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❶Johannes van Kessel Publishing. Steps of the scientific method are shaped like an hourglass - starting from general questions, narrowing down to focus on one specific aspect , and designing research where we can observe and analyze this aspect.

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This is not necessarily true. Generalization is to which extent the research and the conclusions of the research apply to the real world. It is not always so that good research will reflect the real world, since we can only measure a small portion of the population at a time.

Validity refers to what degree the research reflects the given research problem, while Reliability refers to how consistent a set of measurements are. A definition of reliability may be "Yielding the same or compatible results in different clinical experiments or statistical trials" the free dictionary. Research methodology lacking reliability cannot be trusted.

Replication studies are a way to test reliability. Both validity and reliability are important aspects of the research methodology to get better explanations of the world. Logically, there are two types of errors when drawing conclusions in research:. Type 1 error is when we accept the research hypothesis when the null hypothesis is in fact correct. Type 2 error is when we reject the research hypothesis even if the null hypothesis is wrong.

Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Oskar Blakstad Mar 10, Retrieved Sep 14, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4. You can use it freely with some kind of link , and we're also okay with people reprinting in publications like books, blogs, newsletters, course-material, papers, wikipedia and presentations with clear attribution.

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Don't have time for it all now? No problem, save it as a course and come back to it later. Share this page on your website: Key Concepts of the Scientific Method There are several important aspects to research methodology. This article is a part of the guide: Select from one of the other courses available: Don't miss these related articles:. Check out our quiz-page with tests about: Back to Overview "Scientific Method".

Search over articles on psychology, science, and experiments. These methods include the self-administered, the group-administered, and the household drop-off. Among the three, the self-administered survey method is often used by researchers nowadays. The self-administered questionnaires are widely known as the mail survey method.

However, since the response rates related to mail surveys had gone low, questionnaires are now commonly administered online, as in the form of web surveys. Between the two broad types of surveys, interviews are more personal and probing. Questionnaires do not provide the freedom to ask follow-up questions to explore the answers of the respondents, but interviews do. An interview includes two persons - the researcher as the interviewer, and the respondent as the interviewee.

There are several survey methods that utilize interviews. These are the personal or face-to-face interview, the phone interview , and more recently, the online interview. The span of time needed to complete the survey brings us to the two different types of surveys: Collecting information from the respondents at a single period in time uses the cross-sectional type of survey.

Cross-sectional surveys usually utilize questionnaires to ask about a particular topic at one point in time. Sometimes, cross-sectional surveys are used to identify the relationship between two variables , as in a comparative study. An example of this is administering a cross-sectional survey about the relationship of peer pressure and cigarette smoking among teenagers as of May When the researcher attempts to gather information over a period of time or from one point in time up to another, he is doing a longitudinal survey.

The aim of longitudinal surveys is to collect data and examine the changes in the data gathered. Higher response rates; responses can be gathered more quickly Disadvantage: More expensive than mail surveys Face-to-face Advantages: Highest response rates; better suited to collecting complex information Disadvantage: Very expensive Visit the following website for more information about survey administration: What is a Survey?

Glossary terms related to survey administration: Four sampling techniques are described here: Simple Random Sampling Simple random sampling is the most basic form of sampling Every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected This sampling process is similar to a lottery: In this procedure, telephone numbers are generated by a computer at random and called to identify individuals to participate in the survey Cluster Sampling Cluster sampling is generally used when it is geographically impossible to undertake a simple random sample Cluster sampling requires that adjustments be made in statistical analyses For example, in a face-to-face interview, it is difficult and expensive to survey households across the nation.

Stratified Sampling Stratified samples are used when a researcher wants to ensure that there are enough respondents with certain characteristics in the sample The researcher first identifies the people in the population who have the desired characteristics, then randomly selects a sample of them Stratified sampling requires that adjustments be made in statistical analyses For example, a researcher may want to compare survey responses of African-Americans and Caucasians. Nonrandom Sampling Common nonrandom sampling techniques include convenience sampling and snowball sampling Nonrandom samples cannot be generalized to the population of interest.

Consequently, it is problematic to make inferences about the population In survey research, random, cluster, or stratified samples are preferable Visit the following websites for more information about sampling procedures: Systematic Error Systematic error is more serious than random error Occurs when the survey responses are systematically different from the target population responses For example, if a researcher only surveyed individuals who answered their phone between 9 and 5, Monday through Friday, the survey results would be biased toward individuals who are unemployed Sources of bias include Nonobservational error -- Individuals in the target population are systematically excluded from the sample, such as in the example above Observational error -- When respondents systematically answer surveys question incorrectly.

For example, surveys that ask respondents how much they weigh will probably underestimate the population's weight because respondents are likely to underreport their weight Random Error Random error is an expected part of survey research, and statistical techniques are designed to account for this sort of measurement error Occurs because of natural and uncontrollable variations in the survey process, i.

Visit the following website for more information about measurement error: Reducing Measurement Error Glossary terms related to measurement error: Informed Consent Respondents should give informed consent before participating in a survey. In order for respondents to give informed consent, The researcher must inform the respondents of the study's purpose, content, duration, and potential risks and benefits The researcher must inform the respondents that they do not have to answer all the survey questions The researcher must inform the resondents that they can stop participating in the study at any point Confidentiality and Anonymity It is absolutely imperative that researchers keep respondents' identities confidential.

Anonymity Anonymity is an even stronger safeguard of respondent privacy. Visit the following websites for more information about anonymity:

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Answers obtained to open-ended questionnaire questions are analyzed using qualitative methods and they involve discussions and critical analyses without use of numbers and calculations. For a standard 15,, word business dissertation, including questions in questionnaires will usually suffice.

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Survey research is a commonly used method of collecting information about a population of interest. There are many different types of surveys, several ways .

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Research Methods» Questionnaire. Questionnaire. By Saul McLeod, updated A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Questionnaires can be thought of as a kind of written interview. They can be carried out face to face, by telephone, computer or post. A field of applied statistics of human research surveys, survey methodology studies the sampling of individual units from a population and associated techniques of survey data collection, such as questionnaire construction and methods for improving the number and accuracy of responses to surveys. Survey methodology includes instruments or procedures that ask one or more questions .

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In survey research, independent and dependent variables are used to define the scope of study, but cannot be explicitly controlled by the researcher. Before conducting the survey, Fundamentals of Survey Research Methodology. As it is indicated in the title, this chapter includes the research methodology of the dissertation. In more details, in this part the author outlines the research strategy, the research method.