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Social Research Methods  

Library guide to resources supporting social research
Last Updated: Aug 11, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Social Research Methodologies

Quantitative vs. Qualitative

Quantitative research focuses on "collecting numerical data that are analysed using mathematically based methods (in paricular statistics)" (Aliaga & Gunderson [2000], as cited in Muijs, 2011, p. 1).

  • Correlations, causations, and other relationships between variables are often analyzed through statistical and mathematical means.

Qualitative research focuses "collecting, and/or working with text, images, or sounds" (Guest, Namey, & Mitchell, 2013, p. 3).

  • Various data collection and analysis methods can be utilized as well as diverse theories and frameworks.

Some research in the social sciences utilizes both quantitative and qualitative aspects.

Below a non-exclusive list of some of the methodologies used regularly in social research; often these methods can be used as keywords when searching to find studies performed with similar methods.

Action Research Longitudinal Research
Case Study Media Analysis
Content Analysis Mixed Methods
Coding Multi-Level Modeling
Ethnography Participant Observation
Focus Group Regression Analysis
Historiography Social Network Analysis
Interview Survey

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