The paper "Relationship Indicators Survey" is an excellent example of a research paper on psychology. The research focused mainly on relationships among individuals and within the community. The research sought to offer a statistically sound representational sample of opinions, attitudes, and feelings. The research also focused on other essential areas such as marriage and partnering, sexual relationships, loneliness, community involvement, relationships, and social networking and accessing help.
The research used quantitative methodology whereby 1,204 interviews were conducted among the general population of ages 18 and above. In addition to being conducted face to face, interviews were also done via telephones and online platforms. Samples were taken from all the Australian territories and states, to represent all ages and ensure gender mix. However, people from Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal and other linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds were not included in the research.
Most researchers use quantitative methodologies because they enable them to conduct the research within a more controlled setting. Quantitative methodologies also allow for the analysis of the relationship between several variables by applying an independent variable to one group (the controlled group) and not the other. This methodology deductively tests theory from existing knowledge by establishing theorized relationships and projecting results for the study.
Quantitative methodologies provide the researcher with a first-hand experience thereby offering valuable and meaningful data (Keith F. Punch, 2005). This relationship between the respondent and the researcher is essential for a genuine understanding of the dilemma or issue under study. Quantitative methodologies depend less on observations, interviews, questionnaires, case studies, and subjective reports but are more focused on data collection and analysis of statistics.
The research revealed a number of results; most fascinating of all was the connection between loneliness and the use of social network technology. According to the research, people who frequently used social networking sites such as Facebook experienced frequent feelings of loneliness as compared to those who did not. In addition, a fraction of those who frequently experienced loneliness met their partners online.
Another result of the research was that there was an emerging trend where a percentage of people in younger age groups find their partners online. People in older age groups were found to have met their partners through mediums such as friends, work, or social occasions. The research also explored the reasons why relationships fail and key results included lack of trust, communication difficulties, different values and expectations, and financial stress
In addition to revealing the effects of finances on relationships and the possibility of an improvement in financial situation, in the future, the study also revealed the use and impacts of social network technologies as a means of communication. Overall, the research discovered optimism about relationships especially among young people and increased support among individuals and communities in which they live.
The research showed that parents, spouses and sons or daughters are regarded as the most essential relationships. More females regarded their sons or daughters among the three essential relationships as compared to males. Companionship, love, and commitment were also reported as the three key reasons why respondents decided on marriage. Factors that negatively influenced relationships were indicated as lack of time, pressures from work and stress.
The results from this research show a similarity in figures as those reported in research carried out in 2008. Similarities can be seen from the figures reported for the number of respondents indicated as sexually active. However, there are slightly fewer women and slightly more men indicated as sexually active, as compared to results reported in 2008. In addition, more respondents indicated that sex was significant in the relationship. The research also indicated that more females were likely to talk to friends during low moments in relationships as compared to males. 22% of those interviewed sought professional help for relationship issues.
Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people were not included in the search because of their diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds and heritage. They are normally referred separately from other people from Australia. This is a weakness of the research since it should conduct analysis across all cultures.
An alternative methodology that could be used in the research is the qualitative methodology. Unlike quantitative methodology, this alternative does not involve statistics or measurement. Instead, it inductively develops a theory by conducting the study based on the point of view of the subject and not the researcher. The aim of qualitative methodology is to describe aspects of a phenomenon in a bid to explain the subject of the research (Chapman, 2005).
The qualitative methodology could be an appropriate alternative since it is not as time-consuming as a quantitative methodology. In addition, qualitative methodology samples used in quantitative research may be too small thus inhibiting possibilities of generalization. The qualitative methodology offers an in-depth analysis of data and nature of studies. In well-defined samples, qualitative research can be generalized to a large population.
Qualitative methodologies ensure that subjects under study give better outcomes to questions being posed by the researcher, and provide valuable insights into what may have been overlooked by other methods. Qualitative research compliments quantitative research. However, qualitative methodologies triumph over quantitative methodologies when it comes to the relationship between the respondent and the researcher.