A research design is a template that defines methodologies and procedures for collecting and analyzing the required information. Although every research is unique in its own way, yet the basic problems and objectives have some common plans to resolve the same. These fundamental plans are termed as research designs that are specifically designed for various problems.
There are three types of research designs: exploratory, descriptive and causal. The choice of one or more research designs out of these three depends upon research objectives and information available on it. Traditionally, a scholar moves from exploratory to descriptive to causal research design. However, it would be better to choose the one when nest is known about it, so let’s have some look at the same –
- Exploratory research design – Exploratory research design is used when the problem is not appropriately designed when much is not known about the problem, when a hypothesis has to be developed, and when more research is required to be done. It is done through various techniques comprising secondary data analysis, projective techniques, focus groups, and case analysis.
- Descriptive research design – It is done to get the answers of who, when, how, what, but not why. It is basically done in two ways cross-sectional and longitudinal. Cross-sectional studies are drawn only one at a point as a sample of the population whereas longitudinal studies are repeatedly done over a period.
- Causal research design – It is done in the terms of causality if and then. It is done through experiments by one or more variables. These variables comprise of dependent, independent, extraneous and intervening variables. Also, these experiments may be done in the field or in the laboratory.
Let’s have some key concept of variables in detail –
- Independent variable – The researcher can not manipulate this; it acts as a changer for the dependent variable in the experiment. For example – Age, sex, gender, etc.
- Dependent variable – The change enforced by independent variable is called dependent variable. For example – Smoking causes tuberculosis. Here smoking is an independent variable, whereas latter is dependent as it is dependent upon the cause of smoking.
- Extraneous variables – Real-life factors are termed as extraneous variables. For example – Family member with tuberculosis.
- Intervening variables – It links independent and dependent variables. For example – no. of cigarettes consumed daily cause tuberculosis.
Furthermore, research designs are to be discussed carefully and cautiously. Wish you successful researching with these research designs.