Week 2: Research Methods

This week’s ISHE lecture was about the way we collect information, more commonly known as our research methods.

There are two main types of research methods: QUALITATIVE and QUANTITATIVE. Both methods offer advantages but, depending on the results we aim to achieve, using one method only may not be enough.

On the one hand, qualitative methods provide us more in-depth information and enable us to see cause/effect. On the other, these are methods which can be quite difficult to use on a large scale and they aren’t very helpful if we want to make comparisons between the results we obtain from using them.

To prevent that, we can choose to use quantitative methods instead. These can be used on a larger scale and the data they provide is comparable and, therefore, easier to analyse. Although this can be extremely valuable, it also means they don’t capture the human experience, which can lead to invalid outcomes.

All things considered, I’d say the best option is to always use both methods when doing research. This way, we’ll get better, more accurate results.

Regarding this subject, we’ve also discussed the different types of questions (for both methods) we can use when researching. These are:

  • Open-ended (questions with no fixed answer)
  • Multiple choice (options)
  • Ordinal scale (ranking a range of items)
  • Interval scale (rating from 1-10, for example)
  • Ration scale (questions with a simple measurable response)

Using all these types of questions when doing, say, a survey, for example, will increase our results and make them more accurate and complete.

We must be prepared to ask questions and find new methods of research.

Given these points, I’ve decided to apply what I’ve learned in today’s lecture to my own personal research and so I decided to make a questionaire on nightmares – a subject I find quite interesting. I will ask my friends and relatives to fill it in and, hopefully, I will have some interesting results to analyse and share in here soon.

If you’d like to take the survey, feel free to do so here.

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