Mastering Common Research Methodologies


Common Research Methodologies Research Methodologies
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Research is crucial in expanding our knowledge and understanding of various disciplines. It provides a systematic approach to experiments and research, ensuring the result is reliable and valid. 

In this blog, we’ll look into three common research methodology and their characteristics. These three methodologies focus on ways of gathering accurate data that you can generalize across the target population. 

What is Research Methodology?

A research methodology is an outline of the procedures, methods, and techniques employed in a research study for the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. Research papers contain a section dedicated to the research methodology of the study conducted. This section allows readers to evaluate the reliability and validity of the study.

Within this article, we will dissect some of the most common research methodologies employed in research to understand when they are used and what their individual characteristics are.

Also read:  What is Research Methodology

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3 Common Research Methodologies used in Research

Common Research Methodologies Research Methodologies

There are three key approaches that are commonly used in research and they are: 

  • Quantitative Research Methodology
  • Qualitative Research Methodology
  • Mixed Methods Approach 

1. Quantitative Research Methodology

The quantitative research methodology is employed when the data being gathered is quantifiable and can be used to perform mathematical, statistical, or computational techniques. Some commonly used quantitative methods of data collection are surveys, online polls, and questionnaires. 

A few characteristics of quantitative research methodology are: 

  • Quantitative Data: As discussed above, quantitative research employs quantitative data that is generally represented using charts, tables, or graphs.
  • Closed-Ended Questions: When gathering data for quantitative research, researchers will generally use closed-ended questions as they help gather quantitative data more effectively than open-ended questions. 
  • Large Sample Sizes: Quantitative research is conducted using large, or significant, sample sizes that are representative of the target population. 
  • High External Validity: Quantitative studies are often highly generalizable due to the representative sample sizes used.

Also read: Quantitative Vs Qualitative Research

2. Qualitative Research Methodology

Qualitative research generally deals with textual data and focuses on words and meanings. When using this research methodology, data is gathered using open-ended and conversational communication. 

Qualitative research is often used in market research as organizations want to understand not only what customers are doing but also why they are doing it. This allows them to get a comprehensive understanding of their target market so that effective advertising strategies can be implemented.

A few characteristics of qualitative research methodology are: 

  • Open-Ended Questions: When gathering qualitative data, researchers often make use of open-ended questions that help gather comprehensive textual data on a subject. 
  • Complex Reasoning: The data analysis techniques used in the qualitative research methodology are generally less straightforward when compared to quantitative research methods and require complex reasoning and interpretation. 
  • Researcher/Moderator Plays an Important Role: When gathering data for qualitative research studies, the researchers and moderators play an important role in influencing the reliability and quality of the data gathered. Additionally, qualitative data is more subject to interpretation than quantitative data, and therefore, the researcher’s observations and interpretations will significantly affect the quality of the study.

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3. Mixed Methods Approach 

As the name suggests, the mixed method approach uses elements of both the quantitative research methodology and the qualitative research methodology. By combining the two, the mixed-methods methodology helps produce a more comprehensive and holistic picture than a quantitative or qualitative study individually. 

A few characteristics of the mixed methods research methodology are: 

  • Flexible: Mixed methods research is more flexible as it is less confined to established research paradigms. There is, therefore, more flexibility while designing the research, allowing for a research methodology that will be best suited to deliver the most informative results. 
  • Advantages of Both Methods: Mixed methods combine the benefits of both types of data; the generalizable, externally valid quantitative data and the detailed, contextualized qualitative data.

Also read: 17 Types of Research Methodologies

Best practices for implementing research methodology

Let’s look into some best practices you need to be mindful of when implementing research methodology. 

  1. Establish a clear objective and formulate questions that resonate with the aim of the research. 
  2. Implement rigorous research practices and employ validation techniques to enhance the reliability of your findings. 
  3. Maintain proper documentation of your research procedure, including research design, data collection methods, sampling techniques, and data analysis process. This enables others to understand and replicate your research. 

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A well-designed research methodology is essential to conduct impactful research. Determining an approach for performing research ensures that the study is conducted systematically. It ensures that you have a clear objective and adhere to ethical standards. A well-defined research methodology enhances the reliability and validity of the result.  

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