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Research Methods

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Jason Frost

on 16 September 2012

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Transcript of Research Methods

Research Methods What is Primary Research? How do you acquire Primary Research? What is a Focus Group? Define Interviews Questionnaires Why might you use a questionnaire to acquire data?

What is a questionnaire?

Advantages of
Primary Research Disadvantages of
Primary Research Define
Secondary Research The internet can often be the starting point
for a research project as there is an incredible amount of information available.

However, it is easy to get bogged down in the sheer amount of information available The Internet A Focus Group is It should be used with caution though as it therefore has the potential to waste time and it can be unreliable, as there is no way of checking accuracy or authority of the information you find. How would you know if the producers of a website have carefully researched the information provided or if it is just a lone individual who is presenting their opinions as fact?

However, their are reliable sources such as government sites or the BBC and the information you get from these sites can be trusted For example Advantages of
the Internet Broadcasters Audience Research Board
BARB Data Gathering Agencies BARB is the organisationthat is responsible for collating all the television ratings for UK television Radio Joint Audience Research Limited
RAJAR RAJAR is the radio equivalent of BARB as they collate information on the audiences of various radio stations such as the age ranges and the audience figures of various radio shows 1. The hard work has already been done as the data is ready to use
2. In most cases its easy to find via websites, books or magazines
3. Wide range of information available
4. Ease of access
5. Low cost to acquire Advantages of
Secondary Research 1. The quality, validity and reliability of the information can be questionable
2. Not specific to researchers needs Disadvantages Define
Quantitative Data 1. Data can be analysed quickly
2. Large amounts of data can be visually represented easily
3. Questionnaires/Surveys can be anonymous, which is useful for sensitive topics allowing participants to feel more comfortable therefore, providing more honest responses Advantages Doesn't inform the researcher of the why's, where's, whats, when, hows etc.

Disadvantages Define
Qualitative Data The collection of data that
does not already exist Primary Research
is Surveys (Questionnaires)
Focus Groups A form of research in which a group of people are
asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and
attitudes towards a product, service, concept,
advertisement, idea, or packaging.
Questions are asked in an group setting where
participants are free to talk with other group members. An example of a situation where a 'Focus Group' may be used is at a test screening of a film where a focus group made up of a cross section of the target audience would watch the film and provide feedback for the producer who will then use the feedback to make changes to the film.
The main aim is to acquire qualitative research data based on peoples opinions and feelings regarding the film. This may be regarding the storyline or whether the audience felt a connection to the main characters.

An example of a film that has been changed due to a test screening with a focus group is Blade Runner.
The original opening sequence did not have a voice over but the feedback from the focus group was that the audience did not understand what was happening and therefore the director Ridley Scott and the producers of the film made the decision to include a voice-over narration in order to guide the audience regarding the storyline. Also, in the theatrical releaseof the same film Deckard the Blade Runner and Racheal the android drive a car out towards the countryside suggesting happiness and freedom. This did not sit with the dystopian nature of the rest of the film. However, the test audience (Focus Group) did not like the original ending and felt the film needed this happier final sequence.

These examples highlight the importance of feedback from the target audience in order to judge the reaction and response to a product. These type of media products are expensive to produce and this type of audience research can save a film company million of pounds. An example student response A purposeful discussion between two
or more people that can produce valid
and reliable data that is relevant to the research objectives Investigate (behavior or opinions) by questioning a group of people

A list of structured questions. The aim is to collect information systematically from people for a study Questionnaires
Types of interview Face to Face
E-Mail What type of questions would you ask at an interview?

What kind of data would they produce? Open ended
Qualitative data Information is from a reliable source
as it is gathered by the media company themselves and tailored to their specific needs

You can gather the exact information you require

You do not have to credit the information to another source Can be difficult to obtain

Time consuming and expensive

The company requiring the data may not have the skills or resources to obtain it The use of information that has already been collected and is available for use by others.
Information collected from anything other than the original source, such as
data gathering agencies (BARB, RAJAR, NRS etc) Its cheap
Produces quick results
Easy to use
Has a diversity of information

It can produce much quicker results than a book because you can have instant access to hundreds of pages regarding a subject and if you run a well refined search the chances of getting what you want are very good compared to a book in which you may have to read it all and still not find the information required. Disadvantages Potential to waste time

Can be unreliable as there is no way of checking the accuracy or authority of the information.
It is difficult to tell whether a site that seems official is for an organisation that can be trusted.

Copyright issues.

Websites such as Wikipedia depend on user input to provide the information and there is no way to tell if these facts are true. This type of research is based on measurable facts and information that can be counted, producing numerical and statistical data.

This data can be can be visually represented in the form of graphs or charts making it easier to see and understand large amounts of information. Qualitative data is subjective, meaning it is open to interpretation.

It can explain answers, offer opinions or feelings on a subject

Qualitative data as the name suggests is all about the quality of information that is gathered.

By asking open-ended questions it invites the interviewee or person completing the questionnaire or attending the focus group to give a fuller answer Quantitative data can be collated through questionnaires and surveys.
Closed questions produce quantitative data. The kind of questions that lead to one-word answers. They are often answered with ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Don’t know’, or from an answer picked from a range of options.
Closed questions with this limited range of response options can be answered quick and easily. Example Student Response When it comes to dealing with large sample sizes quantitative research is perfect. However, when it comes to dealing with smaller, more focused samples qualitative research is able to produce much better responses that explain answers, offer opinions or feelings on a subject. There are many different sources that qualitative data can be extracted from such as interviews, focus groups, books, newspapers and magazines Focus group and interviews are the kind of environments that are perfect for collecting this type of data. By asking open questions it invites the interviewee or person completing the questionnaire or attending the focus group to give a fuller answer. They start with what journalists call the 6 W’s: Who, what, why, when, where and how. (3) ‘Tell me about’ can also be added to this list.Qualitative data gives an opportunity for the respondent to offer their opinions and provide more personnel responses therefore are more subjective. However, this type of data can provide much more meaningful data and richer answers than quantitative dataThe responses that qualitative research is able to achieve is particularly useful within the media industries because rather than just seeing how many people watch, buy or listen to a media product the producers of that product are able to get insightful feedback that they can then tailor their product further to the audiences needs. The main disadvantages for qualitative research are the cost it takes to acquire, the relatively small sample size compared to quantitative research and the fact that some sources such as newspaper articles and magazine articles may not be as accurate or reliable as the hard facts found in quantitative data.
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