METHODS in the Research Madness

[This is a re-post from 2014.  If you weren’t a reader then….read on…..]

fisheye booksResearch article sections are: Title, Abstract, Introduction/background,Methods, Results, Discussion, & Implications/Conclusions

METHODS =  Design, Sample, Setting, & Data collection instrument

Sometimes these above elements of METHODS are subheadings.

Sometimes not.

  • Key point #1: Design= overall plan for answering the question or proving the hypothesis.  KEYThe 2 basic types of design are 1) experimental & 2) non-experimental.   In experimental, the researcher does something to the subjects and measures the effects of that something.  In non-experimental, the research merely observes and describes what is happening without doing anything to change it.
  •  KEYKey point #2: Setting=where the study is conducted: home, hospital, office, classroom, on KEYan ocean cruise, or other.
  • Key point #3: Sample includes who/what subjects were in & excluded from the study; how many subjects were in the study; & whether subjects were selected using random methods or non-random methods.   In random selection every eligible subject has the same chance of being selected. That’s called probability sampling.  An example is drawing names from a hat.  In non-random selection only the most nearby subjects are asked to be in the study. That’s called non-probability or convenience sampling.  An example, using a clipboard to survey people who walk into a mall one day. [Note: Subjects can be people, animals, charts, hospitals, or nations.]

(Whew!….Enough for now.)

Critical Thinking Exercise:  Find the Design, Setting, & Sample in this excerpt of Methods from Mohammedkarimi et al, (2014): question

“A double-blind, randomized clinical trial (RCT) was performed among 90 adult patients with acute headache in Shahid Rahnemoon Emergency Center of Yazd city of Iran (45 patients in lidocaine group and 45 patients in placebo group). Patients with history of epilepsy, allergy to lidocaine, signs of skull base fracture, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) < 15, patients younger than 14 years and patients who had received any medication in previous 2 h were excluded.”

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