There is no use denying the fact that the current stage of the development of science could be described as unique. The fact is that nowadays there are many various spheres studied by a great number of scientists to understand some regularities of their functioning and obtain knowledge that might be helpful and used by humanity to improve the quality of life. Additionally, the blistering development of various digital technologies leads to the appearance of new perspectives for researchers who obtained new remedies which could help them to understand some regularities better. One also knows about the great number of discoveries made almost every day in various spheres of knowledge. All these facts could be taken as the obvious evidence of the great level of the development of scientific thought nowadays. No one could imagine the modern world without various achievements of science which are implemented in almost all spheres of human activity and make the life and functioning of people easier.
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However, by using various devices or enjoying the fruits of technological development, people might forget about the main contributors to the evolution of science. It is referred to as scientific researches and various remedies used for it. Being the main instrument of any researcher, investigations take much time a provide the information needed for some discovery or confirmation of a certain hypothesis. Nevertheless, one should also assume that being an integral part of the scientific process, investigations have certain methods used for scientific researches. With this in mind, resting on the above-mentioned facts and taking into account the great importance of the issue of investigations, it possible to say that the main aim of the given paper is to analyze the methodology which is nowadays used by scientists to prove or refute their hypotheses. The report revolves around six articles connected with the issue of the built environment and analyzes various methodologies used in them.
Besides, speaking about various approaches and methods used by scientists to supply their works with clear evidence or credible information, it is possible to say that all researches could be subdivided into three large groups following the method used in them. The first one is based on the qualitative method. The main peculiarity of the papers belonging to this very group is their focus on the attempt to determine the intensity of some trait or aspect. Scientists, who use the qualitative method in their investigations, are more interested in the way how a certain quality is manifested and why it appears under certain circumstances. That is why they create tools and remedies that could help them to answer this very question.
Nevertheless, the quantitative approach is different. Dealing with numbers, this method is used by a scientist in the case when the quality of a certain trait or aspect is not so important as the number of its manifestations or some other numbers connected with a certain mechanism. Finally, some mixed approaches could also be used to obtain the needed information. Its main sense is the combination of the main aspects of qualitative and quantitative approaches which can be chosen to obtain some extra information, which is impossible to acquire using only one method. Besides, it is impossible to choose the most efficient or universal cross-functional method that will be able to satisfy all demands. However, the choice of the methodology is very important for a researcher and his/her investigation as the incorrectly chosen method could lead to the distortion of the results of the investigation and the inability of a scientist to prove or refute the hypothesis. With this in mind, various approaches will be analyzed in terms of several research articles to determine the aptitude and applicability of the chosen method and the credibility of the obtained results.
The first article, which is going to be analyzed, revolves around the issue of pedestrian safety in the built environment. It is entitled Pedestrian Safety and the Built Environment A Review of the Risk Factors and is written by Stoker et al. The authors of the article cogitate about the influence of the above-mentioned society on people who live in it and analyze various statistical data connected with the given question. Dealing with a great number of various cases connected with the behavior of pedestrians and accidents which happened in the last several years, scientists use the quantitative approach in their research paper. They investigate the number of risks that a common pedestrian might face in the built environment and support their analysis with all factors which have an impact on this sphere. It is possible to say that the methodology chosen by the authors could be taken as quite appropriate and efficient under given conditions as it helps to understand the main tendencies better and leads to the creation of the full image.
Additionally, trying to support their work with credible data, authors use various reports to collect the needed information and apply the quantitative methodology. Having analyzed statistical data connected with various designs of broadways, researchers conclude that these designs could “either increase or reduce pedestrian road traffic injury” (Stoker et al. 2015, p. 377) and state the necessity of the responsible planning of all highways to minimize the existing risks. Critically evaluating the authors work and ideas presented by them, it is possible to say that the article could be taken as rather credible and well-organized. The methodology fits the goals of the paper and helps to analyze the given information. Finally, conclusions provided by the authors come from the deep and precise investigation of the given question and are supported by clear evidence. With this in mind, the given paper could be taken as a good example of the well-chosen methodology that helped to make the whole investigation credible.
The next research paper, which could be taken for consideration while speaking about various methodologies used by investigators in their works, is called the Influence of the Built Environment on Pedestrian Route Choices of Adolescent Girls. In the given paper, Rodriguez et al. 2014 continue cogitations about the issue of pedestrian safety and their behavior in the built environment. However, the authors narrow their research, trying to investigate “the influence of the built environment on pedestrian route selection among adolescent girls” (Rodriguez et al. 2014, p. 359). That is why, to accomplish the outlined task, Rodriguez et al. take into account the preferences of adolescents, various characteristics that might have some impact on their decision making, and peculiarities of some routes. Collecting the information about the above-mentioned aspects, the researchers use “portable global positioning system units, accelerometers, and travel diaries” (Rodriguez et al. 2014, p. 359).
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With this in mind, it is possible to say that the authors try to use various remedies and methods that could help them to collect as much information as it is possible and support their research with credible data. Thus, being able to obtain all information needed for the analysis of the route choices of adolescent girls, researchers also accomplish a certain analysis of this statistical data to outline the most important tendencies or factors that determine this very choice. However, they are also interested in the determination of the influence of the quality of the built environment and the impact various broadways have on girls. That is why, they use the mixed approach, combining qualitative and quantitative methods to understand the main regularities and obtain information about the manifestation of a certain quality. It is possible to say that the given approach seems to be useful and appropriate under the given conditions as it helps authors to prove their hypothesis. Finally, the authors conclude that adolescent pedestrians could be encouraged “to walk farther by providing high-quality and stimulating routes” (Rodriguez et al. 2014, p. 359). Looking at the evidence and discussion provided in the paper, it is possible to agree with this conclusion and recognize it as quite logical.
Analysis of the issue of the built environment and its influence on people, their habits, and behavior is continued in the article The Built Environment and Childhood Obesity in Durham, North Carolina. The authors of the given research revolve around “the relationship between childhood obesity and aspects of the built environment characterizing neighborhood social context” (Miranda et al. 2012, p. 750). Outlining the gap in the knowledge base connected with the given issue, they conduct their study to obtain some new information about the given question. Seven various built environment domains in Durham were chosen as the background for the investigation. The authors of the research are interested in the showings of childhood obesity which varies in different regions. To create the full image of the situation, investigators analyze the environment in which children live, taking into account such factors as “housing damage, property disorder, vacancy, nuisances, and territoriality” (Miranda et al. 2012, p. 750).
In the course of the research, the authors use the statistical data referring to the 2008-2009 years and also consider the age and sex-specific body mass index. They work with numbers, trying to differentiate a certain regularity that reflects the relations between the built environment and childhood obesity. That is why the author uses the quantitative method while working with all data and analyzing it. The given statistical data helps to create the model which describes the relations between the state of the built environment and the showings of child obesity. Taking all these facts into account, it is possible to say that the creation of the efficient model could be taken as the result of the appropriate choice of the quantitative method and makes the paper more convincing. With this in mind, the conclusions made by the authors also seem to be clear and understandable. They state the fact that the built environment characteristics have a great impact on the health of children, their weight, and even on some manifestations of crime. The choice of the method determined the credibility of the final results outlined in the paper.
It is possible to say that the issue of the built environment is very topical nowadays and a great number of investigators try to analyze it to understand the main peculiarities of the influence which it has on people. Under these conditions, it is obvious that scientists should use various approaches and methods to find some new information that was not known before and contribute to the development of the given sphere. Thus, the article Identifying the Relationship between the Objectively Measured Built Environment and Walking Activity in the High-Density and Transit-Oriented City, Seoul, Korea could be taken as one of the papers which try to look at the given question from another perspective. The authors of the given research continue cogitations about the influence of the built environment on the health of people, their habits, and the activity performed by them. The authors state the fact that previous investigations of the interrelation between the built environment and walking activity was not convincing enough and did not give answers to all questions. That is why, in the given paper the authors “aim to enrich the association of the built environment with walking activity by examining its impact in Seoul, a Korean megacity characterized by high-density development and a well-equipped public transportation system” (Sung, Lee, & Jung, 2014, p. 637).
Besides, the authors tend to show that the quality of the environment and the level of the development of the transportation system of the neighborhood have a great impact on the habits of people who live in the given region. Using Seoul as the basis for their study, researchers at the same time compare its statistics with the showings of some other cities to determine whether there is any regularity. Resting on the main goals of the given research, the authors use a mixed approach (Sung, Lee, & Jung 2014). They implement the quantitative method to analyze statistical data and compare the obtained results with some other cities showings. However, the qualitative methodology is also used to determine the degree of impact of the factors which are taken as important for the investigation. Analyzing the paper, it is possible to agree with the choice of the given methodology as it helps to consider all important data and compare various showings, at the same time acquiring the idea about the impact which the built environment has on people. The results of the research could be taken as quite credible as the author’s used official statistics and reliable sources while collecting the needed information.
Nevertheless, it is possible to state the fact that all the above-mentioned articles used various approaches and methodologies to analyze the sphere of the built environment. However, having different goals, they had to determine the way which could be the best for their research as it had a great impact on the final results. One also admits that despite the similarity of the issue under investigation, the authors emphasized various factors and chose appropriate methodologies. The next paper also revolves around the built environment and its influence on the weight of people. The article Food Environment, Built Environment, and Women’s BMI: Evidence from Erie County, New York presents “the association of the food environment and the built environment with women’s body mass index (BMI) in Erie County, New York” (Raja 2010, p. 444). We have already analyzed the paper which is connected with obesity, built environment, and understand the peculiarities of the methods chosen for the analysis.
Thus, it is possible to say that this paper differs from the previous one. The authors take the study connected with the investigation of the given issue as the background for their paper. However, they tend to determine the influence which the built environment has on the BMI of women, suggesting the idea that the availability of supermarkets of other places where food could be obtained lead to the deterioration of food habits and increase of the BMI among women (Raja 2010). Resting on this goal, the authors used the qualitative approach to determine how the built environment influences these habits and how they might alter under various conditions. That is why the chosen method could be taken as an efficient and appropriate one because it helps to outline the fact that the quality of the food habits suffers from the influence of the built environment. Having analyzed all important factors, the authors suggest several important recommendations for the improvement of the built environment to create a beneficial food environment which could help to form useful food habits.
Finally, it is possible to mention another paper which is connected with the issue of the built environment and the way it influences people. The article The place-based impact of built environments: Diabetes, living conditions, homes, and neighborhoods could be taken as rather general as it seizes a great number of various spheres and describes the impact which the built environment has on various aspects of the health of a person. As against previous papers, which describe a certain sphere and try to outline the shifts that appear, this one reconsiders various factors to determine some regularities which exist in the given sphere. Thus, the authors analyze the living conditions of various neighborhoods and showings connected with the health of people living there to obtain a clear vision of the situation. Besides, speaking about the impact of the built environment in terms of diabetes and other chronic diseases, the researchers give attention to the factors that might trigger their appearance and which are peculiar to the built environment. The authors suggest the hypothesis according to which “living conditions found in the homes and surrounding neighbourhoods of those suffering from diabetes do aggravate the symptoms of the disease, which in turn have an adverse impact on the medical condition” (Sidawi, Deakin, & Al-Hariri 2014, p. 126).
Trying to prove or refute their hypothesis, investigators conduct a qualitative study whose main aim is the analysis of the state of health of people who live under different conditions and in various built environments. Using the showings of Saudi Arabia as the background for their study, the authors manage to conclude that there is the “positive correlation between the place-based impact of built environments, diabetes, living conditions, homes and neighbourhoods and these jointly aggravate the symptoms associated with the medical condition” (Sidawi, Deakin, & Al-Hariri 2014, p. 126). Analyzing the given paper, it is possible to conclude that the quantitative method used by the authors could be taken as an efficient one. In terms of the investigation, it helps to obtain a clear idea of the impact of the built environment on the state of health of people and introduces reliable data. With this in mind, the given article could be taken as quite logical and credible, as the authors suggest good evidence for their statements and prove their hypothesis in the course of the investigation.
With this in mind, having analyzed the above-mentioned articles, it is possible to make a certain conclusion. There is hardly a person nowadays who does not realize the great importance of science and investigations of various issues. Being the main contributors to the development of society, scientists conduct a great number of various studies to prove their ideas and obtain some new information. However, they use a certain methodology in their investigations. The method of the research is chosen following the main aim of the study and the results which are expected. The given articles demonstrated that depending on the data used in the study and the hypothesis suggested by the authors, qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methodologies could be used. All these methods have their peculiarities and advantages and disadvantages. That is why, the right choice of the methodology has a great impact on any research paper, determining the credibility of the obtained results and possibilities for the further investigation of the chosen issue. Analyzing these articles, great attention was given to the authors choice of the approach and its usefulness for the research. It is possible to conclude that the importance of the research methods could hardly be overestimated because of its great impact on the result.
Miranda, M, Edwards, S, Anthopoulos, R, Dolinsky, D, Kemper, 2012, ‘The Built Environment and Childhood Obesity in Durham, North Carolina’, Clinical Pediatrics, vol. 51, no. 8, pp. 750-758, Web.
Raja, S, Roemmich, J, Changxing, M, Epstein, L, Yadav, P, & Ticoalu, 2010, ‘Food Environment, Built Environment, and Women’s BMI: Evidence from Erie County, New York’, Journal of Planning Education and Research, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 444-460, Web.
Rodriguez, D, Merlin, L, Prato, C, Conway, T, Cohen, D, Elder, J, Evenson, K, McKenzie, T, Pickrel, J, & Mortenson, S 2014, ‘Influence of the Built Environment on Pedestrian Route Choices of Adolescent Girls’, Environment and Behavior, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 359-394, Web.
Sidawi, B, Deakin, M, & Al-Hariri, M 2014, ‘The place-based impact of built environments: Diabetes, living conditions, homes and neighbourhoods’, Indoor and Built Environment, vol.4, no.4, pp.126-138, Web.
Stoker, P, Castro, A, Odero, W, Mwangi, M, Peden, M, & Ewing, R 2015, ‘Pedestrian Safety and the Built Environment. A Review of the Risk Factors’, Journal of Planning Literature, vol. 30, no. 4, pp.377-392, Web.
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Sung, H, Lee, S, & Jung, S 2014, ‘Identifying the Relationship between the Objectively Measured Built Environment and Walking Activity in the High-Density and Transit-Oriented City, Seoul, Korea’, Environment and Planning, vol. 41,no. 4, pp. 637-660, Web.