What is a Research Design
What is a Research Design : Be it science and technology, art and culture, media studies, geography, mathematics, and other subjects, research has always been the route towards finding the unknown.
What is a Research Design
In this blog, we will understand what are the various types of research design and their related components.
By the term ‘research’, we can understand that it’s a collection of data that includes critical information by taking research methodologies into consideration. In other words, it is a compilation of information or data explored by setting a hypothesis and consequently coming up with substantive findings in an organised way. Research can be done on an academic as well as on a scientific basis as well. Let’s first understand what a research design actually means.
A Research Design is simply a structural framework of various research methods as well as techniques that are utilised by a researcher.
The research design helps a researcher to pursue their journey into the unknown but with a systematic approach by their side. The way an engineer or architect frames a design for a structure, likewise the researcher picks the design from various approaches in order to check which type of research to be carried out.
Elements of Research Design
Here are the most important elements of a research design-
The essential elements are:
- The method applied for analyzing collected details
- Type of research methodology
- Accurate purpose statement
- Probable objections for research
- Techniques to be implemented for collecting and analyzing research
- Measurement of analysis
- Settings for the research study
Characteristics of Research Design
2 Major Types of Research Design
Keeping its dynamics into consideration, the research design is categorised into two different perspectives, i.e. Quantitative Research Design and Qualitative Research Design. Further, there are four main characteristics of research design which include Reliability, Neutrality, Validity as well as Generalization. Further, a researcher should have a clear understanding of how their project can be implemented in the research design.
Let’s explore what Quantitative and Qualitative Research Designs mean:
Quantitative Research Design
In Quantitative Research Design, a researcher examines the various variables while including numbers as well as statistics in a project to analyze its findings. The use of graphics, figures, pie charts is the main form of data collection measurement and meta-analysis (it is information about the data by the data).
Qualitative Research Design
This type of research is quite contrary to quantitative research design. It is explanatory in nature and always seeks answers to “What’s” and “How’s”. It mainly focuses on why a specific theory exists and what would be the respondent’s answer to it. This allows a researcher to draw a conclusion with proper findings. Case studies are mainly used in Qualitative Research Design in order to understand various social complexities.
Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research Design
Following is the difference between Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research Design
|Quantitative Research||Qualitative Research|
|Focuses on putting ideas and hypotheses to the test.||Concentrate on generating ideas and developing a theory or hypothesis.|
|Math and statistical analysis were used to examine the situation.||Summarizing, classifying, and analyzing data were used to conduct the analysis.|
|Numbers, graphs, and tables are the most common forms of expression.||Mostly represented with words|
|It necessitates the participation of a large number of people.||Only a few people are required to answer.|
|Closed questions (multiple choice)||Open-ended inquiries|
|Key terms: testing, measurement, objectivity, replicability||Key terms: understanding, context, complexity, subjectivity|
Fixed vs. Flexible Research Design
A contrast between fixed and flexible research design can also be drawn. Quantitative (fixed design) and qualitative (flexible design) data gathering are frequently associated with these two study design categories. The research design is pre-determined and understood with a set study design even before you begin collecting data. Flexible designs, on the other hand, provide for more flexibility in data collection — for example, you don’t provide fixed answer alternatives, so respondents must put in their own responses.
The 5 Types of Research Designs
Now that we know the broadly classified types of research, Quantitative and Qualitative Research can be divided into the following 4 major types of Research Designs:
- Descriptive Research Design
- Correlational Research Design
- Experimental Research Design
- Diagnostic Research Design
- Explanatory Research Design
These 5 types of Research Designs are considered the closest and exact to true experiments and are preferred in terms of accuracy, relevance as well as quality.
Descriptive Research Design
In Descriptive Research Design, the scholar explains/describes the situation or case in depth in their research materials. This type of research design is purely on a theoretical basis where the individual collects data, analyses, prepares and then presents it in an understandable manner. It is the most generalised form of research design. To explore one or more variables, a descriptive design might employ a wide range of research approaches.
Unlike in experimental research, the researcher does not control or change any of the variables in a descriptive research design; instead, he or she just observes and measures them. In other words, while qualitative research may also be utilised for descriptive reasons, a descriptive method of research design is typically regarded as a sort of quantitative research. To guarantee that the results are legitimate and dependable, the study design should be properly constructed. Here are some examples for the descriptive design of research type:
- How has the Delhi housing market changed over the past 20 years?
- Do customers of company A prefer product C or product D?
- What are the main genetic, behavioural and morphological differences between Indian wild cows and hybrid-cows?
- How prevalent is disease 1 in population Z?
Experimental Research Design
Experimental research is a type of research design in which the study is carried out utilising a scientific approach and two sets of variables. The first set serves as a constant against which the variations in the second set are measured. Experimentation is used in quantitative research methodologies, for example. If you lack sufficient evidence to back your conclusions, you must first establish the facts. Experimental research collects data to assist you in making better judgments.
Experimentation is used in any research undertaken under scientifically appropriate settings. The effectiveness of experimental investigations is dependent on researchers verifying that a variable change is due only to modification of the constant variable. The study should identify a noticeable cause and effect. The traditional definition of experimental design is “the strategies employed to collect data in experimental investigations.” There are three types of experimental designs:
- Pre-experimental research design
- True experimental research design
- Quasi-experimental research design
Correlational Research Design
A correlational research design looks into correlations between variables without allowing the researcher to control or manipulate any of them. Correlational studies reveal the magnitude and/or direction of a link between two (or more) variables. Correlational studies or correlational study design might have either a positive, negative or zero.
|Correlational Studies Direction or Types||What Happens?||Example|
|Positive correlation||Both variables change in the same direction||As the prices of petrol increase, the fare of auto increases too.|
|Negative correlation||The variables change in opposite directions||As tea consumption increases, tiredness decreases|
|Zero correlation||There is no relationship between the variables||Tea consumption is not correlated with height|
Correlational research design is great for swiftly collecting data from natural settings. This allows you to apply your results to real-world circumstances in an externally legitimate manner. Correlational studies research is a viable choice in a few scenarios like:
- To investigate non-causal relationships
- To explore causal relationships between variables
- To test new measurement tools
Diagnostic Research Design
Diagnostic research design is a type of research design that tries to investigate the underlying cause of a certain condition or phenomena. It can assist you in learning more about the elements that contribute to certain difficulties or challenges that your clients may be experiencing. This design typically consists of three research stages, which are as follows:
- Inception of the issue
- Diagnosis of the issue
- Solution for the issue
Explanatory Research Design
Explanatory research is a method established to explore phenomena that have not before been researched or adequately explained. Its primary goal is to notify us about where we may get a modest bit of information. With this strategy, the researcher obtains a broad notion and use research as a tool to direct them more quickly to concerns that may be addressed in the future. Its purpose is to discover the why and what of a subject under investigation. In short, it is a type of research design that is responsible for finding the why of the events through the establishment of cause-effect relationships. The most popular methods of explanatory research are:
- Literature research
- In-depth interview
- Focus groups
- Case studies
Research Design Types by Grouping
Another classification of study design types is based on how participants are categorized. In most situations, grouping is determined by the research premise and the method used to sample individuals. There is generally at least one experimental and one control group in a typical study based on experimental research design. In medical research, for example, one group can be given therapy while the other receives none. You get my drift. We can differentiate four types of study designs based on participant grouping:
A cohort study is a sort of longitudinal research that takes a cross-section of a cohort (a group of people who have a common trait) at predetermined time intervals. It’s a form of panel research in which all of the people in the group have something in common.
In social science, medical research, and biology, a cross-sectional study is prevalent. This study approach examines data from a population or a representative sample of the population at a specific point in time.
A longitudinal study is a type of study in which the same variables are observed repeatedly over a short or long period of time. It’s usually observational research, although it can also take the form of a long-term randomized experiment.
Cross-sequential research design combines longitudinal and cross-sectional research methods, with the goal of compensating for some of the flaws inherent in both.
Benefits of Research
Since we are dealing with the types of research design, it is imperative to understand how beneficial the practise of doing research is and some of its major advantages are:
- Research helps in getting a deeper understanding of the subject.
- You will learn about its varied aspects as well as its different sources like primary and secondary.
- It helps to resolve the complex problems in any field through critical analysis and measurement of unsolved problems.
- You will also get to know about how a hypothesis is created by weighing preserved assumptions.
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