What Are The Five Techniques In Research

Have you ever wondered how researchers gather data to support their studies? There are five main techniques in research that are commonly used. By using these methods, researchers can collect information from a variety of sources and analyze it to draw conclusions about their topics of interest.

So, what are the five techniques in research?

Coincidentally, the first technique is observation. This involves watching and recording events as they naturally occur without any interference or manipulation by the researcher. It is often used in social sciences and psychology research.

The second technique is surveys which involve collecting data through questionnaires or interviews with a group of participants. Surveys are useful for gathering quantitative data on attitudes, opinions, and behaviors.

In this article, we will explore all five techniques in detail so you can gain an understanding of how each one works and when they should be used in your own research projects.


What are the five techniques in research?

The five essential techniques in research include formulating a research question, conducting literature reviews, designing a research methodology, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing meaningful conclusions to contribute to knowledge and understanding.

Observation as a Research Technique

Source: Global Health with Greg Martin

You’ll want to start your research by observing – it’s a great technique for gathering data firsthand! Observation is the process of watching and recording behaviors, phenomena, or events in their natural settings. This technique allows researchers to gather data without interfering with the subjects or altering the environment.

Observation can be done in two ways: participant observation and non-participant observation. In participant observation, the researcher actively participates in the activities being observed. This method allows for a deep understanding of the subject’s perspective and experiences. (1)

Non-participant observation involves observing from a distance without interacting with the subjects.

Conducting surveys for research purposes is another effective technique to gather data. Surveys allow researchers to collect large amounts of information from a diverse group of people. However, it’s important to note that surveys rely on self-reported information, which may not always be accurate.

Conducting Surveys for Research Purposes

Surveying can be like casting a wide net into the ocean, gathering information from a large and diverse population. This research technique involves asking people questions about their attitudes, opinions, behaviors, or experiences.

Here are some of the common steps involved in conducting surveys for research purposes (2):

  1. Define your research question: Before you start designing your survey questions, you need to clarify what you want to investigate and why it matters. This will help you determine who your target audience is and what type of data you need to collect.
  2. Choose your sample: Once you know what kind of information you want to gather, you need to decide who will be part of your study. Your sample should represent the population that you’re interested in studying as closely as possible.
  3. Design your survey instrument: This involves creating a set of questions that will elicit the desired responses from your respondents. You can use different types of questions such as open-ended, closed-ended, multiple choice, Likert scales, etc.
  4. Collect and analyze data: After administering the survey to your selected sample group, it’s time to compile and analyze the results using statistical methods such as frequency distributions or regression analysis.

As mentioned earlier in this article about observation as a research technique – surveys may not always provide accurate or complete information because they rely on self-reporting by participants who may not always remember or disclose everything accurately. Therefore, researchers often supplement surveys with other methods such as interviews or focus groups, which we’ll discuss next.

Interviews as a Method of Gathering Research Data

Interviews are a valuable method for gathering data in research, allowing for more in-depth exploration of topics and personal experiences. This technique involves a researcher asking a series of open-ended questions to an individual or group with the aim of understanding their perspectives on a particular topic.

Interviews can be conducted face-to-face, over the phone, or via video conferencing, depending on what is convenient for both parties involved. One of the benefits of using interviews as a research method is that it allows researchers to gain access to information that may not be readily available through other means such as surveys or questionnaires.

Through one-on-one conversations, participants can provide detailed responses and elaborate on their answers whenever necessary. Additionally, interviews allow researchers to clarify any ambiguous responses and probe further into areas that they find interesting or relevant.

Interviews can also help create rapport between the interviewer and interviewee while providing insights into human behavior and social interactions. From here, researchers can uncover patterns in people’s experiences and behaviors related to specific issues under investigation. This makes interviews particularly useful when exploring sensitive topics where respondents might feel uncomfortable sharing their views publicly.

Interviews are highly effective at gathering rich data sets for qualitative research purposes thanks to their ability to explore complex topics in greater depth than surveys or questionnaires alone.

Next up, we will explore another useful technique called case studies which offer great insights into complex real-life situations without being overly prescriptive like ‘step-by-step’ approaches often are.

Case Studies for In-Depth Analysis

Case studies provide a detailed analysis of real-life situations and offer a unique perspective on the complexities of human behavior. Through in-depth research, case studies allow us to gain insights into various aspects of life that cannot be captured by other research methods.

Here are five reasons why case studies are an effective approach to gathering research data:

  • They provide rich descriptions: Case studies allow researchers to obtain detailed information about a particular situation, which can help them understand the underlying factors that contribute to certain behaviors or outcomes.
  • They enable triangulation of data: By collecting multiple sources of data from different participants, case studies enable researchers to cross-check and validate their findings.
  • They uncover causal relationships: Case studies often involve longitudinal observation, allowing researchers to identify patterns and trends over time. This approach helps establish causal relationships between variables.

Moreover, case studies can reveal unexpected findings or outliers that may not have been apparent before conducting the study. These exceptions can lead researchers down new paths for further exploration.

Now that we’ve explored how case studies can provide valuable insights into complex issues, let’s turn our attention towards using experiments in research studies.

More on what is the best research technique.

Using Experiments in Research Studies

When it comes to gathering data for research, experiments can be a fun and interactive way to test hypotheses. By manipulating one or more variables and observing the resulting effects, researchers can draw conclusions about cause-and-effect relationships between different factors. This is especially useful when trying to understand complex phenomena that can’t be easily observed in their natural state.

Experiments typically involve three key components: a control group, an experimental group, and one or more independent variables that are manipulated by the researcher. The control group serves as a baseline against which the effects of the independent variable(s) can be compared.

The experimental group is exposed to the manipulated variable(s), while all other conditions remain constant across both groups. By comparing differences in outcomes between these two groups, researchers can determine whether their hypothesis was supported or refuted.

Of course, there are also some potential limitations to using experiments as a research technique. It may not always be possible or ethical to manipulate certain variables in real-world settings (e.g., testing the effects of smoking on lung cancer development). Additionally, there may be unintended consequences associated with manipulating certain factors (e.g., introducing bias into participants’ responses).

Despite these challenges, however, experiments continue to be an important tool for researchers seeking to understand complex phenomena and test hypotheses about cause-and-effect relationships.

More on what are research techniques.


Congratulations! Now that you know the five techniques in research, you’re ready to embark on a journey towards acquiring valuable knowledge.

By using observation, surveys, interviews, case studies, and experiments as your tools for research, you’ll be able to gain insights and understanding on various subjects. However, picking one technique over the other may depend on the nature of your research study.

So it’s important to carefully consider which technique suits your needs best. Remember that each technique has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. You wouldn’t want to use an experiment when conducting a survey would suffice.

As you delve into the world of research, keep in mind that it can be both challenging and rewarding. But with perseverance and patience, you’ll soon find yourself immersed in a wealth of information that can lead to better decisions and outcomes.

So go ahead and explore different techniques in research – who knows what amazing discoveries await!

More on how do you research techniques.


  1. https://delvetool.com/blog/observation#:~:text=Observational%20research%20is%20a%20research,research%20labs%20or%20focus%20groups.
  2. https://resources.pollfish.com/market-research/how-to-conduct-a-survey-that-you-can-trust-in-8-steps/

Related Articles