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Essay sample - Research Method in Social Science
Pages 8 (2008 words)
Qualitative and quantitative research methods represent two distinctly different ways of approaching research. Critically assess and compare the strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research methods, using concrete examples to support your arguments.
It is infact a habit of questioning what you do, and a systematic examination of the observed information to find answers, with a view to instituting appropriate changes for a more effective professional service.
One's philosophical orientation might stem from one of the several paradigms and approaches in research - positivist, interpretive, phenomenolist, action or participatory, feminist, qualitative or quantitative. The concept of 'validity' can be applied to any aspect of the research process. It ensures that in a research study correct procedures have been applied to find answers to a question. 'Reliability' refers to the quality of a measurement procedure that provides repeatability and accuracy. 'Unbiased and objective' means that every step has been taken without introducing vested self-interest. Adherences to these three criteria enable the process to be called 'research'. However, the degree to which these criteria are expected to be fulfilled varies from discipline to discipline and so the meaning of 'research' differs from one academic discipline to another. For example, the expectations of the research process are markedly different between the physical and social sciences. In the physical sciences, a research endeavour is expected to be strictly controlled at each step, whereas in social sciences rigid control cannot be enforced and sometimes is not even demanded.
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