Research Methods Database


Abduction (in Pierce)

Achievement (measures and theories)

Action research (main variants)

Actor-network theory (see positivism)

Adorno, T-W. (see also critical theory, dialectics, Popper,  positivism)

Althusser, L. (generalities, ideology, scientific marxism, symptomatic reading)

Analogy (e.g. in Polya)

Analysis (see critical analysis, statistical analysis)

Area studies ( see also community studies, networks, scoiograms)

Archaeology of knowledge (in Foucault)

Argument (main types and theories, see also Habermas)

Association (see also statistical analysis)

Attitudes (scales and theories )


Bakhtin (sometimes collectivised with Volosinov)


Bias (types and ways to assess or counter. See also ethnocentricity, publication bias, sexism)

Bourdieu, P. ( see also cultural capital)


Capital(s) (cultural, educational, economic, social)

Causal analysis


Community studies

Conjectures and refutations (see Popper)


Content analysis


Conversation analysis (see also ethnomethdology, Garfinkel)

Cost-benefit analysis

Critical analysis (CDA, critical rationalism, critical realism, critique)

Critique (see critical analysis, Habermas, marxist methods)

Cross-tabulation (see also statistical analysis, tables)

Cultural capital



Deconstruction (in Derrida)

Deep/surface/strategic learning (see also Phenomenography)

Demographic variables (and measurement problems etc)

Descriptive statistics (see statistical analysis)


Diaries (includes research diaries, logs)


Discussion forums/fora

Documentary analysis

Dogmatism in application of theory (in Hindess and Hirst, see post-structuralism)


Effect analysis (media)

Elicitation techniques

Elite studies

Epistemological issues

Errors (of measurement)

Ethics (issues and procedures. See also symbolic violence)


Ethnography (including theoretically-informed ethnography, autoethnography. See also Bourdieu, post-structuralism)

Ethnomethodology (see also conversation analysis, Garfinkel)

Evaluation (see also Magenta Book)

Exercises (to introduce some basic research techniques)

Experience (and its role)

Experimental methods (see also randomness)


Falsification (see Popper)

Feminism (schools, methods. See also sexism)

Figurational analysis


Focus groups


Foucault, M. (including a discussion of his methods)

Freudian analysis (see also Gadamer, Habermas)


Gadamer, H-G. (see also Freudian analysis, Habermas,  hermeneutic)

Gender (measures, theories. See also queer theory)

Grounded theory (see also qualitative research)

Grouping data (techniques and implications)


Habermas, J. (see also argument, Gadamer, positivism, quasi-transcendental arguments)

Habitus (in Bourdieu and Elias)

Hammersley, M. (superb critical discussions of recent approaches in qualitative educational research)

Hegemony (gramscian, hegemonic masculinity)

Historical research (types)

Honey and Mumford

Hypotheses (including null hypotheses, hypothetico-deductivism)


Ideal types

Idiographic approaches (see also nomothetic approaches)

Individualism (includes methodological individualism)

In-groups and out-groups

Interpersonal matrices


Interviews (types)


Implication grids (see Kelly grids)




Kelly grids (repertory grids)

Kolb (and see Honey and Mumford)


Life histories

Likert scales (see scaling)


Magenta Book

Marxist methods (see also critical realism, dialectic, ideology critique)


Media analysis (discourses, ‘gazes’ narratives, representations. See also effect analysis)

Metaphors (includes metonyms. See also visual analysis)




Network analysis (see also actor-network theory, area studies, community studies, sociogram)

Normal distribution (includes norm-referenced evaluation. See also Z scores)



Observation (ethnographic, participant, systematic)

Occupational scales

Official statistics


Organizational analysis

Osgood semantic differentials


Ontological issues


Paradigms (Feyerabend, Kuhn, Lakatos, Popper and since)

Phenomenography ( see deep/surface/strategic learning)

Policy evaluation (see Magenta Book)



Popper. K. (see also conjectures and refutations, critical realism, positivist dispute)

Positivism (including the Positivist Dispute. See also marxist analysis, qualitative approaches, symbolic interactionism)

Post-structuralism (see also deconstruction, feminism)

Pragmatism (philosophical, especially US)

Primary (and secondary) research

Publication bias (see also bias, randomness)



Qualitative approaches

Quantitative approaches

Quasi-transcendental approaches

Queer theory



Randomness (includes random sampling, random controlled trials)


Reliability (includes replicability)

Respondent validation

Response rates

Rhetoric (see actor-network theory, argument)



Sample (types, characteristics, effects)

Scaling (procedures, examples)

Schon (see reflection)

Scientific method (includes philosophy, politics and sociology of science, scientism. See also bias, experiment, randomness)

Sensitive subjects

Semiotics (types and analytic uses etc)

Sexism (and anti-sexist methods. See also feminism)

Significant differences


SPSS (examples and tutorials)

Statistical analysis (association, cluster analysis, descriptive, path analysis. See also significant differences, tables, t-tests, Z-scores)

Structuralist approaches


Surveys (types)

SWOT analysis

Symbolic interactionism (includes Becker, Blumer, Chicago School, Goffman, Mead. See also ethnography and qualitative approaches)

Symbolic violence (see also Bourdieu)


Tables (see also statistical analysis)


Time series

T-tests (see statistical analysis)



Understanding (see also Bourdieu, ethnography)

Unobtrusive research

User data


Validity (types and theories)

Variables (control of, dependent, independent, measurement)

VO2 max

Visual analysis (see also elicitation, ethnography, semiotics)


Weberian methods (see also ideal types)

Websites that are  good for methods

‘What works’ approaches




Young people (see also sensitive subjects)


Z scores (uses)