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Research Design

What would be the basis for distinctions among the following kinds of research: [a] Quasi-experimental research, [b] Evaluation research, [c] Historical research, [d] Survey research, [e] Action research, [f] Phenomenological research, [g] Theoretical research, [h] Hermeneutic research, and [i] Heuristic research.

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Interesting set of research methodologies. Let's take a closer look through definition, discussion and examples. I also attached two supporting articles.

RESPONSE:

[a] Quasi-experimental research

For experimental research we need: a hypothesis for a causal relationship; a control group and a treatment group; to eliminate confounding variables that might mess up the experiment and prevent displaying the causal relationship; and to have larger groups with a carefully sorted constituency; preferably randomized, in order to keep accidental differences from fouling things up (http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/research/experiment/pop3e.cfm).
Sometimes, however, we do not have all of those, so we do not have a true experiment in the strictest scientific sense of the term, but instead, we can have a quasi-experiment, an attempt to uncover a causal relationship, even though the researcher cannot control all the factors that might affect the outcome. A quasi-experimenter treats a given situation as an experiment even though it is not wholly by design. The researcher may not manipulate the independent variable, treatment and control groups may not be randomized or matched, or there may be no control group. The researcher is limited in what he or she can say conclusively (http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/research/experiment/pop3e.cfm).

For example, true experiments involve research designs where a control group is similar to the experimental group in every way except that the control group does not receive the treatment that the experimental groups receive. Experimental research most often involves the random assignment of participants to either the experimental or the control group. In contrast, Quasi-experimental research involves research where it is not possible to meet the conditions of true experiments. For example, the experimental and control groups might involve intact groups (e.g., two classrooms) that cannot be randomly assigned to treatments. Instead groups are formed on some already present variable (two classrooms, diabetes and no diabetes, etc. Thus, ehen there is no radon assignment to groups, it is said to be quasi-experimental (http://www.cognitive-aptitude-assessment-software.com/Glossary/Quasi-ExperimentalResearch.html).

[b] Evaluation research

Evaluation research is the systematic acquisition and assessment of information to provide useful feedback about some object. Evaluation is a methodological area that is closely related to, but distinguishable from more traditional social research. Evaluation utilizes many of the same methodologies used in traditional social research, but because evaluation takes place within a political and organizational context, it requires group skills, management ability, political dexterity, sensitivity to multiple stakeholders and other skills that social research in general does not rely on as much (see attached discussion).

Also see http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/intreval.php, which is attached for convenience.

[c] Historical research

Historical research is the process of systematically collecting past data, examining past events to give an account; and may involve interpretation to recapture the nuances, personalities, and ideas that influenced these events; to communicate an understanding of past events (www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/techniques/glossary.html). For example, many past cultures left written records behind them. In the British Isles, historical research is particularly relevant to the study of medieval and post medieval archeology (www.teesarchaeology.com/glossary/index.html). Historical research therefore draws conclusions about the past.

[d] Survey research

Survey research is one of the most important areas of measurement in applied social research. The broad area of survey research encompasses any measurement procedures that involve asking ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the distinctions across several kinds of research e.g. quasi-experimental, evaluation, historical, survey, action, phenomenological, theoretical, hermeneutic and heuristic research. Supplemented with two supporting articles for further reading.

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