How to choose a research method

Presenter(s): Dr. Gil Dekel

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Once you formulate your research question, you want to identify the correct method to use in the study. Research methods are strategies and tools that help you to collect, analyse, interpret and present information. The main three types of research methods are: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed.

Qualitative answers the ‘why’ question. A humanistic approach. Concerned with meanings, concepts, thoughts, experiences, social phenomena, context, complexity. Makes sense of data. Analysis through summarising and categorising.  Quantitative – focuses on ‘how many; how much?’ questions. An empirical approach. Uses numbers, graphs, stats. Concerned with cause and effect, evaluates trends. Generates data. Analysis through testing, measuring.

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 Qualitative methods:

 Quantitative methods:

Mixed methods:


  • Interviews

  • Contextual research (visiting people in their everyday environment)

  • Flexible study conditions that can be adjusted

  • Think-aloud

  • Focus groups

  • Case studies

  • Ethnography

  • Literature review

  • Grounded theory

  • Action research

  • Well-defined; controlled study conditions

  • Usually no think-aloud

  • Surveys

  • Experiments

  • Systematic observations

  • A/B testing

  • Control-sensitive

  • Regression Analysis

  • Empirical investigation



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