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What are Research Methods?
What is Research Methodology?
Choosing qualitative or quantitative research methodologies

In research, a hypothesis is a suggested explanation of a phenomenon. A null hypothesis is a hypothesis which a researcher tries to disprove. Research methodology involves the researcher providing an alternative hypothesis, a research hypothesis , as an alternate way to explain the phenomenon.

The research hypothesis is often based on observations that evoke suspicion that the null hypothesis is not always correct. In the Stanley Milgram Experiment , the null hypothesis was that the personality determined whether a person would hurt another person, while the research hypothesis was that the role, instructions and orders were much more important in determining whether people would hurt others.

A variable is something that changes. It changes according to different factors. Some variables change easily, like the stock-exchange value, while other variables are almost constant, like the name of someone. Researchers are often seeking to measure variables. The variable can be a number, a name, or anything where the value can change. An example of a variable is temperature. The temperature varies according to other variable and factors.

You can measure different temperature inside and outside. If it is a sunny day, chances are that the temperature will be higher than if it's cloudy. Another thing that can make the temperature change is whether something has been done to manipulate the temperature, like lighting a fire in the chimney.

In research, you typically define variables according to what you're measuring. The independent variable is the variable which the researcher would like to measure the cause , while the dependent variable is the effect or assumed effect , dependent on the independent variable. These variables are often stated in experimental research , in a hypothesis , e.

In explorative research methodology, e. They might not be stated because the researcher does not have a clear idea yet on what is really going on.

Confounding variables are variables with a significant effect on the dependent variable that the researcher failed to control or eliminate - sometimes because the researcher is not aware of the effect of the confounding variable. The key is to identify possible confounding variables and somehow try to eliminate or control them.

Operationalization is to take a fuzzy concept conceptual variables , such as ' helping behavior ', and try to measure it by specific observations, e. The selection of the research method is crucial for what conclusions you can make about a phenomenon. It affects what you can say about the cause and factors influencing the phenomenon. It is also important to choose a research method which is within the limits of what the researcher can do.

Time, money, feasibility, ethics and availability to measure the phenomenon correctly are examples of issues constraining the research. Choosing the scientific measurements are also crucial for getting the correct conclusion. Some measurements might not reflect the real world, because they do not measure the phenomenon as it should. To test a hypothesis , quantitative research uses significance tests to determine which hypothesis is right.

The significance test can show whether the null hypothesis is more likely correct than the research hypothesis. Research methodology in a number of areas like social sciences depends heavily on significance tests.

A significance test may even drive the research process in a whole new direction, based on the findings. The t-test also called the Student's T-Test is one of many statistical significance tests, which compares two supposedly equal sets of data to see if they really are alike or not.

The t-test helps the researcher conclude whether a hypothesis is supported or not. Drawing a conclusion is based on several factors of the research process, not just because the researcher got the expected result.

It has to be based on the validity and reliability of the measurement, how good the measurement was to reflect the real world and what more could have affected the results. Anyone should be able to check the observation and logic, to see if they also reach the same conclusions.

Errors of the observations may stem from measurement-problems, misinterpretations, unlikely random events etc. A common error is to think that correlation implies a causal relationship. This is not necessarily true. Observational research methods are useful when ethics are a problem. In an ideal world, experimental research methods would be used for every type of research, fulfilling all of the requirements of falsifiability and generalization.

However, ethics , time and budget are major factors, so any experimental design must make compromises. As long as a researcher recognizes and evaluates flaws in the design when choosing from different research methods, any of the scientific research methods are valid contributors to scientific knowledge. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Jun 19, Retrieved Sep 13, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4.

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The methodology may include publication research, interviews, surveys and other research techniques, and could include both present and historical information.

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A methodology is the design process for carrying out research or the development of a procedure and is not in itself an instrument, or method, or procedure for doing things. Methodology and method are not interchangeable.

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Research Methodology Defined. A research method is a systematic plan for conducting research. Sociologists draw on a variety of both qualitative and quantitative research methods, including. The methods section describes actions to be taken to investigate a research problem and the rationale for the application of specific procedures or techniques used to identify, select, process, and analyze information applied to understanding the problem, thereby, allowing the reader to critically evaluate a study’s overall validity and reliability.

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In simple terms, methodology can be defined as, giving a clear cut idea on what methods or process the researcher is going to use in his or her research to achieve research objectives. In order to plan for the whole research process at a right point of time and to advance the research work in [ ]. There are several important aspects to research methodology. This is a summary of the key concepts in scientific research and an attempt to erase some common misconceptions in science.