, Ethics and the reliability of measures most of your work is finished by the time you finish the analysis of your data.Formulating of research questions along with sampling weather probable or non probable is followed by measurement that includes surveys and scaling. This is followed by research design, which may be either experimental or quasi-experimental.

The last two stages are data analysis and finally writing the research paper, which is organised carefully into graphs and tables so that only important relevant data is shown.

RESEARCH METHOD

As for our research, we have come to an agreement to choose a survey method in order to get the results for our research. Selecting the type of survey we are going to use is one of the most critical decisions in many social research contexts. We’ll see that there are very few simple rules that will make the decision for us - we have to use our judgment to balance the advantages and disadvantages of different survey types.The first sets of considerations have to do with the population and its accessibility.

Can the population be enumerated?

For some populations, we have a complete listing of the units that will be sampled. For others, such a list is difficult or impossible to compile. For instance, there are complete listings of registered voters or person with active driving licenses.

But no one keeps a complete list of homeless people. If we are doing a study that requires input from teenagers, we are very likely going to need to go and find the respondents personally. In such contexts, we can pretty much rule out the idea of mail surveys or telephone interviews.

Is the population literate?

Questionnaires require that out respondents can read. While this might seem originally like a reasonable assumption for many adult populations, we know from recent research that the instance of adult illiteracy is alarmingly high. And, even if our respondents can read to some degree, our questionnaire may include difficult or technical vocabulary. Clearly, there are some populations that we would expect to be illiterate.

Young children would not be good targets for questionnaires.

Are there language issues?

We live in a multilingual world. Virtually every society has members who speak other than the predominant language. Some countries are officially multilingual. And, our increasingly global economy requires us to do research that spans countries and language groups. Can we construct multiple versions of our questionnaire?

For mail instruments, can we know in advance the language our respondent speaks, or do we send multiple translations of our instrument? Can we be confident that key connotations in our instrument are not culturally specific? Could some of the key nuances get lost in the process of translating our questions?

What are the geographic restrictions?

Is our population of interest dispersed over too broad a geographic range for us to study feasibly with a personal interview? It may be possible for us to send a mail instrument to a nationwide sample. We may be able to conduct phone interviews with them.

But it will almost without doubt is less feasible to do research that need interviewers to visit directly with respondents if they are widely distributed.

Sampling Issues

The sample is the actual group we will have to contact in some way. There are several important sampling issues we need to consider when doing survey research.

What data is available?

What information do we have about your sample? Do we know their current addresses? Their current phone numbers? Is our contact lists up to date?

Can respondents be found?

Can our respondents be located? Some people are very busy. Some travel a lot. Some work the night shift. Even if we have a correct phone or address, we may not be able to locate or make contact with our sample.

Who is the respondent?

Who is the respondent in our study? Let's say we draw a sample of households in a small city. A household is not a respondent. Do we want to interview a particular individual? Do we want to talk only to the "head of household" (and how is that person defined)?

Are we willing to talk to any member of the household? Do we state that we will speak to the first adult member of the household who opens the door? What if that person is reluctant to be interviewed but someone else in the house is willing? How do we deal with multi-family households? Related problems arise when we sample groups, agencies, or companies.

Can we survey any member of the organization? Or, do we only want to speak to the Director of Human Resources? What if the person we would like to interview is unwilling or powerless to participate? Do we use another member of the organization?

Can all members of population be sampled?

If we have an incomplete list of the population (i.e., sampling frame) we may not be able to sample each member of the population. Lists of a mixture of groups are exceptionally hard to keep up to date. Even though they are on our sampling frame listing, we may not be able to get to them.

And, it's likely they are not even on the list.

Are response rates likely to be a problem?

Even if we are able to get to the bottom of all of the other population and sampling problems, we still have to deal with the issue of response rates. Some members of our sample will simply snub to respond. Others have the best of intentions, but can't seem to find the time to send in our questionnaire by the due date. Still others mislay the instrument or forget about the appointment for an interview.

Low response rates are among the most difficult of problems in survey research. They can ruin an otherwise well-designed survey effort.

Question Issues

Sometimes the nature of what you want to ask respondents will determine the type of survey we select.

What types of questions can be asked?

Are we going to be asking private questions? Are we going to need to get lots of detail in the responses? Can we expect the most frequent or key types of responses and develop reasonable closed-ended questions?

How complex will the questions be?

Sometimes we are dealing with a multifaceted subject or topic. The questions we want to ask are going to have multiple parts. We may need to branch to sub-questions.

Will screening questions be needed?

A screening question may be needed to conclude whether the respondent is qualified to answer our question of interest. For instance, we wouldn't want to ask someone their opinions about a specific computer program without first "screening" them to find out whether they have any experience using the program. Sometimes we have to screen on several variables (e.g., age, gender, experience).

The more complex the screening, the less likely it is that we can rely on paper-and-pencil instruments without mystifying the respondent.

Can question sequence be controlled?

Is our survey one where we can create in advance a reasonable sequence of questions? Or, are we doing an initial exploratory study where we may need to ask lots of follow-up questions that we can't easily foresee?

Will lengthy questions be asked?

If our subject matter is complicated, we may need to give the respondent some detailed background for a question. Can we reasonably expect our respondent to sit still long enough in a phone interview to ask our question?

Will long response scales be used?

If we are asking people about the dissimilar computer equipment they use, we may have to have a lengthy response list (CD-ROM drive, floppy drive, mouse, touch pad, modem, network connection, external speakers, etc.). Clearly, it may be difficult to ask about each of these in a short phone interview.

Content Issues

The content of our study can also pose challenges for the different survey types we might utilize.

Can the respondents be expected to know about the issue?

If the respondent does not prolong with the news (e.g., by reading the newspaper, watching television news, or talking with others), they may not even know about the news issue we want to ask them about. Or, if we want to do a study of family finances and we are talking to the spouse who doesn't pay the bills on a regular basis, they may not have the information to answer your questions.

Will respondent need to consult records?

Even if the respondent understands what we're asking about, e may need to permit them to consult their records in order to get an precise answer. For instance, if we ask them how much money they spent on food in the past month, they may need to look up their personal check and credit card records. In this case, we don't want to be caught up in an interview where they would have to go look things up while they keep we waiting (they wouldn't be comfortable with that).

Bias Issues

People come to the research endeavour with their own sets of biases and prejudices. Sometimes, these biases will be less of a problem with certain types of survey approaches.

Can social desirability be avoided?

Respondents generally want to "look good" in the eyes of others. None of us likes to look like we don't know an answer. We don't want to say anything that would be uncomfortable. If we ask people about information that may put them in this kind of position, they may not tell we the truth, or they may "spin" the response so that it makes them look better.

This may be more of a problem in an interview situation where they are face-to face or on the phone with a live interviewer.

Can interviewer distortion and subversion be controlled?

Interviewers may distort an interview as well. They may not ask questions that make them uncomfortable. They may not listen carefully to respondents on topics for which they have strong opinions.

They may make the conclusion that they already know what the respondent would say to a question based on their previous responses, even though that may not be true.

Administrative Issues

Last, but certainly not least, we have to consider the feasibility of the survey method for our study.

Costs

Cost is often the major determining factor in selecting survey type. We might prefer to do personal interviews, but can't justify the high cost of training and paying for the interviewers. We may prefer to send out an extensive mailing but can't afford the postage to do so.

Facilities

Do we have the facilities (or access to them) to process and manage our study? In phone interviews, do we have well-equipped phone surveying facilities? For focus groups, do we have a comfortable and easy to get to room to host the group?

Do we have the equipment needed to record and transcribe responses?

Time

Some types of surveys take longer than others. Do we need responses immediately (as in an overnight public opinion poll)? Have we budgeted enough time for our study to send out mail surveys and follow-up reminders, and to get the responses back by mail?

Have we allowed for enough time to get enough personal interviews to justify that approach?

Personnel

Different types of surveys make diverse demands of personnel. Interviews require interviewers who are motivated and well-trained. Group administered surveys require people who are trained in group facilitation.

Some studies may be in a technical area that requires some degree of skill in the interviewer.

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