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Formal or informal: Formal research is controlled, objective, and systematic gathering of data. The researcher carefully defines the things under study and what will and won't be studied. It is systematic in that we carefully follow prescribed rules in gathering and assessing data. It is controlled in that we carefully define, gather, and evaluate the data according to prescribed rules that can be reviewed for error. The formal method provides a description based upon agreed upon units that can be measured and assessed for reliability, whereas the informal method describes the data based on the intuition of the researcher. (page 6 of Don Sacks's book, "Primer of Public Relations Research.")

Formal research methods

Informal research methods

Data Collection

Controlled

Uncontrolled Save

Objective

Subjective

Systematic observation

Random observation

Data Assessment

Can be measured reliably

Can't be measured reliably

Validity can be measured

Validity is assumed

Is deductively interpreted Deductive (reasoning is a logical process in which a conclusion drawn from a set of premises contains no more information than the premises taken collectively.)

Is inductively interpreted (an educated guess) a kind of reasoning that allows for the possibility that the conclusion is false even where all of the premises are true.

Outcomes

Description

Description

Understanding

Understanding

Prediction

Control

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โˆ™ 2010-10-06 04:33:33
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Q: Difference between formal research and informal research?
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