Selecting the appropriate research methodology for a given situation need not be as complicated as some resources make it out to be. Although there are numerous articles that explain when specific tactics should be employed, I have yet to come across a resource that provides an impartial approach regardless of context. By focusing on the objectives of the researcher, we can effectively and objectively identify the most suitable research method for any given situation.
For those unfamiliar with the terminology, let us briefly define the following filters:
- Qualitative: Measured by the quality.
- Quantitative: Measured by the quantity.
- Behavioral: How people act.
- Attitudinal: How people feel.
When faced with a situation where additional research is required, ask yourself two fundamental questions:
- Do I require a few high-quality results or many low-quality results?
- Do I want to understand how people behave or how people feel?
Once these two questions have been addressed, it will be possible to objectively narrow down the potential research methodologies for the given scenario.