At the beginning of the course, I had a general idea of what research methods entailed. I knew that it involved how one would conduct their study, which is a definition that I extrapolated from the name “research methods.” However, I have understood the specific elements of research methods over time. I know that it is the tools used to collect, analyze, and interpret data to comprehend a certain phenomenon of interest. For instance, I know that a research method can be qualitative, quantitative, or, in some cases, mixed. Quantitative methods are numerical and often require statistical tools to analyze the collected data (Williams, 2017). This enables the researcher to measure variables and find the link between them. Such data is often represented using tables and graphs.
On the other hand, qualitative methods are non-numerical, focusing mainly on establishing the pattern. Quantitative and qualitative methods are used for mixed methods, enabling one to explain unexpected results. I gained a deeper understanding of quantitative methods as my research involved this method. My study employed a correlational research method, which required me to establish the link between the use of social media and the levels of dissatisfaction among young female adults in the US. While researching this topic, I came across some studies that used qualitative methods. Some studies by Talbot et al. (2017) employed content analysis to help describe, explain, and interpret the data collected on social media use and body dissatisfaction. As a result, I fully grasped what research methods entail. In addition, I learned that qualitative studies tend to offer a more in-depth explanation of the variables concerned.
Talbot, C. V., Gavin, J., Van Steen, T., & Morey, Y. (2017). A content analysis of thinspiration, fitspiration, and bone-spiration imagery on social media. Journal of eating disorders, 5(1), 1-8.
Williams, C. (2017). Research methods. Journal of Business & Economics Research (JBER), 5(3).
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Summarize what you thought research methods were at the beginning of the course, and think about how your ideas about research methods have changed due to what you have learned in this course. Explain how you have evolved to this new understanding of research methods and how they apply to your discipline.
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