It consists of an ordered series of steps that guide the research work. It begins with observation and posing problems and hypotheses, continues with data collection, analysis and interpretation, and ends with conclusions.
We can see the research methodology as the map that shows us the path to follow to reach our destination. Our destiny, in the investigation, is to answer the question that originated the investigation.
The research methodology can be applied both in the natural sciences and in the social and human sciences. And it can be raised in two ways: from the quantitative or qualitative methodology.
The quantitative methodology is based on numerical measurements and is more typical of the natural sciences. The qualitative methodology , on the other hand, focuses on the observation and description of phenomena, and is more used in social or humanistic sciences.
Through the research methodology, the research work is validated and verified. When a research group publishes its results in a scientific journal, it has to show what methods it used to obtain these results and how it analyzed them. Other researchers can repeat the methods and should get the same results if the work and analysis was correct. What are the types of research methodology?
How to do a research methodology step by step?
The research methodology follows a logical sequence. Each step of the methodology follows a direction. We first need to collect as much information as possible related to our research question, if it has already been researched before. Then, define what the purpose is, what we want to discover and how we are going to achieve it.
To make a research methodology we must follow a series of steps:
- Problem formulation : What are we going to investigate and why?
- Choice of research method : What kind of data will be collected for the research? How will the data be measured?
- Results : How will the data be analyzed? How will the results be displayed and reported?
- Validity and reliability : How many times will the experiment be repeated? What controls should be used to corroborate the results?
- Dissemination : Will the research be published in a scientific article, a report, a thesis or a book?
Each step is valid for both a quantitative and qualitative research methodology.
Several avenues can be taken to conduct an investigation depending on the ultimate purpose of the investigation. We have two main types of research methodology: quantitative and qualitative research methodology. What are the types of research methodology?
Quantitative research methodology
When the research results are based on numbers, the quantitative methodology is applied. Generally this is the methodology applied to natural sciences, such as physics, chemistry and biology.
The quantitative research methodology is characterized by:
- Be Numerical : Measure and present numbers that are easier to understand. If we want to study the effect of light on plants, we measure the size of the plant at different times with different light intensities.
- Being controlled : through controls you can compare the results of the investigation. For example, a plant kept in the dark serves as a control to determine what is the effect of light on plant growth.
- Be plural : you need to analyze a lot of data for the results to be relevant. In studying the effect of light on plants, we have to measure growth in several plants, not just one.
- Be extrapolated : the results obtained from the data can be projected to a larger population. The study of the effect of light on the growth of 50 plants can be the same in 5000 plants.
- Be objective : the researcher is not part of the phenomenon he is investigating. In the study of the effect of light on plant growth, the plants and the light are being measured, not our participation in the study.
An example of a quantitative research methodology would be the following: an investigation on the growth of tomato plants in contaminated soils. The purpose of the study could be whether tomato plants survive in contaminated soils for which we measure the effect of soil contamination on tomato plants. What are the types of research methodology?
To do this, we must decide which methods are to be used to measure contamination, how the tomatoes are to be grown, and how the experiments are to be carried out. After conducting the necessary experiments and measurements, we must choose how the results will be displayed and what the conclusions and recommendations are.
Qualitative research methodology
If the purpose of the investigation is to describe or explain a phenomenon, the qualitative methodology is applied. It is the type of methodology that relies on observations and descriptions, and is generally used in the social sciences, such as anthropology and sociology. Through this we investigate the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and opinions of individuals depending on the topic of the investigation.
The qualitative research methodology is characterized by:
- Being subjective : the researcher is part of the research. In a study on how gorillas communicate in the jungle, the researcher has to observe the gorillas in their environment.
- Be descriptive : data is presented as text or prose. When researching gorilla communication, the researcher describes gorilla behaviors and the possible sounds they use to communicate.
- Be limited to context : events can be properly understood only if they are in context. In the investigation of communication between gorillas, this is circumscribed to a region and a specific group. What are the types of research methodology?
- Be interactive : the individuals studied teach the researcher about their lives and this has an effect on the study subjects. To better appreciate the communication system between gorillas, the researcher has to interact with the animals.
- Be unique : contexts, situations, events, conditions, and interactions are unique and difficult to generalize to a larger context. The results of how gorillas communicate in southern Africa cannot be generalized to gorillas of other species or places.
- Be extensive : the time to make the observations, analysis and interpretation is long.
An example of a qualitative research methodology would be an investigation to find out the opinion of mothers about the early detection of deafness in newborns. Here, the results cannot be numerically measurable, since the opinion of the people is being investigated.
The qualitative methods that would be applied in this case would be through interviews or questionnaires that the researchers will give mothers about what they think about detecting a health problem in their babies. What are the types of research methodology?