An overview of different research methods

The range of research methods on offer is enormous, so you can sometimes not see the wood for the trees. That's why I give you a handy overview of different research methods in this blog. With some of the research methods, you will find a link to a blog with more information.

In this overview, I characterize quantitative and qualitative research methods. Would you like to know more about these? In my previous blog, 'When to choose: qualitative research or quantitative research,' you will find information about the difference between these two types of research.

Qualitative Research

  • Group discussion: Conversation or discussion with several people about one or more topics.
  • Individual interview: Structured or unstructured conversation with one person in which you go into detail about one or more topics.
  • Literature Review: Research in which you use research, theories, and information already available (e.g., from a library or on the Internet) based on a problem statement.
  • Mystery visitor: Research method in which you use experts who behave as customers or visitors and assess the quality of service or organization.

Quantitative research

  • Observing: Observing actual behavior and recording responses.
  • Questionnaires: Recording data and opinions of groups of people using a pre-prepared questionnaire. You can have this questionnaire completed digitally or in writing by a large group of people.
  • Tear tickets: A research method in which you get a large group of people to answer one question quickly. This can, for example, be done by giving the audience a piece of paper with a statement on it before a show. After the show, the audience can indicate whether they agree or disagree with the statement by making a tear in the piece of paper.
  • Existing source research:  conducting research using existing datasets of quantitative data that other researchers have already collected. You then use the dataset again to answer a new question.
  • Tracking: Following respondents (e.g., visitors to a museum or customers in a store) through a distinct area. This can be done through the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth of their own devices, but also with a device that you give to respondents, with which you follow them.
  • Logbook: A document (digital or written) in which you have visitors or participants record events and specific data.
  • Panel survey: approach respondents who have registered for research with a digital questionnaire.