Research methods consist of an assortment of methods people use when examining a specified occurrence. Research methods are planned, thoroughly thought out, value neutral, and scientific based (Woolf, 2012). In order to have good research methods, the researchers must design the research to maximize the exactitude of the results. Research methodology is the outline used to compare and study alternative methods to individual approaches (Woolf, 2012). Cross-cultural research, or also referred to as multicultural research, has emphases on revealing an individual’s behavior based on cultural influences.
This research approach is intended test hypotheses and human behaviors about the impacts of culture and behavior. The impact of higher immigration, higher diversity, into the United States has made it more difficult to perform multicultural research. Researchers must first take into consideration how a culture may affect methodological problems and definitions of concept(s). Researchers need to cogitate how recruiting, sampling, developing instruments, and distributing findings are influenced by race, ethnicity, and culture.
Throughout the paper it will contain a compare and contrast of the variables of observation and sampling within traditional research and multicultural research. Descriptions A complete understanding of the individual variable must be understood before a comparison is done between observation and sampling. Observation is defined as the method of data gathering using a visual examination of the people involved in the study (“Definition of observation,” 2012). Sampling is a process that is used to select a group of individuals from the whole population to take part in the research study (Freedman, n. . ). Multicultural research contains dealing with other cultures that vary in language, social structures, economies, attitude patterns, and behavior (Hall, 2012).
Traditional research concentrates on studies that do not concern cultural influences, but more generalized truths (“Action research,” 2004). Comparison In order for validity to be achieved, researchers conducting multicultural research should ensure that data collection from at least two different cultural groups is done. There was not research that could be found to uggest an ideal minimum of diverse cultures to compare for the study. Of course, as previously mentioned, in order to have any comparison, a researcher must have at least two diverse cultures. Some multicultural studies are monocultural (one) where assessments are done between the data collected and the study in earlier studies by researchers. Random sampling would be the best form of sampling for researchers to use. Random sampling is the least biased technique of sampling (Herek, 2012).
Each member of the whole population has the same chance of being picked (Herek, 2012). It also helps cut back on errors and findings from the study can be generalized to fit suit other populations (Herek, 2012). Another form of sampling is probability, this approach allows all subjects in the target population to have the same chance of being involved in the sample, and the mathematical probability can be calculated that any one of the individuals will be selected (Herek, 2012).
This approach is also credited for being the most efficient way to create a sample because it creates an opportunity for all the individuals from the target population to have the same chance of being involved in the research (Herek, 2012). Observation is another variable that can be very beneficial in multicultural research. Observation uses descriptive studies of culture using a method called ethnographic. Ethnographic methods require the researcher to put aside any assumptions about the culture or group of people they may have in order to learn fully about the culture (Ethnographic methodology,” n. . ). It is important to not judge the culture and not put into play any personal feelings because it could cause conflict, which could create bias in the research (Ethnographic methodology,” n. d. ). Researchers should become part of the culture they are wanting to perform observation research on to conduct the research to help analyze and collect information based off the culture’s behaviors and practices.
Another approach of observation research is called grounded theory; this theory does not require the researcher to become part of the culture but to observe the culture’s social practices with or without them knowing they are being watched. Problems Encountered Multicultural research does have its limitations and issues along with every other type of research approach. Cultural issues have major impacts on the availability and easement of conducting research across cultures. Language barriers pose a huge threat and leave a lot of room for failure in the research.
The surveys and information that need to be collected can be misinterpreted by one party or the other causing errors in the research. Also, due to immigration or lack thereof, there could not be a large enough sample to study because of apprehension, because lack of trust or knowledge of the reasoning behind the research by the group being studied. There could also be fear of repercussions from being involved in a study because of the thoughts of government involvement, and being deported or reported to other officials.
An observational methodology is a very beneficial technique to research because it helps analyze human behavior in natural settings. There can be issues because lack of knowledge of the culture’s body language and the meanings behind them. Often body language and gestures differ from one culture to the next and can be misinterpreted if not fully studied and understood. The researcher must understand that if they view him or her as a researcher/outsider and not as one of them the culture’s group behavior could be altered causing errors in the research.
Conclusion Traditional or multicultural research can both be utilized to study human behaviors. Traditional research studies can miss certain issues within a culture that can be found with multicultural research. Multicultural studies should be used by researcher to create and maintain a versatile study. Multicultural studies could have issues when implementing it, but if these issues are taken care of at the time of encountering them the information gained can shed enormous light on cultural impact on human behavior.
Action research. (2004). Retrieved from http://edt.ite.edu.sg/ActionResearch/ar3.htm Definition of observation. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/observation Ethnographic methodology. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.geo.mtu.edu/rs4hazards/links/Social-KateG/Ethnographic Methodology.htm Freedman, D. (n.d.). Sampling. Retrieved from http://www.stat.berkeley.edu/~census/sample.pdf Hall, G. C. N. (2010). Multicultural psychology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Herek, G. (2012). Ucdavis.net. Retrieved from http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/fact_sample.html Woolf, L. M. (2012, Summer). webster.edu. Retrieved from http://www2.webster.edu/~woolflm/statmethods.html