Descriptive research methods are pretty much as they sound — they describe situations. They do not make accurate predictions, and they do not determine cause and effect. There are three main types of descriptive methods: observational methods, case-study methods and survey methods.
The word experimental research has a range of definitions. In the strict sense, experimental research is what we call a true experiment. This is an experiment where the researcher manipulates one variable, and control/randomizes the rest of the variables.
As it stands both the nomothetic and idiographic approach, both make valid contributions to research. However the relative value of each approach depends upon the purpose of the research. The idiographic approach is better suited to description, while idiographic is suited to predictions.
Quasi-experimental research eliminates the directionality problem because it involves the manipulation of the independent variable. It does not eliminate the problem of confounding variables, however, because it does not involve random assignment to conditions.
Nomothetic research is about attempting to establish general laws and generalisations. The focus of the nomothetic approach is to obtain objective knowledge through scientific methods. Hence quantitive methods of investigation are used, to try and produce statistically significant results.
Controlled observations are usually overt as the researcher explains the research aim to the group, so the participants know they are being observed. Controlled observations are also usually non-participant as the researcher avoids any direct contact with the group, keeping a distance (e.g. observing behind a two-way mirror). Strengths. 1.
A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Questionnaires can be thought of as a kind of written interview. They can be carried out face to face, by telephone, computer or post.