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The choice of a research method depends on the aim of the research and research questions put. The qualitative approach is appropriate for the analysis of people’s behaviors and opinions (Bryman, 2015). This research paradigm enables the researcher to carry out an in-depth analysis of factors that affect people’s behaviors as seen by the people. The most common tools used are interviews, focus groups discussions, and surveys that often include open-ended questions.
However, when it comes to objective measurements, the quantitative approach is more appropriate (Rubin & Babbie, 2015). Quantitative research methods enable the researcher to analyze measurable data that can be generalized quite easily. The most common data collection methods within the scope of the quantitative approach are polls, surveys (with closed-ended questions), experiments and tests (Anyansi-Archibong, 2015).
This research aims at identifying the mean height of people over 20. This is an objective measurement, and, hence, a quantitative method of data collection is appropriate. The brief survey questionnaires enable the researcher to collect a vast pool of data and analyze it quite easily. It is necessary to add that random sampling is often used in the quantitative analysis, and it is applicable here. This instrument also contributes to avoiding bias and threats to internal and external validity. Closed-ended questions ensure very specific answers that do not require any interpretation and are straight forward.
The survey questionnaires will include the questions concerning age, gender, and height as other variable are excluded from the analysis. The researcher will not take into account such variables as the ethnicity that could potentially provide a more detailed picture on the matter. This research is very focused, which will ensure a significant number of participants. It is necessary to note that the informed consent forms will be provided on the same sheet of paper as the survey questions. Each person will be informed about the purpose and primary methodology of the study. This ensures motivation of participants and the compliance with certain ethical principles.
Thus, one of the principles of an ethical research is concerned with the provision of the necessary information to the participant (Flick, 2011). Importantly, informing people does not pose threats to the internal validity as it is unlikely to affect the way participants will provide distorted data. The fact that the data will be coded improves the validity of the research. The focus on confidentiality and anonymity is also one of the principles of ethical research (Rosnow & Rosenthal, 2014). Researchers cannot disclose any personal data of the participants to the third parties.
Another principle is concerned with the reliability of the data used and the nature of the analysis. The brief survey questionnaires are easy to analyze, and there is no interpretation bias (Iphofen, 2016). All the data collected are quantitative and, hence, measurable.
The researcher does not need to interpret the participants’ questions but simply has to use certain statistical tools to check the hypothesis. The researcher will conduct an ethical research as effective statistical tools that ensure the reliability of results will be used. The tools chosen can also be utilized by peers, which ensures the validity and reliability of the research. Clearly, such principles as no harm to participants and voluntarily participation are also ensured in the case of using questionnaires and the written consent forms (Bryman, 2015). It is necessary to note that this research avoids major sensitive topics, which has a positive impact on its validity as the participants are likely to provide truthful information about themselves.
On balance, it is possible to note that this research focusing on the identification of the mean height of adults (older than 20 years old) is based on the quantitative research approach. The survey is the chosen data collection method. It is the most appropriate as it enables the researcher to collect and analyze data quickly. At the same time, there are certain limitations to the research. First, only a few variable are taken into account, which may lead to an excessive generalization of data.
Thus, the mean height of adults may be 66.5 inches, but there can be no particular groups with such height. It could be more beneficial to narrow down the research to a particular age group (people in their 20s, people in their 40s and so on).
It could be important to take into account such variable as ethnicity. There is one limitation related to bias. The research uses data provided by the participants, but people may be unaware of their precise height as they can use the numbers they got some time ago and that could change especially when it comes to older populations. This bias could be easily mitigated through the use of certain scale, and participants could be asked to measure their height rather than report about it. At that, the research is also ethical as it complies with primary ethical principles. The compliance with ethical considerations ensure the validity of the research and contributes to the development of proper research methods.
Anyansi-Archibong, C.B. (2015). Contemporary issues surrounding ethical research methods and practice. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Bryman, A. (2015). Social research methods. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Flick, U. (2011). Introducing research methodology: A beginner’s guide to doing a research project. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Iphofen, R. (2016). Ethical decision making in social research: A practical guide. New York, NY: Springer.
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Rosnow, R.L., & Rosenthal, R. (2014). Quantitative methods and ethics. In WT.D. Little (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of quantitative methods in psychology: Foundations (pp. 32-55). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Rubin, A., & Babbie, E.R. (2015). Empowerment series: Essential research methods for social work. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.