Saturday, February 5, 2011

Where I Stand In Terms of Understanding Some Aspects of Research

Having a Bachelor's in Marketing definitely helps in a research class – especially after having taken Marketing Research. I've been able to create surveys before and actually administer a few in order to see what kind of data we came up with and see how we could interpret it. For this Research Methods class, we were asked to read several articles about researching…

One of the few things that I was comfortable with was the fact that I have done some research for my marketing class and so I have at least some idea of what social research is. We had to learn about the different ways to gain the right sort of information from people and I found the question writing process to be somewhat difficult since it was necessary to avoid creating bias or ambiguity. There were many rewrites to questions in order to find language that was easy to understand and didn’t create confusion in the mind of the person filling out the survey.

Experimental Design brings to mind the experiments that have a control group as well as a group on which the experiment is administered. I recall the dangers of the placebo effect and how easily it is possible to believe that the results are as we'd want them to be. Unfortunately, life isn't perfect and so it's necessary to alter the experiment to work in real-life situations where perfect results aren't guaranteed. I think that this part of altering the experiment is most difficult since it usually involves repeating the experiment multiple times in order to get a smaller sampling error with a larger population.

What I find most interesting at this point is qualitative research that leads to conclusions based on patterns of behavior. I would love to be able to spend time observing the actual behaviors of teens when focusing on anime/manga and video games or even different aspects of behavior on the Internet. I like this type of research because I consider myself a better visual learner than a mental one – not that I don't understand any of the theories/ideas that I have studied, it's just that hands on experience goes further than what is on paper. I think at some point, I would like to be able to actually participate in what I am observing in order to get a better understanding than I would by keeping myself apart from what is going on. I also believe that participation will show a type of trust/relationship between the observer and those being observed, leading to the possibility of gaining even more information from the subjects.

Dr. Luo's Lecture on Research Methods Frequently Used in LIS Research

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