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Research Methodology: A Detailed Presentation


This chapter includes a detailed analysis regarding the study methods which refers towards primary or secondary study. In addition, methodology chapter includes data collection methods and their analysis which incorporates reliability of the methods. It also identifies sampling strategies adopted by the study for conducting research.

Secondary Research

Secondary research is the basis of theoretical understanding and allows researcher to establish a link with existing scholarly knowledge and exploring study gap. Furthermore, it establishes the theoretical understanding of the concepts and methodologies of different researchers Basically, it involves the analysis of information or the data gathered by other party (Bernard, 2011).

In addition, it enables the study to get enriched data regarding the research topic through various journals, articles, books, reports, and market researches. Moreover, the secondary research method is less expensive and more convenient to perform the study (Zikmund et al., 2012).  In the current study, the researcher has also adopted a secondary research method in order to gain a detailed and historical view regarding the Mediterranean diet region and the diet of the Greek students.

Secondary data

According to Clark (2013), Secondary data is gathered from secondary sources through literature from different sites. In addition, it also includes books and journals available on Google scholar (Clark, 2013). Data regarding the Mediterranean diet was collected and analyzed after collecting primary data through questionnaire.

O’Leary (2013) describes that secondary data is significantly essential for the research purpose because it provides comprehensive data gathered by authentic resources. Moreover, the similarity and direction of the data gathered by both primary and secondary sources have been observed and analyzed which showed the reliability and accuracy of the secondary data (O’Leary, 2013). Secondary data help the researcher to get detailed and insightful data regarding the Mediterranean diet and its health benefits along with risk factors.

Literature Search

Literature searching is performed through different ways in order to get detailed and more updated data regarding Mediterranean diet region. Google scholar has been used for searching relevant data. In addition, key words like Mediterranean diet region, eating and nutritional habits of the Greece students, Health Benefits and Risk Factors of Mediterranean diet have been used for searching literature.

Literature Review

Literature review of the present study identifies the Mediterranean diet and its advantages along with health factors and risk factors. Moreover, literature facilitates the study regarding manifesting the theoretical and empirical understanding of the relevant data relating to Mediterranean diet, characterized by olive oil, vegetables and fruit consumption. Besides that, literature review discovers that Mediterranean diet is considered as one of the healthiest diets existing around the world.

Primary Research

Primary research method is the method which includes data gathered from the first time. It refers towards original research which can be performed by the researcher for the study rather than collecting data from other researchers’ works. 

Primary Data

Primary data was collected during the research in order to gather information regarding Greek students and their diet changes. The questionnaire was adopted to collect information from the students and to assess their diet plans. According to Nahum-Shani, et al. (2012) quantitative research method via the technique of questionnaire is a more appropriate way to get direct responses of the respondents. A questionnaire is a technique that consumes less money and provides high reliability (Nahum-Shani et al., 2012). It is an economical method of conducting research.

Results obtained from the questionnaire method are easy to analyze as compared to other methods of data collection methods. However, Driscoll (2011) identifies that the major disadvantage of the questionnaire data collection method is that it does not allow the researcher to ask too many questions with more detailed answers from respondents (Driscoll, 2011).

In addition, the survey usually has no high responsiveness because respondents find it difficult to fulfill questionnaires. Questionnaires were directly handed over to students in order to get their response regarding the Mediterranean diet and changes in their diet after transferring to the UK which is the basic research question of the study. Research Instrument Design

Research questionnaires are used commonly for gathering data from massive number of population. Besides that, it also helps researchers in gathering data from distant areas.

The questionnaire used in this study was adapted from (reference). A food frequency questionnaire is used to conduct primary research. It is one of the most commonly used research tools for conducting epidemiologic studies related to diet and health matters.  The questionnaire used in this research has been created and tested for validity using a pilot study. Questions were about the Mediterranean diet of students and changes that come in their diet after shifting to the UK. The study aimed to collect information regarding diet and cooking habits using close-ended questions.

The questionnaire was designed in order to collect information to know if cooking patterns and diet habits of the respondent while comparing patterns in Greece and the UK for students who migrate. Furthermore, some of the respondents were also from Greece hence, while designing the questionnaire Greek values and norms have been ensured and monitored carefully. Similarly, in the present study survey was more reliable and appropriate as a researcher have to gather responses of the students from Greece as well which would become easy through the online questionnaire technique.  

Furthermore, in the present study, questionnaires were designed regarding the diet of Mediterranean students and their health factors. It also includes risk factors that could get enhanced by their diet. In addition, the research instrument was designed by keeping the ease and understanding of the respondents

Simple, accurate and understandable wording has been used in order to facilitate respondents. Besides this, questionnaires were formed in English language but some of them were translated into Greek as Greek students were supposed to respond to them.

Piloting the Research Instrument

Piloting research instrument refers towards test usage or initial testing of the instrument in order to check its reliability and accuracy. Questionnaire once developed then it was piloted. Few respondents were selected and they filled questionnaire and after checking their response and outcome, questionnaire became finalized and approved. Furthermore, few changes were also made after pilot testing which includes more understandable language.

It was understood that questions translated in the Greek language were harder to understand hence more appropriate changes to the questions were made that enabled better understanding for English questionnaires some vocabulary was replaced with easier words in order to enable better understanding.

Sampling strategy

Sampling strategy was adopted according to the research topic. As study is regarding Mediterranean diet of Greek students who are studying in UK and Greece hence, large number of students’ population would be targeted as sample size. However, 100 was the sample size of the study which also includes students from Greece.

Sampling was random and based on the student’s interests. Besides this, the sample size was approached and contacted personally through emails. Respondents were appropriately familiarized with the research topic and other details which enhanced their interest. Moreover, the consent of the respondents was gained through emails and they were kept informed regarding the deadlines and other details of the surveys. 

Conducting the research

Deniz and Alsaffar., (2014) claim that questionnaire is a valid and reliable method of data collection for noting comparative diet changes among students. Usually, it is used to gather the response of the large population size. Moreover, questionnaires were designed as of five Likert scales which is the most appropriate design to get the easy and direct responses from the target population. Besides this, before fulfilling questionnaires personal information was taken from the respondents in order to maintain the record and ensure originality.


Questionnaires were accessed by the students via online channel. They were uploaded and can be easily accessed by students. However, limit of the questionnaires were already defined. In addition, 50 questionnaires were separated for Greek students who are studying in UK and rest 50 were separated for Greek students who are studying in Greece which were translated in Greek. The respondents did self-completion and 45 from 50 and 40 from 50 questionnaires were collected back from the respondents.

Data Analysis

In order to obtain the result of the data collected from the survey, the data analysis process has been carried out. According to Minichiello, Simai-Aroni, and Hays (2008), the process of arranging the result in a systematic pattern and presenting information in order to identify the result is known as data analysis (Minichiello, Simai-Aroni and Hays, 2008). A quantitative approach has been used to analyze data for this study. Excel has been used to analyze the data. Questionnaires were randomly checked in order to ensure accuracy. Along with this, the absence of typing or data entry errors was also made ensured.

Appropriate statistical tools such as descriptive statistics, standard deviation, and mean were used in this study. Data analysis includes pattern identification of the information gathered in different ways (Creswel and Plano Clark, 2007). In addition, Useful and accurate results can be produced by quantitative data if the researcher has been aimed at demonstrating the behavior of a large population size (Creswell, 2009).

Quantitative data analysis

Prior to conducting the data analysis of the quantitative research, verification of the questionnaires was done. Completeness of the questionnaires was checked in order to ensure reliability and accuracy. Afterward, the data analysis process includes the first step of coding answers of questionnaires that were coded differently and missing values were coded separately. In addition, data from all complete questionnaires were entered in Excel software. Testing was not used rather data analysis was conducted using the mean responses on the question.


  • Bernard, H.R. (2011) Research methods in anthropology: Qualitative and quantitative approaches, Rowman Altamira.
  • Clark, G. (2013) 55 Secondary data. Methods in human geography: A guide for students doing a research project.
  • Creswell, J.W. (2009) Educational Research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative, London, UK: Sage Publications.
  • Creswel, J.W. and Plano Clark, V.L. (2007) Designing and conducting mixed methods research, Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.
  • Driscoll, D.L. (2011) ‘ Introduction to primary research: Observations, surveys, and interviews.’, Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, pp. 153-174.
  • Minichiello, Simai-Aroni, R.A. and Hays, T.N. (2008) In-depth interviewing: Principles, techniques, analysis, Sydney: Pearson Education Australia.
  • Nahum-Shani, I., Qian, M., Almirall, D., Pelham, W.E., Gnagy, B., Fabiano, G.A.A. and Murphy, S.A. (2012) ‘Experimental design and primary data analysis methods for comparing adaptive interventions.’, Psychological Methods, vol. 17, no. 4, p. 457.
  • O’Leary, Z. (2013) The essential guide to doing your research project. , Sage.
  • Zikmund, W., Babin, B., Carr, J. and Griffin, M. (2012) Business research methods., Cengage Learning.


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