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What Type of Research?

Depending on what you want to research, there are different types of research methods that may be suitable.

Generally speaking, research methods can be broken down into three broad categories.

  • Qualitative research methods

  • Quantitative research methods

  • Mixed methodology

Sometimes it is easy to see which might lend itself more naturally to your research question and other times it is harder to work out which design might be best. 

The other challenge is considering the purpose of the research. If you are aiming to apply for funding it might be your research is directed by what is valued by the funding body.

Currently, in the UK, the perceived gold standard of research in the therapy world is quantitative data that comes in the form of an RCT or Randomised Control Trial. Within this paradigm, more qualitative approaches are deemed as lacking in the same validity and rigour, although closer inspection of this claim challenges this belief.

Points of Reflection

  • What do I know about qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodology?

  • Do I feel more drawn or identified with a particular type of research? If so, why?

  • What are your assumptions about each methodology that can lead to both positive and negative views of it?

  • How open do you feel about embracing a different type of methodology to what you might naturally choose?

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