Definition, Importance, And Steps Of Research Design

Research design and steps of research design is very important part of research proposal, research paper and dissertation writing tasks. In this informative post by The Academic Papers UK, you will get to know about the definition of research design, importance of research design and steps of research design. Along with this, some essential elements of research design are also explained;

Definition, Importance, And Steps Of Research Design 

Research design definition

A framework of methods and techniques that are chosen by a researcher for the purpose of combining various components of research is known as the research design. With the help of the research design, it is easy for us to handle various research problems.  
It also provides a satisfactory answer to the question that how to use a particular research methodology to conduct research. With the help of the research design, it is also possible for all the researchers to assess the list of research questions. Neutrality, reliability, validity, and generalization are some essential qualities of research design. The research designs are classified into two major parts. First is known as qualitative research design and second is known as the quantitative research design. 

Some essential elements of research design are explained below;

1) It is necessary for us to explain the accurate purpose statement in the research design.

2) It is also necessary for us to provide an overview of the techniques that are necessary for us to gather enough data for the research paper.

3) To provide complete details of the methods that are required to analyze the collected data

4) Complete detail about the research methodology that is required to gather enough data for your research paper

5) The setting of the research study

6) Complete detail about the timeline to gather enough data for research methodology

Importance of research designs

There are lots of benefits to designing research designs for the researchers. Some of these benefits are explained below;

1) With the help of these research designs, it is possible for us to gain insight into the possible methods of the research instructions.

2) While checking these research designs, teachers can’t show biasing and they have to be reflective.

3) With the help of research designs, it is also possible for us to shape the intuitive practice of research.

4) The researchers have enough control over the variables of research.

5) It is also possible for the researchers to perform experiments on the basis of this research design.

6) For rigour, it is also possible for us to combine this research method with other research methods. 

7) It is also possible for the researchers to determine what is best for the population.

8) With the help of this research design, it is also possible for us to get more transferable results. 

Steps of research design

To write a research design, you will have to follow some specific steps. Some essential steps that you should follow while writing a research design are given below;

1) Defining a problem

First of all, you will have to define the problem. You should try to define your problem in such a way that readers can easily get an idea of what you are going to research and how your research is strongly related to your study. It is possible only if you try to clearly explain all the operational terms in the research design. Therefore, before defining your problem in the research design, you should take an overview of this problem from all the aspects. 

2) Data sources

It is a fact that to write a research paper, it is necessary for the students to gather data from different resources. Therefore, after defining the problem, the students should try to provide a list of all the resources from where you will gather data for your research paper. These resources can be in the form of library books, personal documents, fieldwork and journal articles, etc.

3) Nature of research

It is also necessary for you to provide an idea about the nature of research in the research design. By providing an idea about the nature of research, you will be in a better position to write your research design by choosing a statistical, experimental or comparative kind of study. Moreover, you should also try to provide an idea about all the subsequent stages in planning that are required to describe relevance to the proposed problem.

4) The objective of the study

Either you are going to write your research paper by adopting theoretical understanding or experimental understanding, it is necessary for you to provide a clear objective of the study in the research design. Its reason is that by adopting a clear design of the study, you will be able to get proper responses from the respondents. 

5) Social-Cultural context

You should set your research design by keeping in mind the social-cultural context. Its reason is that by setting the social-cultural context in your research design, it will be easy for you to set clear conceptual references in your research paper. 

6) Temporal context

While designing the research design, it is also necessary for you to keep in mind the temporal context. In this temporal context, it is necessary for you that you should have enough idea about the physical limit of design. Its reason is that by describing the physical limit of your research paper, it will be easy for you to link your hypothesis with the actual results of your research paper. With the help of this temporal context, it is also possible for the reader to get an idea either your research paper is linked to a specific group or you are going to present general results. 

7) Dimension

It is a fact that it is almost impossible for you to analyze the data which is gathered from the whole universe. Therefore, while setting a research design, it is also necessary for you to set an acceptable and representative sample. This sample will facilitate you while setting design for your research.

8) Basis of selection

No doubt, to choose the right sample is a critical step for the students but by following some specific steps, it is possible for the researchers to overcome difficulties of selecting the best and right sample. Students should try to set such a research sample that should be scientifically valid and it should also be free from bias. 

9) Methods of data collection

There are two possible methods to gather the data for a research paper. First is known as qualitative research methodology and second is known as a quantitative research methodology. It is necessary for the students to provide an overview of specific research methodology which is necessary to gather the data for the academic paper.

Random assignment: all you need to know

Random assignment can be explained as the use of chance procedures in psychological experiments as it ensures that each participant has the same or equal opportunity to be assigned into any group to gather the most unbiased evidences and results. When forming study groups, the study participants are randomly assigned to groups; be it experimental groups or the treatment group. This can be done with tactics such as flipping a coin, drawing names from a hat, rolling the dice or even assigning numbers to the participants to divide them in groups without any prejudice.

It is essential to understand the difference between random assignment and random selection as both are not the same. When we talk about random selection, it is all about how the participants are randomly chosen to represent the larger population while random assignment is all about how these chosen participants are assigned to the groups for experimentation. 

Random assignment definition 

Random assignment has been defined by the website of Psychology and Society as, “a procedure in conducting experiments in which each participant has the same probability of being assigned to a particular condition of the experiment”.

Example of random assignment 

If a researcher is interested in the influence of music on job motivation, some participants would be assigned to a condition in which they would hear music during their work. The other participants would be assigned a condition in which they would not hear music while working. In such a case, a coin will be flipped or some other means would be used to determine which condition each participant should be assigned. This is the random assignment process in which the participants are assigned to the groups without being given any preferences to what they want or what the experimenter wants. 

Significance of random assignment 

It is necessary to understand why a researcher would randomly assign participants to certain groups for experimentation. The answer to this is that random assignment can allow researchers to rule out the explanations based on personality and individual difference variables. The random assignment makes it possible for participants with certain characteristics to be a part of experiment. 

Random assignment vs random sampling

Random sampling is related to random assignment but it is a distinct process as random sampling is all about recruiting participants in a manner that they present a larger section of population. It is because even the most basic of statistical tests require information and data regarding the randomly sampled population to assess the data and ensure standardized testing conditions. It also helps to ensure that there have been no interferences with the sampling method and it provides controls for all attributes of the members of the samples.

Random sampling is also considered a justified means of selecting a sample from a given population as every member gets equal chance of getting selected for the experiment. It is important to select the people for any experiment in an unbiased random selection so that most accurate conclusions can be drawn. 

Benefits of random assignment

There are multiple benefits of random assignment; its helps to ensure that any differences between and within the groups of participants are not systematic at the beginning of the experiment. Thus, the differences that have been recorded at the end of the experiment can be rightly attributed to the experimental procedures or the treatment and not any other factor. 

Random assignment ensures that each participant in an experiment has the same opportunity to be assigned to any group without any preference or favoritism. The participants for the study are randomly assigned in any group to check out the clarity of results. It is important to realize that random assignment plays a key part in the psychology research process. It helps to eliminate possible sources of bias and makes it easy for the researcher to generalize the results of a population to a larger group.

It ensures that the members of each group in the experiment are the same and the people in the group represent that larger part of the population, clearing of all confusions and misconceptions. With help of this technique, the researchers can study even the most complex phenomena and make the understanding of human mind and behavior easy and convenient. 

With help of random assignment and placement, it becomes easy to select and assign participants for experiments; it can be either humans or animals using any random method so that researchers can look forward to the best results. 

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