Research can be understood as the systematic and rigorous search for adequate information on a specific topic. It involves the enunciation of the problem, the development of a hypothesis, the collection and analysis of data and the extraction of conclusions, based on the facts and data collected. And for this, the researcher uses research methods, during the course of the research. In this regard, we must be clear about the difference between method and methodology. Research methods are often confused with research methodology, which involves the scientific analysis of research methods, to find a solution to the problem at hand. Therefore, it seems appropriate to clarify the differences between research method and research methodology at this juncture.
By research method, we simply mean the research techniques or tools that will be used to conduct the research, regardless of whether the research pertains to the physical or social sciences or any other discipline. A method is simply the tool you use to answer your research questions - how, in short, will you go about collecting your data. Examples of research methods include:
The methods include three large groups:
First group includes methods that deal with the collection and description of data;
Second group consists of techniques used to establish a statistical relationship between variables;
Third group deals with the methods used to evaluate the reliability, validity and precision of the results discerned by the data.
A physical scientist can use, for example, tools such as an electron microscope or a radio telescope to obtain his data. Instead, a social scientist or manager may use, as a technique, an opinion poll or sample survey with a mail questionnaire or conduct a personal interview to obtain their data. You could do a phone interview, a group discussion, a case study approach to collect data. Still, in essence, they are employing the same "observation" technique of some kind that generates data for research.
A methodology is the foundation of the research approach and the lens through which the analysis is conducted. In other words, a methodology describes the “general research strategy that describes the way in which research should be undertaken” (Introduction to the philosophy of methodology, Howell 2013). The methodology should influence which method (s) for a research effort are selected in order to generate the compelling data.
Examples of methodologies include:
Participatory: view participants as active researchers
Ethnomethodology - Examines how people use dialogue and body language to build a world view.
Grounding Theory - Take on a blank slate and use an inductive approach to develop a new theory
If you wanted to know the experiences lived when buying food in the United States, for example, you would be using the methodology of phenomenology, and from there you could choose between different methods to collect that data. For example, you can conduct a contextual inquiry and shop alongside participants; You can also interview a handful of participants and ask them to share their most recent grocery shopping experience; You can also choose to take a survey and ask hundreds of participants the same questions. Because contextual inquiry brings the researcher much closer to the real environment, the results can be considered more robust and transferable in the future.
Objectives of the Research Methodology
Research methodology is a way of studying the various steps that a researcher generally takes when studying their research problems in a systematic way, along with the logic, assumptions, justification, and reasoning behind them. Whenever we choose a research method, we must justify why we prefer this particular method over others. The methodology seeks to answer this question. Therefore, when we talk about research methodology, we are not only talking about research methods, but we also take into account the logic and justification behind the method that we use in the context of our research task.
The methodology of a researcher aims to answer questions such as:
Why was this particular group of people interviewed and not the other groups?
How has the research problem been defined?
How many people provided the answers on which the researcher's conclusions were based?
Why were these particular techniques used to analyze data?
In what way and why has the research hypothesis been formulated?
What level of evidence was used to determine whether or not to reject the hypothesis raised?
Examples of when to use Method and "methodology"
Here are some ways you can use "methods" in context:
We are trying to decide between doing contextual research or bringing in participants for interviews. Which method would you choose while balancing cost, research time, and utility of the data?
We want to have data from a large number of participants, so we must choose a quantitative method, such as a Likert scale.
Below are several examples of the use of the "methodology":
The phenomenological methodology was chosen for this study on the experience of people residing in low-income housing in California because the holistic living experience uncovered areas of opportunity for the state to implement for its next housing project for low-income people. low income.
To create a new party board game, we used the participatory methodological approach in our design research process. This allowed us to consider the social atmosphere and receive feedback from our participants when developing the game and the rules.
Research Methods vs Research Methodology
Research methods are the various procedures, schemes, steps, and algorithms used in research. They are essentially planned, scientific, and value neutral. They include observations, theoretical procedures, experimental studies, numerical schemes, statistical approaches, etc. Research methods help us collect samples, data and find the solution to a specific problem.
Research methodology is a systematic way of solving a problem. It is a science of studying how research is carried out. Essentially, the procedures by which researchers do their job of describing, explaining, and predicting phenomena are called research methodology. It is also defined as the study of methods by which knowledge is acquired. Its objective is to give the work plan of the investigation. A method is what you did. It is a simple description.
For example, you selected 100 rats and measured their weight. You fed some rats and some you didn't. A week later, you measured their weights again. The methodology is why you should give you a meaningful result and why you used some specific method and not another. This would include, in particular, how you have controlled for bugs, for example why you fed the rats for a week instead of a month, and why 100 rats you thought were enough.
Differences between Method and Methodology
The differences between the research method and the research methodology can be clearly established for the following reasons: The research method is defined as the procedure or technique applied by the researcher to undertake the research. On the other hand, the research methodology is a system of methods, scientifically used to solve the research problem. The research method is nothing more than the behavior or the tool used to select and develop the research technique.
Rather, research methodology involves the science of analysis, the way in which research is properly conducted. The research method deals with conducting experiments, tests, surveys, interviews, etc. In contrast to this, research methodology deals with learning various techniques that can be used in conducting experiments, tests, or surveys. The research method covers various research techniques. Unlike the research methodology, which consists of a comprehensive approach aligned with the achievement of a purpose. The research method aims to find a solution to the problem. Instead, the research methodology aspires to apply appropriate procedures, with a view to finding solutions.
Ask yourself if you are describing how you will collect your data (method) or if it is the broader strategy for your research approach (methodology). With one methodology, you can apply several different methods to support or reject the research hypothesis. For the industry professional, it will usually talk about methods.
For the academic, you may be talking about both the framing methodology and the methods used to achieve your research goals. The scope of the research methodology is broader than that of the research method, since the latter is part of the former. To fully understand the research problem, the researcher must know the research methodology along with the methods. In short, the method of inquiry refers to the technique that can be adopted to explore the nature of the world around us. On the contrary, the research methodology is the basis, which helps us to understand the determinants that influence the effectiveness of the applied methods.
Salkind, Neil J. Métodos de Investigación. México: Prentice Hall. 1999.
Sierra Bravo R. Tecnicas de investigación Social Teoría y ejercicios, Décima edición, Editorial Paraninfo 1995 Madrid
Taylor, S.J. y R. Bogdan. Introducción a los métodos cualitativos de investigación. Barcelona: Paidós. 1987