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Research Methods

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James Jing

on 25 July 2018

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Transcript of Research Methods

Research Methods
Quantitative Method
Qualitative Method
Mixed Method
Types of Questionaire
Postal questionnaire
. The questionnaire is given or posted to the participant, who completes it in his or her own time. The participant then posts the completed questionnaire back to the researcher. Alternatively, the questionnaire may be emailed to the respondent for completion online.
Online questionnaire
. Respondents are able to complete the questionnaire electronically, and results are downloaded by the researcher.
Telephone questionnaire
. The researcher questions the participant over the telephone and the researcher fills in the responses.
Face to face questionnaire
. The researcher and participant are in the same location, and the researcher asks the questions ‘face to face’.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Low cost.
Reduced bias.
Time for respondents to reply.
Instrument Design
More difficult than you may believe.
1. Identify information needs.
2. Identify what type of measurement is required.
3. Determine the question type to get that information.
4. Design questionnaire.
5. Pilot questionnaire.
6. Evaluate pilot study and redesign questionnaire.
7. Repilot questionnaire.
8. Final design.
Types of Interview
Structured − essentially a questionnaire.
Semi-structured − some structure, opportunity to develop information.
Unstructured − no set format, interview ‘develops’ information.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Interview
Flexibility – especially with younger, less educated etc.
More insightful.
Sense of time and history.
Develop useful information as it emerges.
Can change format if required.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Observation
Takes place in a ‘natural’ setting.
Identifies features not apparent to subject.
Identifies features that subject may be unwilling to disclose.
Types of Observation
Participant observation
Observer fully involved, takes part in what is being studied, e.g. mystery shopper.

Non-participant observation
No involvement at all,
e.g. recording occurence frequency of a certain act.
Types of Mixed Method
◆ the convergent parallel design
◆ the explanatory sequential design
◆ the exploratory sequential design
◆ the embedded design
◆ the transformative design
◆ the multiphase design
Pro & Con
Better understanding of research problem than either type (quantitative or qualitative) by itself, the "powerful mix" (Miles & Huberman, 1994, p. 42) helps draw "a complex" picture of social phenomenon (Greene & Caracelli, 1997, p. 7);
One type of research (qualitative or quantitative) is not enough to address the research problem or answer the research questions. More data is needed to extend, elaborate on, or explain the first database. e.g. researcher needs both "numbers" and the "stories" about an issue.
- Questionaire Survey
- Interview & Observation
Collecting Data
Gratton, C., & Jones, I. (2010). Research Methods for Sports Studies: Routledge.
Creswell, J. W. (2008). Educational research: planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall.
Miles, M. B. , & Huberman , A. M. ( 1994). Qualitative data analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Greene, J. C., & Caracelli, V. J. (Eds.). (1997). Advances in mixed-method evaluation: The challenges and benefits of integrating diverse paradigms (New Directions for Evaluation, No. 74). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
A standardised set of questions to gain information from a subject. They are often associated with quantitative research designs, when relatively simple measurements are required from a large sample group.
Simple questions.
No control over who fills it out.
No opportunity to explain questions.
No opportunity to probe.
Low response rates.
Question design
Pre-coded/closed (Easy to analyse − make sure all possible responses included.)
e.g. Are you currently married?
e.g. How often do you wear a mouth-muffle when going outside?
e.g. Where do you purchase baby formula from?
Other places
e.g. Rank the following in 1-3 order of interest (1 most interest, 3 least interest)
Family/acquaintance arranged date
Match-making agent arranged date
Dating old classmates/friends
Attitude scale (you can measure attitudes, beliefs, etc towards something)
e.g. Seminars held for educating school kids about food hygiene are
Too few in a year
About right
Quite a few in a year
Likert scale (measures the extent of agreement with a statement)
e.g. Understanding English is the most important skill required by employers these days in China
Strongly agree
Strongly disagree
Filter questions (Not all questions apply to each respondent)
e.g. Should China build aircraft-carrier for its navy?
Yes − Go to question X.
No − Go to question Y.


Interest of respondent.
Design and presentation.
Order − difficult questions last!
Covering letter.
Pre-paid reply envelope.
Follow up letter/call.

Leading questions
‘Do you agree that because the air quality is bad in major cities, the taxi exhaustion pipe should be filtered?’

Threatening questions
‘Have you ever been married at all?’

Double-barrelled questions
‘Do you agree that Japanese government has not officially apologized/compensated to "comfort women/saex slaves" in war time can be justified and should be resolved in civil procedures?’

Faults on pre-coding
How old are you?
11−20 
20−30 
30−40 
Not including all possible responses.
Someone aged 30 can tick two boxes.

Over-complex questions
How well do you think Brown and Levinson's 'Politeness Theory' can be applied to Australia-China intercultural communication cases?
Pilot Questionnaires

do a pilot.

To check:
wording and sequence
response rate
completion time
analysis procedures

You will get
chance to do your survey!

Interviews are appropriate when
In depth/qualitative information is required.
Low sample size.
Variable information.
Research is exploratory.
Information changes over time.
Information is complex.
Time (especially if travelling).
Lack of anonymity.
Transcription time (1hr interview may involve 5hrs typing!).
Potential bias.
Informant may try to please interviewer.
Informant may hesitate to say anything that shows them negatively.
Number of people (5−12).
Facilitate discussion between people.
Subjects interact with each other.
Ensure it is not dominated by 1 or 2 people.
May misunderstand the phenomenon.
Poor data recording possible.
Effects of observer on subjects.

You may need to sample:
Different times – ‘time sampling’.
Different observation points.
Time consuming for the design;
Requires seasoned research skills to mix.
Potentially inherits both methods' disadvantages
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