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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Quantitative vs. Qualitative

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Political Science
Stephanie Mullen

Sept. 18, 2013 Theories & Paradigms in Research Methodology OBJECTIVES Know how Theories influence Research o Classical Paradigms – each make assumptions about the nature of social reality -each paradigm suggest different kinds of theories and research Learn how the person & field can influence Theory Know how Theories can influence every step of research – from the choice of research method to where to publish the findings. Theories Reflected in Steps in the Scientific Method 1. Identify the problem. [lit. review & causal model] 2. Hypothesize the cause of the problem. [H1 & H0] 3. Provide clear definitions of the concepts [variables]. 4. Operationalize the concepts [indicators]. 5. Gather empirical data. 6. Test the hypothesis or hypotheses. 7. Reflect back on theory. 8. Publicize the results. 9. Replicate the results. Quantitative Research Methods  Experimental Research  Survey Research  Etc. Qualitative Research Methods  Interviews  Observation  Case Study  Content Analysis  Etc. Classical Paradigms – Their Influence in Choice of Research Methods  Underlying different theories are paradigms, which are fundamental models or frames of reference we use to organize our observations and reasoning.  Each makes assumptions about the nature of social reality.  Each paradigm suggests different kinds of theories and inspire different kinds of research. Paradigms – Early Positivism  Associated with researchers conducting Quantitative Research  Society is a phenomenon that can be studied scientifically  … Conflict Paradigm  Marxism (class conflict)/Socialism (class, gender, ethnic, etc. struggles)  Social behavior was seen as the process f conflict – the attempt to dominate others and to avoid being dominated.  Qualitative and some quantitative … *Slides 7 & 8 not on exam* Influence of Paradigms & Theories in Research Methods con’t  Whether to conduct research in an area at all or partner with another researcher/organization  Which research method to use (Qual. vs Quant.)  Which Research Design to choose.  How to define variables etc. Field/Personal Variables & Their Influence in Choice of Research Methods  Political Party – depending on which party you work for you will see the world and issues from a particular lens  Factional by Issue – researching a particular issue (gun control) you will have your own personal opinion on it. Perhaps it is regionally influenced, etc.  Country Differences – developing countries, etc.  Power Relation – researching First Nation communities, etc. Qualitative vs Quantitative Research Designs Objectives  Understanding the Steps in Research Design  Understanding how Qual. & Quant. Research differ by each Step in Research Design  Understanding the difference between Quantitati
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