Research Methods and Literature Review

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10 Questions

What is the primary factor that determines the choice between deductive and inductive approaches?

Existing knowledge base

What is the role of research questions in guiding studies?

To connect with prior research and advance social science knowledge

What is the purpose of conducting a literature review?

To identify relevant literature and inform research questions

What are the four key steps in formulating research questions?

Identification, justification, precision, and operationalization

What is the role of models in research?

To clarify theoretical foundations and visualize connections between theory and evidence

Why are literature reviews essential in research?

They inform the formulation of research questions and identify relevant literature

What do research questions vary in?

Scope, complexity, and precision

What is the iterative process involved in refining research questions?

Theoretical considerations, empirical evidence, and literature reviews

What is the significance of well-crafted research questions?

They advance social science knowledge and guide meaningful scientific inquiry

What is the main purpose of Chapter 4?

To discuss formulating effective research questions and conducting literature reviews

Study Notes

Research Process

  • Based on professional experience, burning questions, new developments, and literature (gap in knowledge, building on a theory, replication, etc.)

Literature Review

  • Discusses published information in a particular subject area related to the research problem/question
  • Involves summarizing information, synthesizing findings, and evaluating sources to focus on the most relevant information
  • Leads to the research question (deductive research) or vice versa (inductive research)

Research Design

  • Can be represented in a research onion, working from the outside to the inside
  • Starts with research philosophy (positivism, pragmatism, critical, interpretivism)
  • Three main research philosophies:
    • Ontology: what constitutes reality and how can we understand its existence?
    • Epistemology: what constitutes valid knowledge and how can we obtain it?
    • Methodology: how do we go about finding it?

Research Philosophies

  • Positivists: believe in a single reality that can be measured and known; often use quantitative methods
  • Interpretivists: believe in multiple realities that need to be interpreted; often use qualitative methods
  • Pragmatists: believe reality is constantly renegotiated, debated, and interpreted; use a combination of deductive and inductive methods
  • Critical paradigm: focuses on social justice issues to address political, social, and economic issues

Formulating Questions

  • Main questions: help answer the research question; prepared in advance to ensure all topics are covered
  • Follow-up questions: add depth to the interview; cannot be fully prepared, require active listening
  • Prompts: add depth to the interview; can be verbal or non-verbal, and can be prepared in advance
  • Formulating questions affects the answer received; aim to avoid leading questions

Research Questions

  • Crucial in guiding studies, connecting with prior research, and advancing social science knowledge
  • Vary in scope, complexity, and precision; can address descriptive, explanatory, or interpretive aspects of social phenomena
  • Can be refined based on theoretical considerations, empirical evidence, and literature reviews

Literature Reviews

  • Identify relevant literature, select pertinent theories and empirical findings, and inform research question formulation
  • Involve four key steps: identification, justification, precision, and operationalization
  • Essential component in academic and research settings

Learn about the importance of professional experience, literature review, and research questions in academic research. Understand how to evaluate sources, identify gaps in knowledge, and build on existing theories.

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