Research methods: types of research methods and techniques. - Meanings

Research methods: types of research methods and techniques. - Meanings
Posted on 10-02-2022

Research Methods

What are the research methods?

Research methods are procedures to be followed in a systematic, rational, and objective way to find knowledge within a specific field of study.

Depending on the way of collecting and exposing the data they provide, the research methods can be:

Quantitative methods

A quantitative method is one that bases its system on objectivity and numbers, using statistics and mathematics to process data and obtain results.

Qualitative methods

A qualitative method is one that investigates and exposes the results in a descriptive way. They are procedures typical of social research and, as their name suggests, they pay more attention to quality.

mixed methods

A mixed-method is used to investigate complex issues since they collect quantitative and qualitative data, which allow it to be studied in a broader and deeper way.

Types of research methods and techniques

observation method

It consists of examining the events or individuals involved in the investigation without influencing them, in order to record relevant data, activities, or behaviors.

It is a method that is frequently used in animal studies to examine their behavior and their relationship with the environment.

experimental method

It is a method where the researcher observes and controls the elements participating in the research, recreating specific situations and introducing intentional variations.

It is often used, for example, to determine the effects that some products can have on the consumer.

Case study

It is a method that investigates an individual or specific situation that, due to its interest or complexity, deserves an in-depth study.

In psychology, for example, it is used to analyze abnormal behaviors of patients in treatment. The study of a set of particular cases serves to arrive at potential universal solutions.

historical method

It is the procedure that historians follow to investigate and interpret past events. A critical analysis of sources and testimonies of the time is carried out to expose the extracted data in an objective and orderly manner.

ethnographic method

It is a study on groups of people and their social environment, with the purpose of profiling relevant customs and behaviors for investigations, mainly, of an anthropological type.

documentary techniques

It consists of collecting and processing data that comes from documents, written or audiovisual, on the subject to be investigated. The goal is for the researcher to reach valid conclusions to confirm or refute her hypothesis.

When preparing a thesis, for example, the published bibliography on the subject is reviewed to know the background of the problem.

field techniques

The study is carried out directly with the phenomenon or the environment that we want to investigate, so the data is collected by the researcher through observation or relationship.

An example would be a group of marine biologists who travel to the open sea to observe the behavior and communication of cetaceans.

Surveys and questionnaires

It is a technique used in collective studies to extract data through a series of questions formulated in order to define common traits among the study participants.


The interview is a conversation between the researcher and the research subject, aimed at obtaining relevant data for the study.


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