Flashcards in 3) Social Science Research Methods Deck (20):
Describe the key features of quantitative research:
Hypothesis and deduction = conclusions
Relationships between variables (causal)
What designs can be used for quantitative research?
RCTs, cohort, case control, cross sectional surveys
Secondary analysis of statistics and surveys
What are some applications of questionnaires?
Measure of exposure to risk factors e.g. diet on cancer
Knowledge and attitudes e.g. sexual health
Satisfaction with health services
What two things should good questionnaires be?
Valid and reliable
What is the difference between published and unpublished questionnaires?
Publishes tested for validity and reliability
Unpublished, niche areas and need piloting
What questions should be asked in a questionnaire?
Many closed with may be an open ended question at the end with a text box. Requires different analysis and may not be completed
What are quantitative methods good at?
Describing, measuring and finding relationships between variables
What are the disadvantages of quantitative methods?
Force people into inappropriate categories
Don't allow people to express in the way they want
May not access all information
Describe the key features of qualitative research:
Make sense of phenomena in terms of meaning people bring to them e.g. why don't people give up smoking
Understand people's perspective
Insights in behaviour
What methods can be used in qualitative research?
Documentary and media analysis
What is ethnography and why is it useful?
Studying human behaviour in natural context
Gain access to behaviour that individuals many give biased accounts of or not remember
How can be interviews be used for qualitative research?
Give participants' perspective on agenda
Detailed, focussed accounts on issue of interest
How can focus groups be used for qualitative research?
Accessing group based, collective understanding of an issue
Encourages people to participate
What is documentary and media analysis and why is it useful?
Analysis of independent evidence e.g. medical records and diaries
Analysis of TV, newspaper and media stories
Gives historical context and useful for subjects that are difficult to investigate
What are qualitative methods good at?
Accessing info not revealed by quantitative
Explaining relationships between variables
What are the disadvantages of qualitative methods?
Finding consistent relationships
Generalisability - dangerous to infer propensity of views from small sample size
How is qualitative research appraised?
Carried out robustly
Rigour, credibility, relevance, transparency
What factors should be consisted when choosing an approach for research?
Topic under investigation and research question
Research team's preferences
Time, money and funders available
What are the disadvantages of focus groups?
Topics may be too sensitive
Deviant views inhibited
Don't want hierarchy in groups
Difficult to arrange