Monday, July 28, 2014

Research Method

by Antonio C. Antonio
July 13, 2014

Last night, I met up with a long-time friend, Dr. Randy Regala of Tarlac, at a wedding reception in Clark, Angeles City.  He said that he has been reading my blogs and Facebook posts and that he has been longing to ask if what I’ve been writing about comes from “stock knowledge”.  I simply smiled and said: “Some lang, but most are the result of research”.  We talked about a lot of other stuff but, taking Randy’s lead seriously, I’ve decided that this article should focus on research methods, methodologies and alternative approaches that are useful in studying most anything on earth… including human and environment relationships.

Research methods are tools that gather information, statistics and data.  But figures and values would just be what they are without an understanding of methodology.  The information, gathered with the use of a process system, do not jump out of the woodwork and appear on our tables.  Methodology will help us classify and segregate raw data to organize our thought processes to better understand the objective of the research.

There are some of us who believe that most, if not all, potential research subject matters have already been covered by researches in the past.  I believe that matters needing research are infinite.  A combination of two or more previous researches can constitute a new and different research altogether.  Even the simple and mundane everyday matters of concern can be potential subjects for an in-depth research.  For example, PIGS.  Why are they called “pigs” in some cultures while others call them “swine”?  The difference in the tagging or naming of pigs/swine alone would be an interesting socio-cultural research undertaking.  As a result, we will have a deeper understanding on the "whys" and the "how comes" of labelling pigs.

Social, economic, science or environmental researches are equally challenging.  Some will even argue that environment has relatively less data and information available… making environmental research a little bit more daunting because most data are still being recorded at present and research is seemingly an on-going and infinite activity.  Even the popular climate change or global warming lacks in real-time usable data.

There are numerous research methods and methodologies that can be adopted and used in the conduct of a research.  So long as their recommended methodology is followed, they will, most certainly, result to new scientific knowledge... whether this pertains to man, culture and society in general.  Research is creative work done, using a structured system and hard-core data to come up with new knowledge and information. 

What are the types of research?  Honestly, I’m almost tempted not to mention them at all… so there will be a compulsive reaction to research on them.  Anyway, in a nutshell, they are: (1) Basic research; (2) Applied research; (3) Quantitative research; and, (4) Qualitative research.  Qualitative research is further broken down to the following research formats: (a) Phenomenology; (b) Ethnography; (c) Case Study; and, (d) Grounded Theory.  There is another form of research method known as Fundamental Research that is used to support other researches, which includes: (1) Descriptive research; (2) Analytical research; (3) Conceptual research; (4) Empirical research; (5) Longitudinal research; (6) Field research; (7) Clinical research; (8) Diagnostic research; (9) Exploratory research; and, (10) Historical research.  Anything under and beyond the sun could be studied using the appropriate research method.

Just my little thoughts...

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