Login

What Are The Different Kinds of Research Methods?

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Research Variables: Dependent, Independent, Control, Extraneous & Moderator

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Research Methods
  • 0:27 Observational Research
  • 1:36 Correlational Research
  • 2:52 Experimental Research
  • 4:03 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson will go over some important research methods, including observation, correlation, and experimentation, as well as examples of each type of methodology.

Research Methods

Have you ever wondered how scientists prove or disprove all sorts of stuff, ranging from correlations between a certain drug and cancer risk to the way animals behave? Well, depending on what is being studied, researchers can use more than one research method to find out more about their questions. You may have even employed some research methodology as you observed your little brother and tried to figure out why in the world he's sucking on his thumb.

Observational Research

Your observations fell into the category of observational research, which is a type of research method that records observations of phenomena. So, as a more appropriate example, perhaps you are studying for possible behavioral changes in primates after they give birth. Maybe you travel to the rainforests of Africa or to a zoo to watch how a mother-to-be changes her behavior before and after birth, how long she performs each behavior, and so on.

Observational research may be split into naturalistic observation and participant observation. In naturalistic observation, the observer sits back and watches behavior without manipulating different variables that may influence the results. It would be like watching a bunch of people sitting in an ice cream shop from afar.

This is in contrast to participant observation, where the researchers insert themselves into the group being observed. Meaning, the researcher goes to the ice cream shop, buys some ice cream, and sits and even interacts amongst the people he or she is observing.

Correlational Research

Observational research is a type of correlational research, a research method that examines statistical relationships between variables. A famous example of correlational research is smoking and lung disease. Lots of data on these variables is collected, and it is then analyzed to figure out if there is any covariation between the two. However, you shouldn't immediately think of this as a cause-and-effect type of research just because of what I said.

A simple explanation from one of my favorite books, The Art of Happiness, will point out what I mean. This book, written by the Dalai Lama and psychiatrist Howard Cutler, had a little interesting section. In short, very intelligent researchers were positing that mood changes occurred as a result of chemical imbalances in the brain (a type of cause-and-effect belief). But the Dalai Lama asked them, why couldn't it be that the mood changes caused those imbalances?

And despite not being a man of science, he is a man of wisdom, for he is completely correct. Emotional changes themselves, triggered for any number of reasons, can cause new chemical imbalances in our body and vice versa.

Experimental Research

Unlike correlational research, experimental research is a type of research that provides strong evidence for cause-and-effect relationships. A real experiment is where we try to control all variables except for the one we are studying. Experimental research need not always be a laboratory study, but it's often easiest to do so there since so much can be placed under our direct control.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support