Research Methodolgy- Elements of Resesrch

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Research Methodology
Research Methodology


  • Research is a logical and systematic search for new and useful information on a particular topic.
  • It is a discovery of hidden truths.
  • Research can lead to new contributions to existing knowledge.
  • Research is indeed civilization and determines the economic, social and political development of a nation.

 Objectives Research                                                                                   

  • To discover new facts.
  • to verify and test important facts
  • to analyses an event or process or phenomenon to identify the  cause  and  effect  relationship  
  • to develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories to solve and understand scientific and non scientific problems
  • to find solutions to scientific, non scientific and social problemsand
  • To overcome or solve the problems occurring in our everyday life.   

 Elements of Research                                                                       

  • Empirical: Research is based on direct experience or observation by the researcher.
  • Logical: Research must be based on valid procedures and principles.
  • Cyclical: Research is a cyclical process because it starts with a problem and ends with a problem. The result of research can be negative, positive or even nil.
  • Analytical: Research utilizes proven analytical procedures in gathering the data, whether historical, descriptive, and experimental and case study.
  • Critical: Research exhibits careful and precise judgment.
  • Methodical: Research is conducted in a methodical manner without bias using systematic method and procedures.
  • Reliability: The researchdesign and procedures are replicated or repeated to enable the researcher to arrive at valid and conclusive results.

 Types of Research                                                                                  

  • Fundamental or basic research: Fundamental researchis also knownas basis research. If the goal of the research is to find out the basic truth or principles, it is called as fundamental or basic research. This type of research is carried out in a laboratory or other sterile environment, sometimeswith animals also.Examples of fundamental research Newton Law.
  • Applied research: most of the characteristics of fundamental research is found in applied research. This type of research involves finding new applications of scientific knowledge to the solution of a problem such as  development of the new system, new device or new methods   or tools in order to solve the problem.  Mind it, most of the educational research falls under  the category of applied research. 
  • Action research: action research is used to solve an immediate application, not on the development of theory or general application. If the researcher finds any problem at time of his fields, investigation and observation, the researcher appliesaction research at that time.
  • Historical research: Historical research talks about the past. In this type of research we need investigation, recording, analyzing and interpreting the events of the past for the purpose of discovering generalization.
  • Quantitative descriptive research: This method is used to describe what is being described, recording, analyzing, and interpreting conditions that make this around ours. It is used to discover the relationship between non-manipulated existing variables.
  • Qualitative descriptive research: This type of research use non-quantitative methods. This  method of research is used to discover non-quantified relationship between existing variable.
  • Experimental research: It describes “what will happen” in the future if certain variables are carefully controlled and manipulated. Main focus of this kind of research is to find out the relationship between variables.

 Qualities of Researcher                                                                             

  • Must be of the temperament that vibrates in unison with the theme which he is searching.
  • Intelligence about subject matter of research.
  • Must having knowledge of research methodology.
  • Must possess an alert mind.
  •  Must have immense courage and a sense of conviction.
  • Should cultivatethe habit of reserving judgment when the required data are insufficient.

 Research Design                                                                               

    The research design refers to the overall strategy that you choose to integrate the different components of the study in a coherent and logical way, thereby, ensuring you will effectively address the research problem, it constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement, and analysis of data.

 Types of Research Design                                              

Exploratory Research Design ( Formative research Design) 

· The main objective of using such a research design is to formulate a research problem for an in-depth   or more precise investigation, or for developing a working hypothesis from an operational aspect. The major purpose of such studies is the discovery of ideas and insights.

· Therefore, such a researchdesign suitable for such a study shouldbe flexible enoughto provide the opportunity for considering different dimensions of the problem under study.

· The inbuilt flexibility in research design is required as the  initial  research  problem  would  be transformed into a more precise one in the exploratory study, which in turn may necessitate changes in the research procedure for collecting relevant data.

· Usually, the following three methods are considered in the contextof a research design for such studies. They are

Ø  a survey of related literature;

Ø  experience survey; and

Ø  analysis of ‘insight stimulating’ instances.

 2.Descriptive And Diagnostic Research Design

· A Descriptive Research Design is concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual or a group. · A diagnostic research design determines the frequency with which a variable occurs or its relationship with another variable. · The study analyzing whethera certain variableis associated with another comprises a diagnostic research study. On the other hand, a study that is concernedwith specific predictions or with the narration of facts and characteristics relatedto an individual, group or situation, are instances of descriptive research studies.

3. Hypothesis-Testing Research Design

· Hypothesis-Testing Research Designs are those in which the researcher tests the hypothesis of the causal relationship between two or more variables. · These studiesrequire procedures that would not only decreasebias and enhancereliability, but also facilitate deriving inferences about the causality.


Dependent and Independent Variables                                                                                         

·  A magnitude that varies is known as a variable. The concept may assume different quantitative values like height, weight, income etc. Qualitative variables are not quantifiable in the strictest sense of the term. · The phenomena that assume different values quantitatively even in decimal points are known as ‘continuous variables’. But all variablesneed not be continuous. · Values that can be expressed only in integer values are called ‘non-continuous variables’. In statistical terms, they are also known as ‘discrete variables’. · When changes in one variable depending upon the changes in other variable or variables, it is known    as a dependent or endogenous variable, and the variables that cause the changes in the dependent variable are known as the independent or explanatory or exogenous variables. · The independent variables which are not directly related to the purpose of the study but affect the dependent variables are known as extraneous variables.

Control– One of the most important features of a good research design is to minimize the effect of the extraneous variable(s). Technically, the term ‘control’ is used when a researcher designs the study in such a manner that minimizes the effects of extraneous variables.

Research Hypothesis                                           

· When a prediction or a hypothesized relationship is testedby adopting scientific methods, it is known as the research hypothesis. · The researchhypothesis is a predictive statementwhich relates to a dependentvariable and an independent variable. · Whereas the relationships that are assumed but not to be tested are predictive statements that are not  to be objectively verified,thus are not classified as research hypotheses. · The researchin which the independent variableis manipulated is known as ‘experimental hypothesis- testing research’, whereasthe research in which the independent variableis not manipulated is termed as ‘non-experimental hypothesis-testing research. Experimental And Control Groups :-  When a group is exposed to usual conditions in experimental hypothesis-testingresearch, it is known as ‘control group’.On the other hand, when the group is exposedto a certain new or special condition, it is known as an ‘experimental group’. Treatments :- Treatments refer to the different conditions to which the experimental and control groups are subject to. Experiment :- Experiment refers to the process of verifying the truth of a statistical hypothesis relating to a given research problem.


The hypothesis may be definedas a proposition or a set of propositions set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture to guide some investigation in the light of facts(Kothari, 1988).

 Essential features about Hypothesis:                                                                                

  • must be capable of being put to test.
  • must state the relationship between two variables, in the case of relationalhypotheses.
  • must be specific and limited in scope.
  • must be stated in the simplestlanguage, to make it understoodby all concerned.
  • must be consistent and derived from the most known facts
  • must be amenable to testing within a stipulated or reasonable period.
  • should state the facts that give rise to the necessityof looking for an explanation.


Sampling is a process used in statistical analysis in which a predetermined number of observations are taken from a larger population. The methodology used to sample from a larger population depends on the type of analysis being performed,but it may include simple random sampling or systematic sampling.

 METHODS OF SAMPLING                                                                                            

Probability Sampling Methods
1.Simple random sampling
In this case each individual is chosen entirely by chance and each member of the population has an equal  chance, or probability, of being selected. One way of obtaining a random sample is to give each individual in a population a number, and then use a table of random numbers to decide which individuals to include.
2.Systematic sampling
Individuals are selected at regular intervals from the sampling frame. The intervals are chosen to ensure an adequate sample size. If you need a sample size from a population of size x, you should select every x/nth  individual for the sample.  For example, if you wanted a sample size of 100 from a population of 1000, select every 1000/100 = 10th member of the sampling frame.
3.Stratified sampling
In this method, the population is first divided into subgroups (or strata) who all share a similar characteristic. It   is used when we might reasonably expect the measurement of interest to vary between the different   subgroups,and we want to ensure representation from all the subgroups.
4.Clustered sampling
In a clustered sample,subgroups of the population are used as the samplingunit, rather than individuals. The population is divided into subgroups, known as clusters, which are randomly selected to be included in the study. Clustersare usually alreadydefined, for exampleindividual GP practicesor towns couldbe identified as clusters. In single-stage clustersampling, all membersof the chosen clusters are then includedin the study. In two-stage clustersampling, a selectionof individuals from each clusteris then randomly selected for inclusion. Clustering should be taken into account in theanalysis.

 Non-Probability Sampling Methods                                                              

1.Convenience sampling
Convenience sampling is perhaps the easiest method of sampling, because participants are selected based      on availability and willingness to take part. Useful results can be obtained, but the results are prone to significant bias
2.Quota sampling
This method of sampling is often used by market researchers. Interviewers are given a quota of subjects of a specified type to attempt to recruit.
3.Judgement (or Purposive) Sampling
Also known as selective, or subjective, sampling, this technique relies on the judgment of the researcher when choosing who to ask to participate.
4.Snowball sampling
This method is commonly used in social sciences when investigating hard-to-reach groups. Existing subjects    are asked to nominatefurther subjects known to them, so the sample increasesin size like a rollingsnowball.

Bias in sampling

There are five important potential sources of bias that should be considered when selecting a sample, irrespective of the method used. Sampling bias may be introduced when:
1.       Any pre-agreed sampling rules are deviated from
2.       People in hard-to-reach groups are omitted
3.       Selected individuals are replaced with others, for example if they are difficult to contact
4.       There are low response rates
5.       An out-of-date list is used as the sample frame (for example, if it excludes people who have recently moved    to an area)

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