• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book offers a comprehensive and rounded view of research as a tool for logical problem-solving. It is built on the philosophical-pragmatic foundation that the value of knowledge and research methodologies lies in their usefulness in engaging with the real world.

Basic Research Methods: An Entry to Social Science Research synthesizes both positivist and non-positivist methodologies. It is for students who are undertaking their first social science research course or their first research project. The techniques are basic ones, but many masters and doctoral research studies use them. From an experiential base, students would be able to build a more advanced conceptual and theoretical understanding of research through further reading and practice.

The book covers both quantitative and qualitative methods. It discusses policy-applied-pure-action model of research, treatment of participatory research as an ethical rather than a methodological issue, inclusion of project evaluation as a type of case study, addition of binary measurement to the standard classification, practical use of Microsoft Excel for analysis of both words and numbers, a building block approach to writing, and the author's own thoughts on application of research.

Real-life examples from different subject areas in Asia are used in this concise textbook, which has been written in an engaging language, adopting the inductive approach.

Experimental Method
Experimental method

The experimental method is one of the most important scientific research methods, especially in the biological and physical sciences. In the social sciences, it is much less common and is usually restricted to psychology and educational psychology. However, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the method is important. Experimental concepts demonstrate a major limitation of case studies and surveys, which is that they never have tight control mechanisms to give formal cause-and-effect relationships.

The case study method gives particular data about one or more situations, while the survey method aims for generalisations about populations. Both can indicate associations between variables, but neither can give reliable evidence about causes. The strict demonstration of causation requires rigorous quantitative experimental designs.

This chapter will outline the basic ...

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