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Review of Research Methods - Essay Example

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Modern theory and applied science demonstrate increasing sophistication of both research methods and demands to the research process itself. According to different sources, almost 90% of modern surveys in social, natural and applied sciences utilize different kinds of research methods and further computerized procession of data (Bishop, 2005).
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Download file to see previous pages Another important problem is that a number of methods used in modern researches are not appropriate to each certain case. In this case the very idea of empirical survey is deteriorated and the results leave much to be desired. In both instances the retrieved results are far from reality and need substantial clarification.
At the same time, properly selected and carefully employed research methods can be dramatically important in each type of either a survey or analysis of existing quantitative data. Correctly (from methodological perspective) received and interpreted data would provide a researcher with a variety of information and findings concerning different aspects of problem researched.
The abovementioned makes the question of methods effectiveness and appropriateness to each certain case extremely important. This project will examine appropriateness and effectiveness of research methods suggested in each of three suggested case studies below.
The case studies provided for the analysis are dedicated to the same research problem, i.e.: examination of neighborhood effect on people's health behavior, particularly walking and smoking. All three case studies hypothesized that there is a significant influence of neighborhood on people's health behavior. However, each of them focused on identification of specific community factors that may influence this or that behavior.
Each of these studies is based on representative samplings and includes the data from all-national (regional) surveys in the US or Canada. Alternative methods used were telephone surveys and observation of communities. Statistical methods in all three cases included different types of regressions that allows define the impact of one variable/variables (independent variable) on another one/ones (dependent variable).
The project of C. Ross (2000) is dedicated to the general problem of health behavior. The author hypothesizes that neighborhood could affect health behaviors. Ross (2000) assumed that people from poor communities and with humble backgrounds (e.g.: poor education, low income, etc.) are more likely to smoke and reversely less likely to take exercises and walk. This assumption is based on two social-psychological models of influence in "community-person" system, i.e.: contagion theory and structural perspective. The first theory states that people are influenced by others surrounding them. The second approach believes that surrounding presents their neighbors with both constrains (fears, prejudices, etc.) and opportunities and resources (courts, playgrounds, pools, etc).
The representative sampling (multilevel-data sampling) included the residents of Illinois (USA) selected according to the criteria of poverty and education of both the people and their neighborhoods. Other socio-demographic criteria included into the sampling were race, gender, age, household income, individual poverty, marital status, etc. The data for the sampling was taken from 1995 survey of Community, Health and Crime. The interviews were telephone-based and included both closed and open-ended questions.
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