What is Research?

is a process of systematic inquiry that aims to increase the knowledge of a topic or issue

  • ”movement from known to unknown”

  • going from problem to conclusion

  • search for knowledge

  • using current information to add new, unique information to the body of information

  • to increase stock of knowledge

Research consists of - defining and redefining problems, formulating hypothesis; collecting, organizing and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions; and at last, carefully testing the conclusions


  • is scientific

  • can be applied to any branch of knowledge

  • rational

  • based on facts, rooted in reality

  • Generalized

  • Controlled

  • Rigorous

  • Empirical

  • Systematic

  • Reliability and Validity

  • Credible

  • Critical

Objectives of Research

  • discover answers using scientific procedures
  • to gain familiarity with a phenomenon (exploratory/formulatory)
  • to accurately represent characteristics of an individual / group (descriptive)
  • to determine frequency of a particular event (diagnostic)
  • establish causal relationship (hypothesis testing)

answers, to understand, to represent, to diagnose, and to test hypotheses.

Motivation for Research

(this is bleh and is included only because it is part of the syllabus)

  1. Discover something new
  2. Portray actual characteristics of any phenomena
  3. Establish causal relationship
  4. Confirm existing relationships / validity of the same
  5. To get a research degree and consequential benefits (really? “motivation to do it - have to do it”)
  6. Desire to help society
  7. Desire to gain respect

Types of Research

flowchart LR
A(Types of Research)

B---BI(accurate portrayal of situation/people, <br> no control over variables <br> what, not why <br> )

C---CI(uses facts, reasoning, and <br> critical thinking to <br> derive causal relationships)

D---DI(scientific study to solve practical problems<br>to find a solution<br>any problem faced by society or a business<br>action oriented)

E---EI(aka pure or basic<br>gathering knowledge for knowledge's sake<br>to add more information)

F---|measuring quantity|Y(survey,<br> correlational, quasi-experimental, experimental)

G---|collecting and understanding <br> non-numerical data|W
W(open conversations, indepth interviews, <br>esp important in behavioural sciences)

mnemonic: DAAFQQ (pronounced dafuq)


DAAFQQ (pronounced dafuq)

Descriptive, Analytical, Applied, Fundamental, Quant, Qual

Descriptive vs Analytical (just studying something or causal link finding) Applied vs Fundamental (solving a problem or acquiring new knowledge) Quantitative vs Qualitative (measuring numerical data vs non-numerical)

Other Types of Research

  • one-time research vs longitudinal (single time period vs several time periods)
  • field setting vs laboratory setting (control over variables)
  • clinical / diagnostic method (case study, in-depth)
  • historical
  • exploratory vs formalized (exploratory - a topic/phenomenon that hasn’t been explored much; formalized - trying to replicate an experiment, if successful, can be applied to a larger group or universe)

Quantitative Research

flowchart TB

b(descriptive <br> just observing)
c(experimental <br> manipulating variables)
d(quasi-experimental <br> selecting naturally <br> occuring variables)
e(correlational <br> investigate <br> corelation without <br> manipulating data)

Types of Groups in Experimental Design

1) Between Group difference

between two or more groups - for eg, groups based on gender; control and test group; etc for example, when a t test is used

2) Within group

the differences between the members of the same group

3) Repeated Measures design

fewer participants but all of them go through all the conditions they serve as their own control repeat the experiment crossover studies are an example for eg, two treatments, medicine and placebo. the treatments are randomized and given to the subject, and then it is repeated. So a subject will receive the treatments in a random order, and will receive both types of treatment (as a rule of repeated measures design)

same as within group test apparently

4) Blocking

In blocking method, people with a similarity are grouped together. For example, sex. Two blocks, one with male and one with female. From these blocks, the members are assigned control or test randomly. This ensures balanced control and test groups.

(“Block what you can; randomize what you cannot.”)

flowchart LR

subgraph "Without blocking"
A(Sample)-->|randomly divided|B(Control)
A-->|randomly divided|C(Test)

subgraph "with blocking"

in this, sex is the blocking factor

Qualitative Research

flowchart TB

b(case study)

Research Methodology Vs Research Methods

Research methodology is a way to systematically solve the research problem all the methods used by the researcher during the course of studying his research problem are termed as research methods

Grounded Theory relatively large number of participants in a study. It takes an inductive (bottom-up) approach, with a focus on letting the data “speak for itself”, without being influenced by preexisting theories or the researcher’s preconceptions

see also: Developmental Research