What are Methodological Strengths and Weaknesses in research studies?


I am completely stuck as to what constitutes a Methodological weakness and strength. For example one of the studies I had to read for a research paper I’m doing that is asking me to list the weakness and strengths mentions Conduct Disorder as it relates to Native Americans and generational trains, but didn’t break it down by specific tribes and just lumped them all together as a monolith. Would that constitute a weakness? Or another study was about how parents of children with CD need to be active in the prevention, and they made sure to provide taxis to and from the treatment center so is that a strength? And if it is how would I classify it? I’m genuinely so lost on this aspect and I would greatly appreciate the help and assistance.

In: 2

Okay, so when people want to find out something new, they do research. But sometimes, the way they do the research might not be the best way and it can make it hard to know if the answer they found is right.

Methodological strengths and weaknesses are just like good and bad things about how the research was done. If it was done good it is a strength, and if it was done bad it is a weakness. When people read a research study, they want to see if the way it was done was good or bad so they can trust the answer or not.

The study providing transportation for the parents of children with CD to and from the treatment center could be considered a methodological strength. This is because it shows that the researchers have taken a practical and realistic approach to understanding the challenges that parents of children with CD face, and have taken steps to address them. Providing transportation can help to ensure that parents are able to attend the treatment center, which can be beneficial for the child’s health and well-being. Additionally, it can also help to increase the participation rate of parents in the study, which can enhance the generalizability of the findings. This kind of thoughtful consideration and proactive approach to addressing potential barriers to participation can be considered a strength in a research study.

TLDR summary; it’s asking “what are the strengths and weaknesses of the WAY things were done”.

So in this case, the taxi situation would be a methodological weakness, because it’s enforcing antisocial behaviours (CD) and it’s a negative WAY of doing things

Same with the Native American one for not being specific. Not bad per say, just could be better.

It’s related to the strength and weaknesses of how you carried out the study. Often these conversations will come down to a discussion about what you got out of the study versus what you put in, because most studies ultimately end up as some sort of trade-off between efficiency and accuracy/detail.

e.g. You can make your study quick, cheap, and logistically straightforward (‘strength’), but it may not give as accurate or detailed results, or rely on a lot of assumptions (‘weakness’).

Alternatively, you can construct a study that is incredibly detailed and drills down on every possible variable (‘strength’)….but it may be extremely expensive, difficult and time-consuming (‘weakness’).

You haven’t specifically called it out, but often these sorts of assessments look at the *relative* strength and weakness. If you only lose a small amount of detail when you do the quick-and-easy study, then the strength outweighs the weakness. If you NEED to delve into detail for the study, then maybe the ‘easy’ option doesn’t give you good results, so its weakness outweighs the strength.