Types of Research Design

Research design may be for the convenience of study, categorized into the following types Fig.

  • Exploratory or Formulative design.
  • Descriptive or Diagnostic design.
  • Experimental or Hypothesis testing design.

There are different types of research design as per the type of research study. These are as follows:

Historical research design:

The main purpose of historical research design is to collect, verify, synthesize evidence to establish facts that defend or refute the hypothesis. It uses primary sources, secondary sources, and qualitative data sources such as logs, diaries, reports, official records, etc. The sources used for historical research design must be authentic and valid.

Descriptive or survey research design:

This design attempts to describe and explain the conditions of the present by using many subjects and questionnaires to fully describe a phenomenon. Survey research design is one of the most popular for dissertation research.

Case and field research design:

This research design is also called ethnographic research. It uses direct observation to give a complete snapshot of a case that is being studied. It is useful when not much is known about a phenomenon.

Types of Research Design
Fig: Types of research design

Experimental research design:

It is used to study the effect of a set of factors on the response of variables of the system of study. This type of research is also called ‘Laboratory Experiment. It attempts to explore cause and effect relationships where causes can be manipulated to produce different kinds of effects.

Quasi-experimental research design:

This research design approximates the experimental design but does not have a control group. There is more error possible in the results.

Correlational or Prospective research design:

It attempts to explore relationships to make predictions. It uses one set of subjects with two or more variables for each.

Causal Comparative or Ex post facto research design:

This design attempts to explore cause and effect relationships where causes already exist and cannot be manipulated. This research involves the comparison of two or more groups on single endogenous variables. Casual comparative studies are also ex post facto because the investigator has no control over the exogenous variable.

Developmental or Time series research design:

There is an emphasis on time patterns and longitudinal growth or change. Time-series designs can be used in conjunction with official data, for example, by plotting crime rates for the same area but for a different point of time (monthly, annually, etc.). This acts as a basis for making statements about trends in levels of crime.

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