Science is more than facts. Science is a process. It is a way of observing, a way of thinking and a way of knowing the world. The goal of science is to provide explanations for events that happen in nature. Scientists use those explanations to understand the patterns in it. So they can make predictions about future events, making use of different types of research.
In this way, all investigations begin with a question. The type of research a scientist chooses to conduct will depend on what question is asked. The key to successful research is to ask what is known as a testable question. This can be answered through practical research by the student. In this regard, you can count on the help of Online-tesis.com.
What is the Basis of the Different Types of Research?
Observation is the basis of research. Without observation, there would be no basis for the data scientists collect. Scientists observe in many ways, with their own senses. They may also use tools such as microscopes, scanners, or transmitters to extend their vision or hearing. These tools allow for more accurate and precise observations. Evidence is used to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena. Thus, as the knowledge generated through this process, through the different types of research.
The Different Classifications of Research
We can establish different criteria regarding the classifications of the research:
- According to the objective of the research.
- According to the level of deepening in the object of study.
- Depending on the type of data used.
- According to the degree of manipulation of the variables
- Depending on the type of inference.
- According to the time period in which it is performed.
In this case we will study descriptive, comparative and experimental research.
Descriptive Research, one of the most used types of research
It is one of the most popular types of research in Humanistic and Social Sciences. According to George, A. L., & Bennett, A. (2005), the goal of descriptive research is to describe, as its name implies. It must provide objective, precise, and systematic characteristics of phenomena without attempting to infer causal relationships. It does not answer questions about how, when, or why a particular phenomenon occurred. Also, it should provide a basis for building new knowledge and theories.
These studies should be aimed at providing novel data on important and unknown phenomena. For example, performance dynamics or other behaviors or discovery. It can also be used for documenting significant phenomena. Thus, how to provide rigorously conducted qualitative information on phenomena that are difficult to capture with quantitative methods.
Descriptive research is generally evaluated on the basis of the originality, clarity and importance of the research question, the adequacy of the study design to the research question, the size and representativeness of the chosen sample, the robustness of the data collection process, including the choice of instruments or tools, the rigor and transparency of the analysis (including the coherence of the theoretical framework), the logic and coherence of the links made between the results, the awareness of researchers about the possibility of error and the steps taken to minimize or the possibility of error throughout the research process.
Specific guidelines for reviewers in descriptive research
As for the wording
- Is this manuscript appropriate?
- Is the title clear, precise and unambiguous?
- Does the summary provide a clear description of the study?
- Does the research problem include, sample, methodology, findings and recommendations?
- Was appropriate literature presented?
- Does it flow logically and lead the reader directly to the presented study?
- Are all the terms, theories and concepts mentioned in the study clearly defined?
- Does the introduction provide a suitable environment and basis for study?
Regarding the Research Methodology
- Is the research design clearly identified?
- Are all appropriate subsections included?
- Has the data collection instrument been described?
- Is the instrument appropriate? How did it develop?
- Were reliability and validity tests performed and the results discussed? Was a pilot study conducted?
- Does the data collection method fit the definition of descriptive research?
- If the sample size is small, do the authors explain why more participants were not included?
- Does this study provide new and innovative information that could serve as a basis for future quantitative studies?
- Has the target population been clearly identified?
- Was the method of selecting participants appropriate?
- Are the inclusion/exclusion criteria clearly identified?
- Were appropriate descriptive statistical methods used?
Regarding the presentation of the results
- Are the results clearly established?
- How many subjects in the sample participated?
- Are the findings considered to be significant and important information that future researchers could benefit from?
- Did the author adequately assess their results and was that assessment reasonable and supported by the data?
- Are the results linked to the literature review?
- If a hypothesis was identified, was it supported?
- Did the authors make any causal inferences from their descriptive study?
- Were the strengths and limitations of the study, including generalization, discussed?
- Was a recommendation made for further research?
- Were the references, tables, figures and appendices appropriate and/or necessary?
- Do the references cited match those actually used in the text?
Comparative research involves collecting data on different organisms, objects, or characteristics. Or also collect data under different conditions to make a comparison. In comparative research, scientists look for patterns or trends. They thus compare similarities and differences over time and in various circumstances.
What distinguishes comparative research from simple types of research is that comparativists carefully define the boundaries of their cases. According to Przeworski and Teune (1970), this can be achieved in several ways. Whether in function of structural, cultural, political, territorial, functional or temporal qualities. Therefore, not only the territories can be compared. Different contextual conditions or influencing factors are used. Thus different results can be explained with respect to the object under investigation and embedded in these contexts. While similar contextual conditions are used to explain similar results.
It is crucial to understand this basic logic of comparative research. Comparative research guides attention to the explanatory relevance of the contextual environment to explain the results. It aims to understand how the systemic context shapes phenomena differently in different environments. Therefore, comparativists often use factors at the macro-social level. These are used as explanatory variables of the differences found in the lower level phenomena integrated into societies. In addition, macro-level factors are considered moderators that influence the relationships between variables at the lower level.
Importance of Comparative Research
This recognition of the importance of contextual conditions is why comparative research is so exceptionally valuable. This explanatory logic can be distinguished from a mere descriptive comparison that is considered less mature. And it also clearly extends beyond the overall advantages of comparison. It constitutes the state of comparative analysis as a separate and original approach.
In general, there are several conditions that must be met before labeling a comparison as a comparative analysis. First, the purpose of the comparison should be explained early in the project. In addition, it should be a defining component of research design. Second, the units of comparison must be clearly delineated, regardless of how the boundaries are defined. Third, the objects of analysis must be compared with respect to at least one common dimension. This must be functionally equivalent. Fourth, the objects of analysis must be compared on the basis of a common theoretical framework. They should also be based on conceptualizations and equivalent methods rather than analyzed separately.
Experimental Research: within the most challenging types of research
Natural research or experiments are an exception to the rule that research involves testable questions. It is the closest research to pure observation. What is being investigated are events that occur naturally. It is one of the types of research that most attracts the attention of students.
Experimental research often takes place in laboratories or indoor settings. This is where environmental conditions such as light level, temperature and humidity can be controlled. Experimental research always involves dependent and independent variables. Sometimes they involve controlled variables, which must remain constant.
What design steps lead to a good experiment?
First, interest. It must be defined whether the research topic is interesting and original. Maybe you’re focusing on a new concept or a new way to solve an old problem. Then establish whether the experiment has a clear goal, purpose, or objective. It should be clear what the experiment is trying to prove or disprove.
Once the variables are identified, a hypothesis can be developed. A hypothesis must be based on observations or inferences and be testable. Hypotheses are important even if they turn out not to be supported by the evidence. After testing, a hypothesis is compatible or not. It is not considered right or wrong. New hypotheses can be generated taking into account the evidence from past experiences.
What are the components of a good experiment?
Once a testable question has been devised, it is time to use the scientific method by identifying the independent variable and the dependent variable. Several levels of the independent variable must be tested. All other elements of the experiment must be the same. For rigorous testing, there must be a control group. This is the standard against which the researcher compares the results of each treatment group in the experiment. The researcher could then set one of the groups as the standard. And so, measure the other groups against that standard.
Experiments should be tested multiple times to ensure that the results are not affected by any factor outside the experiment parameter. According to Rössler (2012), the results must be consistent and reproducible. Only with repeated tests will there be enough data to measure and analyze. In addition, experiments must be reproducible over time. As well as in different places, and performed by different people. New testable questions may arise and new research may be required.
The main objective of the research is to inform the action. As well as demonstrating a theory and contributing to the development of knowledge in a field or study. In this way, the research is:
- A tool to build knowledge and facilitate learning
- A means to understand various issues and increase public awareness
- Food and exercise for the mind
- A help for business success
- A way to prove lies and support truths
- Also it means to seek, measure and seize opportunities
For those who like to learn, research is not just an imperative. It’s a necessity. And we must understand the different types of research.
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George, A. L., & Bennett, A. (2005). Development of Theories in Social Sciences. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Przeworski, A., &Teune, H. (1970). The Logic of Social Comparison. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Rössler, P. (2012). Comparative analysis. London: Routledge.