Alisha Mahajan is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
seiltiz, Johoda, Destch and COOK de ne a research design as "the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine the relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure." A good research design serves three important functions ; Firstly it gives a blueprint for research, secondly , it limits the boundaries of research activity and makes systematic investigation possible. Thirdly it enables a researcher to anticipate potential problems that he may encounter in future. A practical research design comprises of four phases:
(a)The sampling data (b)The observational design (c)The statistical design (d)The operational design These four sub-designs are dependent on each other, as a decision with respect to anyone of these designs may affect the other design
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD DESIGN 1. Objectivity. The design shows no proactivity towards any side and the resultant data collected under the design would be free from bias. 2. Reliability. A good design would deliver consistent results each time the research is repeated under the design. The response given by the respondent is genuine and would remain the same.
3. Validity. The design would deliver accurate and correct results. It collects and measures what it is supposed to do and nothing else 4. Generalization. It means that the results collected under the this design, which hold true for a sample must hold true for the entire population.
IMPORTANCE OF REASERCH DESIGN Research design is an important step in an important step in the research process. Thus the importance can be summarised as 1. A research without a research design is like being lost on journey without a guiding light. Hence a research design gives direction to the study. It prevents our research from being unfocused aimless. 2. It chanelises the energy in the right direction. It ensures that the research is economically and smoothly conducted. It gives a researcher maximum output with maximum effort, time and money.
3. It helps a researcher in deciding the relevant and irrelevant facts. While developing a design he can decide which facts are to be included and which would not. This would enable him to give a proper and representative character to the study. 4. In certain cases, the design acts as a tool to control the level of accuracy desired. Research design helps researcher deciding in what level of efforts into the research process.
S. A research design is especially useful in social science research. It helps in developing better ways of inquiring. It allows a researcher to solve major social problems in a scientific way. 6. Lastly the research design also gives a tool in the hands of critics to evaluate the projected study.
CONCEPTS RELATING TO REASEARCH DESIGN In order to understand the different types of research design, it is important that we elucidate on some important concepts related to research design 1. Variables. A variable is any concept that can take any quantitative value. The variables can be classified as:
1. Independent variables. These are the variables which are manipulated by the researcher and the resulting effects are measured e.g. A study on influence of price on demand of TVs has price as the independent variable. The research would manipulate price levels and measure the change in the quantity demanded due to different price levels.
2. Dependent variables. These are the variables that depend on or are a consequence of other variables. In the earlier example, quantity demanded is the dependent variable which responds to change in price.
3. Discrete variables. These are those variables that can be expressed as whole numbers and not in decimals.
4. Continuous variables. If a phenomena or a variable can assume any value, even in decimal points then it is called as a continuous variable. Height, weight, age are examples of continuous variables.
II. Confounded relationship. What the extraneous variable influences the dependent variable because the latter is unable to free itself from the extraneous variable then the dependent and independent variable are said to have a confounded relationship. In a perfect set up, a study should be so designed that extraneous variables should not interfere or have any bearing on the result of the study. However if a confounded relationship exists between dependent and independent variable then dependent variable will be influenced by the extraneous variables
V. Control. The effect of extraneous variable can be minimised using control. Control refers to thee experimental conditions which are designed to restrain or minimise the influence of extraneous variables
VII. Experimental group. While conducting an experiment, those units which are subject to the treatments under study from an experimental group e.g., in a study measuring the effect of new teaching methods will be the experimental group.
VIII. Control group. In an experiment, the group of units which is exposed to usual conditions is termed as control group. The purpose of control group is to measure the effect of extraneous variables on the study.
TYPES OF REASEARCH DESIGN 1. Exploratory Research design 2. Conductive Research design- (a)Descriptive (b)Diagnostic (c) Experimental
Comparisons of Research designs- Exploratory- Objective- Discover insight into new areas and problem Characteristics- Flexible design with great versatility. Methodology- Use non probability sampling No pre-planned analysis techniques. Uses method of expert survey, secondary data and case studies for data collection.