Research. We read about it in the newspaper or on the web. We hear about it from our co-workers or on the television. Research has advanced humanity by light-years in our lifetimes. New drugs, technology, farming methods, educational techniques have all benefited from research methods. Our world has changed drastically.
Interestingly, our research methods have not changed as much. Assumptions and research designs that were initiated a century ago have been improved mainly with faster computers and more sophisticated software that enables researchers to create more exacting models using the same assumptions.
But humanity has changed. Our world is a different one. The individual’s increasing ability to assume multiple perspectives has enhanced our understanding of other people and other cultures. Those who seek to return to “the good old days” are learning to live with those who dare to live on the cutting edge. Similarly, our approaches to research bear reconsideration. In particular, the assumptions underlying our research paradigms will benefit from systematic examination. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research are three approaches to research that each have strengths and weaknesses, and assumptional tendencies.
Research resonance is a blog that examines issues of research. Specific examples of research will be discussed with a new perspective, one that asks the reader to consider what may have been included, and what may have been left out of the research equation. The foundation I will use is a multidimensional one, to show that our current research often leaves out one or more of these dimensions of human experience.