Chapter 3: Developing a Research Question
- Normative statements are judgmental, whereas empirical statements are informative and facts-based.
- Exploratory research is usually conducted when a researcher wants to test the feasibility of conducting a more extensive study. Descriptive research seeks to describe or define a particular phenomenon. Explanatory research seeks to answer “why” questions.
- Good research is generally written in the form of a question; it is also focused; it cannot be answered with a simple yes or no; it should have more than one plausible answer; and it considers relationships amongst multiple concepts.
- A hypothesis is a statement, sometimes but not always causal, describing a researcher’s expectations regarding anticipated findings.
- Quantitative approaches to data collection utilize aggregate data to see patterns of “truth” about the phenomenon. True understanding is created by the ability to predict the phenomenon. Qualitative approaches to research emphasize that knowledge is created, not discovered, and that there are multiple realities based upon an individual’s perspective. True understanding is created by understanding.
- Mixed methods is an increasingly popular method for undertaking research. It combines both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
- Triangulation is the process of using a combination of multiple and different research strategies.It follows the researcher to take advantage of the strengths of the various methods, and at the same time overcome some of the weaknesses
There are other forms of triangulation, including triangulation of measures, which occurs when researchers use multiple approaches to measure a single variable. Researchers also use triangulation of theories, which occurs when researchers rely on multiple theories to help explain a single event or phenomenon.