Factors influencing choice of method

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  • Factors influencing choice of method
    • Practical
      • Subject Matter
        • May be harder to study a particular group or subject by one method or another
      • Time and money
        • Large scale surveys may employ dozens of interviewers and data inputting staff
      • Requirements of funding bodies
        • Organisations that provide the funding for research may require the results to be in a particular form
      • Personal skills and characteristics
        • Different personal skills may affect the ability to use different methods
      • Research opportunity
        • The opportunity to carry out research may occur unexpectedly meaning it may not be possible to use structured methods
    • Ethical
      • Vulnerable groups
        • Special care should be taken where research participants are particularly vulnerable
      • Informed consent
        • Research participants should be offered the right to refuse
      • Confidentiality and privacy
        • Researchers should keep the identity of research participants secret in order to help prevent possible negative side effects
      • Effects on research participants
        • Researchers need to be aware of the possible effects of their work on those they study
      • Covert research
        • When the researchers identity and purpose are hidden from the people being studied
    • Theoretical
      • Representativeness
        • Whether or not the people we study are a typical cross section of the groups we are interested in. Use ratios/ percentages closest to the whole population
      • Reliability
        • A reliable method is one which, when repeated gives the same results
      • Validity
        • A valid method is one which produces a true or genuine picture of what something is really like. Allows the researcher to get closer to the truth


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