Finding the cheapest site for those new shoes you’ve been saving for? Research. That cute guy/girl’s profile you just ‘browsed’ through? Research. Asking google random questions that pop into your head? Research. Every single day we research without realising it and the thing is, we are great at it! Research is what we do! Humans are naturally imaginative and extremely inquisitive- it’s how we got to where we are today… and also how google became a multi-billion dollar corporation. After all, their mission statement is “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. As a broad definition, research is just looking for information on something.
Research is an extremely important part of our lives. Every single component of our lives has in some way been touched by research as it is essentially the building block on which everything we currently know and understand is placed upon.
We can split it into two segments. The first is everyday research, which is the natural inquisitiveness we all have and embrace. It is generally unplanned, erratic and unstructured. The second is academic research. In comparison to everyday research it’s on the other end of the spectrum. Instead of unorganised it is systematic, objective and generally more concerned about the overall correctness and truthfulness of the results (Berger, p.15).
Academic research types are then further split into another two categories: qualitative and quantitative. For me, qualitative research is words. It’s most common collection form is through smaller and more concentrated interviews, and is generally evaluated according to it’s “textual properties, degree of excellence and distinguishing characteristics” (Berger, p.27). Quantitative on the other hand is generally numbers. It is collected through large scale surveys and analysed using mathematically based methods to create hard facts and statistics.
I haven’t quite settled on a specific concept or idea that I would like to research, because such a wide range of things interest me. A broad idea would be looking into the social and cultural effects of social media platforms and how, I believe, they have forever altered the way in which humans communicate both locally and globally. There are many different sections and angles that this could be broken into, from teen’s interactions with social media to the patterns in which news travels globally.
I suppose as I get further into my degree I will naturally gravitate towards the topics and research that interests me the most, but for now I plan on just having an open mind and keeping on digging.