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Qualitative Research

Sometimes called ethnographic research. It involves collection of narrative data in a natural setting in order to gain insights into phenomena of interest. This research studies many variables over an extensive period of time in order to find out the way things are, how and why they came to be that way, and what it all means. Qualitative researchers do not want to intervene or control anything. The most common method of data collection involves participant observation.

Descriptive Research

Descriptive research tells "what is." No manipulations of variables are attempted, only descriptions of variables and their relationships as they naturally occur. Descriptive research answers questions like "what do entry level bank tellers know about customer satisfaction?" As with causal-comparative studies, there is no control of variables as in experimental research. Descriptive research methods range from the survey, which describes the status quo of variables, to the correlational study, which investigates the relationship between variables.

Correlational Research

Correlational research determines the whether, and to what degree, a relationship exists between two or more quantifiable variables. You collect data on at least two variables for the same group of subjects and then calculate a correlation coefficient between the variables. This correlation coefficient (indicated as r ) may have a value between 0.00 to 1.00. A value of 0.00 would indicate no correlation, while a value of 1.00 would represent perfect correlation between variables. Use caution in trying to conclude that correlation means causation; there may be a third factor which √ícauses√ď both of the related values.

Causal-comparative Research

Causal-comparative research is used when you cannot test a hypothesis by manipulating a variable. This type of research allows you to investigate relationships in which variables like intelligence, creativity, socioeconomic status, and instructor...