Negative evidence refers to findings that unexpectedly challenge rather than support your hypothesis. If you didn't get the results you anticipated, it may mean your hypothesis was incorrect and needs to be reformulated. Or, perhaps you have stumbled onto something unexpected that warrants further study. Moreover, the absence of an effect may be very telling in many situations, particularly in experimental research designs. In any case, your results may very well be of importance to others even though they did not support your hypothesis.
Do not fall into the trap of thinking that results contrary to what you expected is a limitation to your study. If you carried out the research well, they are simply your results and only require additional interpretation. Lewis, George H. Sample Size Limitations in Qualitative Research.
Scope of a Doctoral Dissertation
Sample sizes are typically smaller in qualitative research because, as the study goes on, acquiring more data does not necessarily lead to more information. This is because one occurrence of a piece of data, or a code, is all that is necessary to ensure that it becomes part of the analysis framework. However, it remains true that sample sizes that are too small cannot adequately support claims of having achieved valid conclusions and sample sizes that are too large do not permit the deep, naturalistic, and inductive analysis that defines qualitative inquiry.
Determining adequate sample size in qualitative research is ultimately a matter of judgment and experience in evaluating the quality of the information collected against the uses to which it will be applied and the particular research method and purposeful sampling strategy employed. If the sample size is found to be a limitation, it may reflect your judgment about the methodological technique chosen [e.
Huberman, A. Michael and Matthew B.
Defining Aim, Objective, Scope for conducting study | PlanningTank
Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln, eds. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, , pp. Contact us. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Limitations of the Study This guide provides advice on how to develop and organize a research paper in the social and behavioral sciences. The Conclusion Toggle Dropdown Appendices Definition The limitations of the study are those characteristics of design or methodology that impacted or influenced the interpretation of the findings from your research.
Importance of Descriptions of Possible Limitations All studies have limitations. Possible Methodological Limitations Sample size -- the number of the units of analysis you use in your study is dictated by the type of research problem you are investigating. Note that, if your sample size is too small, it will be difficult to find significant relationships from the data, as statistical tests normally require a larger sample size to ensure a representative distribution of the population and to be considered representative of groups of people to whom results will be generalized or transferred.
Note that sample size is generally less relevant in qualitative research if explained in the context of the research problem. You need to not only describe these limitations but provide cogent reasons why you believe data is missing or is unreliable.
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Lack of prior research studies on the topic -- citing prior research studies forms the basis of your literature review and helps lay a foundation for understanding the research problem you are investigating. Depending on the currency or scope of your research topic, there may be little, if any, prior research on your topic. Before assuming this to be true, though, consult with a librarian! In cases when a librarian has confirmed that there is little or no prior research, you may be required to develop an entirely new research typology [for example, using an exploratory rather than an explanatory research design ].
Note again that discovering a limitation can serve as an important opportunity to identify new gaps in the literature and to describe the need for further research. Measure used to collect the data -- sometimes it is the case that, after completing your interpretation of the findings, you discover that the way in which you gathered data inhibited your ability to conduct a thorough analysis of the results.
For example, you regret not including a specific question in a survey that, in retrospect, could have helped address a particular issue that emerged later in the study. Acknowledge the deficiency by stating a need for future researchers to revise the specific method for gathering data. Self-reported data -- whether you are relying on pre-existing data or you are conducting a qualitative research study and gathering the data yourself, self-reported data is limited by the fact that it rarely can be independently verified.
In other words, you have to take what people say, whether in interviews, focus groups, or on questionnaires, at face value. However, self-reported data can contain several potential sources of bias that you should be alert to and note as limitations.
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These biases become apparent if they are incongruent with data from other sources. These are: 1 selective memory [remembering or not remembering experiences or events that occurred at some point in the past]; 2 telescoping [recalling events that occurred at one time as if they occurred at another time]; 3 attribution [the act of attributing positive events and outcomes to one's own agency, but attributing negative events and outcomes to external forces]; and, 4 exaggeration [the act of representing outcomes or embellishing events as more significant than is actually suggested from other data].
Possible Limitations of the Researcher Access -- if your study depends on having access to people, organizations, data, or documents and, for whatever reason, access is denied or limited in some way, the reasons for this needs to be described. Also, include an explanation why being denied or limited access did not prevent you from following through on your study. Longitudinal effects -- unlike your professor, who can literally devote years [even a lifetime] to studying a single topic, the time available to investigate a research problem and to measure change or stability over time is pretty much constrained by the due date of your assignment.
Be sure to choose a research problem that does not require an excessive amount of time to complete the literature review, apply the methodology, and gather and interpret the results. If you're unsure whether you can complete your research within the confines of the assignment's due date, talk to your professor.
Cultural and other type of bias -- we all have biases, whether we are conscience of them or not. Bias is when a person, place, event, or thing is viewed or shown in a consistently inaccurate way.
Scope, limitation, assumptions research section methodology
Bias is usually negative, though one can have a positive bias as well, especially if that bias reflects your reliance on research that only support your hypothesis. When proof-reading your paper, be especially critical in reviewing how you have stated a problem, selected the data to be studied, what may have been omitted, the manner in which you have ordered events, people, or places, how you have chosen to represent a person, place, or thing, to name a phenomenon, or to use possible words with a positive or negative connotation. It is important to narrow down your thesis topic and limit the scope of your study.
The researcher should inform the reader about limits or coverage of the study. The scope identifies the boundaries of the study in term of subjects, objectives, facilities, area, time frame, and the issues to which the research is focused. The coverage of this study………. The study consists of …….. The study covers the ………. This study is focus on…….. The delimitation of the study is delimiting a study by geographic location, age, sex, population traits, population size, or other similar considerations.
Archived Material (Dissertations)
Delimitation is used to make study better and more feasible and not just for the interest of the researcher. It also identifies the constraints or weaknesses of your study which are not within the control of the researcher.
Sample phrases that expressed the delimitations of the study The study does not cover the…… The researcher limited this research to…… This study is limited to………. What is Scope of Study Section?