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Caribbean Studies

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Research Methods Formulating Research Questions Devise once main question or point Devise a set of sub-questions or concerns Focus on what the researcher wants to be ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Caribbean Studies


1
Caribbean Studies
  • Research Methods

2
  • Research is the step by step process of gathering
    information
  • Reasons for doing research
  • To generate new knowledge
  • To solve a problem
  • To test a theory
  • To be able to predict an event or outcome

3
Research
Can be divided into
Historical
Description
Experimental
Which require
Quantitative studies
Quantitative Studies
4
  • Historical research-describes the past
    Descriptive research- describes records,
    analyses and interprets conditions that
    permanently exist. Experimental research-focus
    on variable--- and describes what happens when
    the variables are carefully controlled or
    manipulated.

5
Quantitative
  • usually takes the form of statistical or
    numerical information.
  • It can also be expressed in the form of a rate.
  • It is believed that the analysis of statistical
    data can indicate both cause and correlation.
  • it is used in the Mainstream or conventional
    ideas of research which are based on the
    scientific method

6
Advantages
  • Study easily replicable
  • Method saves time
  • It is cost effective
  • It collects standard data
  • Validity is enhanced by the use of large samples
  • Data is more objective

7
Disadvantages
  • No indication about the respondents personal
    state
  • Unrepresentative samples can lead to inaccurate
    and invalid data
  • Generalization may not apply to all people in all
    circumstances

8
  • There are 4 types of quantitative research
    methods
  • Surveys
  • Questionnaire
  • Structured interviews
  • Official statistics

9
Social Surveys
  • usually large-scale research projects that
    collect standardized data from a large
    cross-section of the population.
  • E.g. Government census. 
  • There are three (3) types of surveys
  • Descriptive - questions are close-ended and allow
    the researcher to make correlations about
    social phenomena.
  •  

10
  • Attitude - asks mainly close-ended questions that
    attempt to find out peoples feelings or
    opinions e.g. a party, political figure or brand
    of food.
  • Explanatory - seeks answers that require more
    than a simple yes or no response. They are given
    the opportunity to clarify their feelings in
    greater depth

11
Advantages of Surveys
  • Valid due to data collected from a large
    cross-section of the population
  • Data can be used to make generalizations
  • Statistical technique can be used to analyze
    data, thus time-saving
  • An unbiased representative sample saves the
    researcher the time of having to find all
    individuals with relevant information.

12
Disadvantages of Surveys
  • Invalid data if sample not representative

13
Questionnaire
  • A number of pre-set questions that can contain
    open-ended and close-ended or a combination of
    both type of questions.
  • Steps to constructing a questionnaire
  • Operationalize key terms and concepts therefore
    breaking up terms into sub-concepts.
  • Formulate questions based on each sub-topic.
  •  
  •  
  •  

14
Advantages of the Questionnaire
  • Easy to administer
  • They can reach a large number of people even if
    they are geographically disperse
  • It saves time
  • It is not costly
  • Data can be easily tabulated, measured and
    analyzed

15
Disadvantages of the Questionnaire
  • What is gained in reliability may be lost in
    terms of validity. e.g.
  • The wording may intentionally or not, mislead
    the respondent
  • Researcher bias
  • Respondents may lie or treat the issues lightly
  • Respondents may forget
  • Postal questionnaires have a low rate of return
    and may be filled out by someone other than the
    intended respondent.

16
Official Statistics
  • Secondary source of data.
  • The researcher relies upon other people to
    collect data.

17
Advantages
  • Saves time as it is a readily available source of
    data.
  • Conclusions drawn are objective because of lack
    of interaction.
  • Generalizations can be made.
  • Researcher can understand the nature of social
    change by comparing statistics from different
    times.
  • Statistics could be used to gain a deeper
    understanding of human relationships.

18
Disadvantages
  • Producers may be biased in collecting the data.
  • The validity of some official reports (e.g.
    crime) could be inaccurate because trivial crimes
    may not be reported.
  • Technological developments make it appear that
    more crimes are taking place, therefore
    comparisons from past to present would be
    inaccurate.
  • Due to the fact that it is secondary data, there
    is a low level of reliability

19
Qualitative
  • collects subjective data such as information
    about peoples emotions, feelings and values.
  • The researcher usually interacts directly with
    the respondents (i.e. face-to-face) or by
    actually joining in their everyday activities
  •  
  • There are 4 forms of qualitative research
  • Unstructured interviews
  • Participant observation
  • Case studies
  • Documents

20
Unstructured Interviews
  • Face-to-face interaction process in which the
    researcher tries to get as much useful
    information as possible from a respondent or a
    number of respondents
  • It can take the form of a one-session interview
    or a number of session
  • The respondents trust must be gained and factors
    such as social class, sex or ethnicity can
    influence the level of trust gained

21
Advantages
  • The validity of the data is enhanced by the
    following
  • Researcher can detect lies or inconsistencies by
    observing facial reactions and body language
  • Misunderstanding can be clarified
  • The researcher can understand the world from the
    point of view of the interviewee
  • Researcher can gain information that he never
    thought about asking

22
Advantages continued
  • It is a more practical research technique for
    explaining specific issues, e.g. rape
  • Due to the small sample, it can be useful for
    challenging or refuting already existing ideas

23
Disadvantages
  • Validity is reduced by the following
  • Observer effect
  • Deliberate lies on the part of the interviewee
  • Time consuming
  • Large quantities of information can pose problems
    for analysis
  • Some interviewees can have limited knowledge of
    a particular topic
  • Not cost effective

24
Participant Observation
  • Is regarded as a scientific tool because the
    researcher studies people in their natural
    environment by joining their daily activities
  • The researcher must remain as objective
    non-judgemental and not overly involved as
    possible
  • Researcher can be overt letting the group
    members know that they are being studied - or
    covert choose to keep his identity secret
  • Unlike interviews, trust must be gained from the
    start
  •  

25
Advantages
  • Validity is enhanced by the following
  • The researcher witnesses the group first hand
  • Observer effect is minimized
  • Questions can be asked to clarify events and
    actions of the group
  • Groups subjective point of view can be
    understood
  • Information can be used to formulate theories
    about human behaviour
  • It is a practical method for studying deviant or
    secret groups and activities, e.g. gangs,
    homosexuality

26
Disadvantages
  • Validity may be compromised by the following
  • Covert observer may forget information
  • Covert observer may provide his own
    interpretation because asking questions may
    reveal his identity
  • Overt observation may produce the ob server
    effect
  • There is no standardized way to study human
    behaviour
  • It is costly
  • It is time-consuming

27
Documents
  • Contains information usually qualitative form
  • There are 2 main types of documents historical
    and personal
  • Personal documents include letters, diaries,
    biographies and autobiographies
  • Historical documents are usually information
    written by people who lived during a particular
    era
  • Documents are a secondary source of data

28
Advantages
  • Saves time and money
  • Practical method of studying past events
  • Provides insight in areas that otherwise one may
    not have access to
  • Information could be used to measure the extent
    of social change

29
Disadvantages
  • Invalid because of producer bias
  • Information may be difficult to read and may
    contain missing pages
  • Some documents may be difficult to access
  • Information may be limited in scope or outdated

30
Conclusion 8
Identify Problem 1
Discussion of Findings 7
Formulate Research Question 2
Research Process
Interpretation of Data 6
Literature Review 3
Data Analysis 5
Data Collection 4
31
The Problem Statement
  • This is a sentence in which you clearly state
    what you wish to find out.
  • E.g.. What is the level of hurricane preparedness
    of a sample of households in Windy village,
    Barbados?

Theme The Environment
Sub Theme Natural Disasters
Problem Statement?
32
Hypothesis Statement
  • A statement which suggests the possible answer to
    your problem statement. It mentions a variable or
    the relationship between 2 or more variables.
  • A variable is a thing/concept that changes.
  • E.g.
  • 1. Windy Village, St Silas, Barbados is not
    prepared for hurricanes.
  • 2. The level of preparedness amongst households
    in Windy Village, St Silas is affected by their
    experiences of hurricanes.

33

Stage 1
Narrow down problems or issues
Identifies Problem
Impacts on human development
makes problem manageable
One must be able to study the problem. E.g. drug
use
34
Stage 2
Create a hypothesis that can either be accepted
or rejected
Devise once main question or point
Formulating Research Questions
Devise a set of sub-questions or concerns
Focus on what the researcher wants to be informed
about
35
Stage 3
Research must be related to problem being
researched
e.g. books, journals, articles, newspapers
Literature Reviews
Read as much as possible on topic
Look at strategies and methods of other
researchers and compare
Find info to definition point
36
Stage 4
Choose sample
Questions must be focused on what he/she wants to
know
Data Collection
Choose a strategy relative to study
Method used must bias free
Design instruments that will be reliable and valid
37
Stage 5
Organizes the data collected for presentation
Use thin marginal questions, concerns or concepts
as a guide
Data Analysis
This presentation is guided by research question
or hypothesis
There must be at least 5 different ways of
presentations
The most popular formats were pie charts, bar and
live graphs, flow diagrams, maps, photographs etc.
38
Stage 6
States what the data implies
Interpretation of Findings
Describes patterns and trends averages, ranges.
Explains the results and include contradictions
Accounts for all the findings presented
Consider the implications
39
Stage 7
in relation to the original questions
Discussion of findings
Ensures all research questions are answered
Compares your findings with those presented in
the Literature Review
Identifies similarities and differences in the
pattern and trend of the studies
40
Stage 8
Conclusion
Summarize your results and restate their
educational value
States the limitation of research/ Methodology.
Suggest at least three (3) recommendations that
should be practical solutions which can be
easily implemented
41
Convenience
Access
Limitations
Resources
Time
Costs
Expertise
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