1. Quantitative Research
There two main broad categories of researches. These are quantitative and qualitative researches. The two categories have two major approaches known as inductive and deductive approaches which I will discuss them later in the process called positivism and scientific inquiry.
1. Descriptive Research:- It attempts to examine (observation) situation in order to establish what is the norm ie what can be predicted to happen again under the same circumstance. It involves survey and fact-finding inquiries of different kinds. This type of research describes the state affair (things) as it exist at present time. The research has no control over the variables, he can only report what has happened or what is happening. In social sciences and business it is often used as ex-post facto research in which the researcher seeks to measure items such as eg. frequency of shopping, preferences of people or similar data
2. Correlation Research:- It is also known as analytical which involves the measure of association or the relationship between two phenomena. It involves two types of study:
i. Relational study:-An investigation of possible relationship between phenomena to establish if a correlation exist and if so, its extent (Exploratory studies).
ii. Prediction study:- Is used to predict possible future behavior or events on the basis that if there has been a strong relationship between two or more characteristics or events in the past, then these should exist in similar circumstances in the future.
3. Empirical (Experimental):- Is a type of study research that heavily relies on experience or observation alone, often without due regard for system and theory. It is data-based research, coming up with conclusions which are capable of being verified by observation or experiment. The researcher gets facts at first hand, at their source and actively go about doing certain things to stimulate the production of desired information. This research specifically deals with the phenomenon of "cause and effect." The researcher strives to isolate and control relevant conditions which determine the events investigated so as to observe the effects when the conditions are manipulated. Classes of such experiments include:
i. Pre-experimental:- The design is unreliable and primitive in which assumptions are made despite the lack of essential control of variable.
ii. True-experimental:- This design rigorously check the identical nature of the groups before testing the influence of a variable on a sample then in controlled circumstance.
iii. Quasi-experiment:-Is where an identical group is tested for the influence of a variable and compared with a non-experimental group with known difference (control group) which has not been subjected to the variable. In the absence of a control group, testing is repeated over-time of one group with and without variable (ie the same group acts as its own control group at different times)
4. Applied (Action):- Aims at finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society or an industrial or business organization. It can be related to experimental research, though it is arrived out in real world rather than in the context of a closed experimental system. it depends mainly on the observation and behavioral data. Acton research is an 'on the spot' procedure, principally designed to deal with a specific problem in a particular situation.
5. Historical Research:- It is the systematic and objective location, evaluation and synthesis of evidence in order to establish facts and draw conclusions about past events. It utilizes historical sources like documents, remains etc, to study events or ideas of the past, including the philosophy of people or persons and groups at any remote point of time. It can also be classified as conclusion-oriented and decision-oriented.
6. Case Study (Clinical or Diagnostic):- Follows case based study methods or in-depth approaches to reach the basic casual relations.
7. Fundamental (Basic or Pure):-It is concerned with the generalization and the formulation of a theory. It state "Gathering knowledge for knowledge's sake termed as pure or basic research."
8. Comparative research:- Often used together with historical research. Researcher compares people's experience of different societies, either between times in the past or in parallel situation in the present.
9.Evaluation Research:- Is specifically designed to deal with complex social issues. it aims to move beyond just getting the facts in order to make sense of the myriad human, political, social, cultural, and contextual elements involved. It involves two approaches:-
i. System analysis:-Is a holistic type of research which reverses the three-stage order of thinking which is typical of scientific inquiry.
ii. Responsive evaluation:- A series of investigative steps is undertaken in order to evaluate how responsive a program is to all those taking part in it.
10. Conceptual Research:- It is a research related to some abstract idea(s) or theory. It s generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or to interpret existing ones.
2. Qualitative Research
This type of research is concerned with the subjective assessments of attitudes, opinions and behavior. They include:
1. Ethnogenic research:- In this approach the researcher is interested in how the subjects of the research theorize about their own behavior rather than imposing a theory from outside. This approach has three characteristic features.
i. It aims to represent a view of the world as it's structured by the participants under observation by eliciting phenomenological data.
ii. it takes place in the undisturbed natural settings of the subjects.
iii. It attempts to represent the totality of the social, cultural and economic situation regarding the context to be equally important as the action (Uzzell, 1995, pp. 304-5)
2. Feminist Research:-Is a particular model of social research which involves the theory and analysis that highlight the differences between men's and women's live.
3. Cultural Research:-Is concerned with the subjects of language and cultural interpretation of text (tactile, visual, aural aspect, even smells and tastes). Consistent interpretation of cultural text has three approaches;
i. Content analysis:-Involves a quantitative approach by counting the frequency of the phenomena within a case in order to gauge its importance in comparison with other cases.
ii. Semiotics:- By attempting to gain a deep understanding of meaning by the interpretation of single elements of text rather than to generalize through a quantitative assessment of components. the approach is driven from the linguistic studies of Saussure, in which he saw meanings being derived from their place in a system of signs.
Note: Semiotics as a method focuses our attention on the task of tracing the meanings of things back through the systems and codes of conduct through which they have meaning and make meaning (Slater, 1995 p. 240)
iii. Discourse analysis:- Studies the way people communicate with each other through language.
Positivism and Scientific Inquiry
There two type of approaches or techniques representing the extremes of method in scientific inquiry.
1. Inductive Research Approach:- This is a research approach that uses particular facts and examples from or based on observation to form general rules and principle (theory). This approach aims to establish theory purely on the basis of observations. It is a 'research then theory' approach (Bottom-Top). The conditions needed to carry out such a study approach include:
i. There must be a large number of observation statements.
ii. observations must be repeated under a large range of circumstances and conditions.
iii. No observation statements must contradict the derived generalization.
2. Deductive Research Approach:- This is a research approach that uses already available knowledge or facts (theory) about things that are generally true in order to think (research) and understand particular situations or problens(Deduction and the principal of falsification). This approach aims to deduce theories by intellectual means and then test them through observations. It is the "theory then research" approach. research is guided by the theory which precedes it (dependent approach).