There are three main ways of doing of research:
Involves watching people do certain things (such as seeing which food item a person chooses to buy ), talking to people in groups (focus groups), interviewing people one-on-one and asking open ended questions (those that can’t be answered by just yes or no). Its main focus is on the behaviors and opinions of a certain group on particular topic. It looks into the details of how and why something is happening.
Involves taking surveys or polls. The answer can be tallied and analyzed based on a number value (such as figuring out how many volunteers finished high school). Its focuses on what is happening by gathering large amounts of data and providing statistical evidence for some new finding. This is done by using numbers, showing by how much something changes and coming up with potential reasons as to why they got these results.
All three of these research methods have many benefits to both researchers and community members. On the research side, researchers learn a lot about certain issues and why people from a specific group think, act, and behave in a certain way. From the community side, members gain medical treatment, satisfaction in knowing they made a positive impact to their community--especially by making sure certain ethnic groups are represented, and they also often get personal benefits like payments for services provided.
How can research be better?
There are many ways we can improve on research. This includes recruiting participants from diverse ethnic, social, economic backgrounds. This helps to make sure results and findings are available to a wide audience. Without this, information gathered by the research study may not be applicable or useful to the general public.
This is the last of our series regarding the benefits, history and types of different research available. To read the series from the beginning, click here.