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Evaluating Research Methodologies

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Discuss the key characteristics and differences of qualitative, quantitative, mixed, and action research methodologies. Be as succinct and comprehensive as possible with your explanation. This discussion should include the strategies and approaches as well as the criteria for selecting a specific research approach.

Part 1: Comprehensive explanation of 2 of the methods.

Choose 2 methods to address in more detail. For both methods, describe the following:
- key strategies or approaches to research that would be used
- how the inquiry strategy would be accomplished
- how measurement and analysis would be accomplished

Part 2: Selection of a particular research method.

Describe how to determine the best method for a research project.

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Solution Preview

Qualitative research helps the researcher learn and understand the meaning of social phenomena. The purpose is to learn as much about human behavior as possible, trying to describe and interpret behaviors and build a theory, within the given context. Research takes place in a natural setting, with participants supplying personal information in their responses, and the researcher looking for patterns, themes and holistic features. As a consequence, this research is subjective. Data is collected through observation and in-depth personal interviews so the researcher is personally involved, watching and examining the data to fit the particular research interest.

Qualitative research uses the "bottom up" or inductive exploratory method. The procedures emerge through study, often using open-ended questions. Qualitative researchers strive to understand the motivational factors behind particular experiences, understanding and interpreting behaviors in specific contexts. Qualitative research is primarily used for the purposes of description and exploration and to gain an understanding of how people think and experience their lives. A narrative report is present but generalization is not usually a goal because the research is focused on the personal and subjective. The quality of quantitative research can be determined by if others can replicate the study, and to what extend the researcher has described his assumptions and personal bias.

Quantitative research helps researchers determine the measurable relationships between variables. This might be descriptive, in which associations between two variables are ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the key characteristics and differences of qualitative, quantitative, mixed, and action research methodologies. It includes the strategies and approaches as well as the criteria for selecting a specific research approach.

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