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Research Design

Research Design Typology

Quantitati ve Mixed Qualitativ e

Experimenta l

QuasiExperimenta l

NonExperimenta l

Research Design Typology

Quantitati Mixed ve Qualitativ e

Phenomenol ogy


Case Study

Grounded Theory

Historical Research

Research Design Typology

Quantitati ve Qualitativ Mixed VS. e

4 important differences:
1. Philosophy 2. Objective 3. Assumptions 4. Strengths/Weaknesses

Philosophical Differences
Primary form of research until the 1980s.
Takes the positivist approach to research o The scientific method is the only valid approach to solving problems and answering questions. Introspection/intuition is considered invalid. Deductive (top-down) reasoning Central belief: o Phenomena should be studied in controlled settings, where extraneous variables can be

Philosophical Differences
Slowly gained popularity over the past 20

Takes the constructivist approach to

There is no Truth. Rather, each individual

constructs their own reality.

Inductive (bottom-up) reasoning

Philosophical Differences
Became an accepted form of research over

past decade
Incompatibility Thesis

Takes the pragmatic approach to research

o Philosophical preferences should not dictate

research design. o Focus on what works.

Attempts to utilize the strengths of one

paradigm to account for the weaknesses of the other.

Research Objectives
Quantitative Research
1. Determine statistical relationships 2. Generalize to a population of interest 3. Test theories

Qualitative Research
1. Provide the emic perspective Description of phenomenon by the actor, rather than the observer (i.e., etic) 2. Build theories

Mixed Research
1. Flexible design 2. Corroboration

Quantitative Research
1. Behavior is regular and predictive. 2. Reality is objective. 3. Inquiry is value-free.

Qualitative Research
1. Behavior is fluid, dynamic, contextual, and

social. 2. Reality is subjective. 3. Inquiry is value-laden.

Mixed Research
1. Behavior is somewhat predictable. 2. Makes no assumption regarding reality 3. Inquiry may not be value-free, therefore

Quantitative Research: Strengths

1. Testing Theory

2. Generalization
3. Making quantitative predictions

4. Eliminating Confounds
5. Relatively quick data collection and

6. Precise Measurements

Quantitative Research: Weaknesses

1. Too rigid Lack of flexibility

2. Lack of creativity
3. Confirmation bias

Qualitative Research: Strengths

1. Theory Generation

2. Findings represent the meanings of

3. Appropriate (i.e., naturalistic) settings 4. Has the ability to study complex

5. Can study dynamic processes (i.e.,
those that change due to various reasons)

Qualitative Research: Weaknesses

1. Not generalizable

2. Quantitative predictions are difficult

3. Results are vulnerable to researcher

bias and idiosyncrasies

4. More time-consuming

5. Lower practitioner credibility

Mixed Research: Strengths

1. Has a mixture of the strengths of

quantitative and qualitative research

2. Answers a broad and complete range

of research questions
3. Utilizes convergence, corroboration, &


Mixed Research: Weaknesses

1. Often very complex

2. Disapproved by methodological

3. Few researchers are skilled in both

4. Very time-consuming

Quantitative Research

Types of Quantitative Research

1. Experimental 2. Quasi-Experimental 3. Non-Experimental

Experimental Research
Considered the most pure form of research Conditions:
1. Control 2. Random Assignment 3. Manipulation

Strength: Internal Validity Weakness: External Validity

Research Question: How does alcohol influence attentional processes? Procedure 1. Sample 100 participants from your population 2. Randomly assign 50 to an alcohol group and 50 to a placebo group 3. Ensure that there are no differences between the experiences of the two groups, other than the contents of their drink.

Quasi-Experimental Research
Not ideal but often necessary Only difference is a lack of random assignment.
Difference between groups is pre-determined

Example: What is the influence of spanking on childrens tendency toward aggressive behavior?

Non-Experimental Research
Lacks both random assignment and

Examples include:
Survey Research Secondary Research Causal-comparative Research
Example: Interested in the relationship between TV watching and academic achievement. Children are divided into 3 groups based on TV watching habits (high, medium, low). Grades in school are compared.

Qualitative Research
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Phenomenology -Interest is a phenomenon. -Interest is a culture. Ethnography -Interest is a case. Case Study Grounded Theory Historical Research