Critical Thinking & Technology Assesment > Study Design > Introduction to Study Design
Study Design: Introduction
Look for the type of study design implemented in the research type to get a feel for potential biases. Study designs generally fall under the categories of descriptive or investigative research.
- Descriptive Research (Observational)
- Investigative Research (Empirical)
Recall that this type of research dominates the literature (up to 90%).
Descriptive research focusses on the development of new technology, description of its clinical applications, detailing of individual cases and case series, and lastly evaluation of the technology.
Descriptive research, however, lacks the methodological strength of hypothesis driven science and is often subject to powerful biases and lack of statistical validity. These should inevitably lead to questions about the validity of results and conclusions.
Investigative research implies an a priori design in collecting and investigating data that makes efforts to reduce biases in the methods. We will take a look at 2 specific types that are commonly used: randomized controlled trials and paired design.
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