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Research Methods - Coursework Example

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TOPIC: THE COUNTY HOSPITAL HAS NOTICED THAT THE NUMBER OF PATIENTS IN THE EMERGENCY OUTPATIENT UNIT SPIKES BETWEEN FRIDAY, 10:00PM AND SATURDAY, 7:00AM FOR DRUG OVERDOSE. THE HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATION AND THE POLICE ARE BAFFLED BY THIS TREND.
One research method that is useful in…
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Download file to see previous pages... County hospital records detailing the age, ethnicity, level of education, gender, etc. of each individual treated for drug overdose during the period in which the spike is usually recorded, from the time when it became prevalent;
The list is by no means exhaustive. However, in analyzing these records, frequency distribution will most likely isolate a major group or two, which will facilitate success in further investigation. In dealing with a subject of such nature, this research method is arguably more effective than a survey, which, according to Wikipedia, depends on “subjects’ motivation, honesty, memory, and ability to respond.” Drug users may not be willing respondents in a survey.
Observer participation is another method that is very useful not only when “the phenomenon is sufficiently limited in size and location to be studied as a case” but also when “the phenomenon is hidden from public view (crime and deviance, secretive groups and organizations, such as drug users & dealers…)” (Jorgensen, 1989; 13). The data obtained from the statistical analysis of official records is the blueprint upon which this research method will be employed. That is, the group(s) that most frequently occur(s) in his analysis will be the focus. In a manner of investigation, the researcher can ease himself into the social environment of the group(s) in question, within and (if his study demands) outside the period in which drug overdose is common. Here, “the research problem can be addressed by qualitative data gathered by direct observation and other means pertinent to the field setting” (Jorgensen, 1989; 13), thereby helping the researcher gain firsthand information on the attitudes, behavior, practices and habits of (each of) the group(s) in question. This ‘investigation’ will most likely see them open up about drug ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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