In the chapter one the research questions, objective and problem statement explained and in following chapter the main literature related to the research questions discussed. The best research methodology connected to this survey and its validity is argued in this chapter. The research methodology which describe in this chapter could help to gather the requirement information and find out the reliable answers to the research questions and as a result cause the appreciate conclusions. The purpose of this study will describe at the first step and then the research approach and research strategy are explained. More details about data collection methods, population and sampling methods, the instrument which used for data collection are introduced in the following and finally validity of study and ethical aspects are discussed.
3.2 Research Purpose
There are some ways to classify researches. Wiedersheim-Paul and Eriksson state there are three groups of research base on the objective of each research; exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory.
3.2.1 Exploratory Research
Reynolds (1971) declared the exploratory research permits the researchers to develop some ideas about a problem while they look around. The exploratory research undertakes to discover what insight of a phenomenon is and to inquire some questions to evaluate the problem in order to find out the best answer. This kind of research is very useful to good understanding about a vague incidence with less knowledge about it.
3.2.2 Descriptive Research
The main aim of descriptive research is to make a description about a problem which related to persons or incidents (Patel and Tabelius, 1987) in order to provide to empirical generalizations. Moreover when finding a cause and effect relationship is not the consideration of the study using this kind of research is recommended (Wiedersheim-Paul & Eriksson, 1999). Descriptive research is suitable investigation about a clear structured phenomenon especially while the researcher intends to collect secondary data (Aaker & Day, 1990).
3.2.3 Explanatory Research
According to Reynolds (1971), the explanatory research is good for creating theories which are used to explain the practical generalization. The hypothesis which is developed by researcher is tested practically (Patel and Tabelius, 1987).Yen (2003) recommended this kind of research for any cause and effect relationship investigation. When a variable in the study cause another one or the value of one variable shape the value of another this research approach is suggested(Aaker & Day, 1990).Base on the Wiedersheim-Paul & Eriksson (1999) the explanatory is appreciated when researchers are in doubt to which kind of model they should use or the quality or relation is not clearly defined.
3.2.4 Research Purpose of the Current Study
Regarding to the research questions and objective of this thesis, the exploratory research is more appreciate for this survey as not too much works has been done in the area of the current survey. Using games for advertising is a new subject for marketers who get in trouble to present products or brands in traditional media such as TV and movies. As it was explained in the first chapter, the main aim of this study is focus on advergames in order to indentify the most effective product integration strategy for the preference product group. Two important research questions are: Are advergame effective in making them aware of products or brands? By leveraging on advergame, which strategies are considered to be the most effective by organizations? Therefore, generating a new theory about this new area is the main consideration of this study which is the important characteristic of exploratory researches.
3.3 Research Approach
Research is classified into two main types including qualitative and quantitative research (Wiedersheim-Paul & Eriksson 1999). Furthermore in the field of social science the terms qualitative and quantitative are broadly used (Denscombe, 1998).According to Denscombe (1998) qualitative and quantitative research can be separated by the characteristics of data and the difference between them do not relate to the model which are used in the study. Denscombe (1998) argues that using numbers for units analyzing make the main difference between these two approaches.
3.3.1 Quantitative Research
Numerical and empirical data is the most important characteristic of quantitative research (Denscombe, 1998). The result of the survey in this kind of research is conducted by systematic observations and experimentations. The quantitative research cab be categorized into two distinct groups; experimental and non experimental. The main difference between two kinds of quantitative research backs to the goal of the research. For experimental research the first aim is collecting efficient evidence for the phenomenon which seeks cause and effect relationship. There is at least one variable that named independent variable (IV) or treatment. Another variable called dependent variable is affected by independent variable. In an experimental research the independent variable is controlled by researcher. Changing the treatment condition randomly causes some changes in DV which researcher has to measure and record them. By contrast, in an non experimental research, the independent variable are not manipulated by researchers and are studied as they exist.
One reason to use non experimental research is some attribute variables in social science can not be changed such as gender or family statues. In addition, in some cases it is unethical to randomly group people and assign them into different treatment condition. The most common example is a researcher who aims to study the impact of the smoking on the health of the body need to classify individuals into two groups of smokers and nonsmokers but could not randomly do it. The only way to investigate and compare the health statues of smokers and nonsmokers is grouping individuals after identifying who is smoker and who is not. However, other variables such as age, gender and general health situation should be considered.
3.3.2 Qualitative Research
Both qualitative and quantitative researches are empirical but unlike quantitative research the form of data in qualitative are not numbers. Researchers by using this kind of research tend to collect and then analysis data in many forms, mainly non numeric. Exploring the depth instead of breadth is considered and the chief aim is to investigate more details. There is extensive debate these years about the value of the quantitative and qualitative research especially in the field of social science. Individual researches take different positions from those who prefer to use and mix both two strategies to those who believe they are completely different. Scientific and objective forms of quantitative research are the base of many arguments among researchers. Therefore, using quantitative study becomes more and more popular. At the first glance, using questionnaires seems to belong to quantitative techniques while interview and observations might be considered as a qualitative research strategy. However, practically the situation is more complex. In consequence, researches may form and analysis interviews in a quantitative form, as collected non numeric data are classified and coded in numbers.
aˆ? Concerned with understanding behavior from actors’ own frames of reference
aˆ? Naturalistic and uncontrolled observation
aˆ? Close to the data: the ‘insider’
aˆ? Grounded, discovery oriented, exploratory,
expansionist, descriptive, inductive
aˆ? Valid: real, rich, deep data
aˆ? Ungeneralizable: single case studies
aˆ? Assumes a dynamic reality
aˆ? Seeks the facts/causes of social Phenomena
aˆ? Obtrusive and controlled measurement
aˆ? Removed from the data: the ‘outsider’
aˆ? Ungrounded, verification oriented,
aˆ? Reliable: hard and replicable data
aˆ? Generalizable : multiple case studies
aˆ? Assumes a stable reality
The main differences between qualitative and quantitative research, (Adapted from Oakley 1999: 156)
3.3.3 Research Approach of the Current Survey
Punch (2005) notes “the question, quantitative or qualitative? is commonly asked, especially by beginning researchers. Often, they are putting the ‘methods cart’ before the ‘content horse’. The best advice in those cases is to step back from questions of method [and tools], and give further consideration to the purposes and research questions, bearing in mind that the way questions are asked influences what needs to be done to answer them.”
Regarding to research questions and objective of this study, which aims to collect information about human behavior, the qualitative approach is more suitable for this survey. The use of qualitative research seems to be able to answers related questions and also deal with problem statement that stated in this thesis. Furthermore, deep data is needed to lead the best conclusion for the study. Quantitative approach can not be applied as studying and measuring the individual’s behavior is subjective and non numeric.
3.4 Sampling Procedure
One important part of the study for researchers is to make a decision whether they should test all the units or just sample units are enough to gathering data. If all units are covered in a study, it is called a census survey. By contrast, if a sample of units is chosen to focus, such a study is named sample survey.
3.4.1 Test Units of the Current Study
Participants who play video games, in which advergames embed, are the test units of this study. The study’s aim is not clearly for participants however they are told that the survey relates to the computer games. The reason of telling this covering story is to increase the external validity of research because if players know about the object of the study it is more likely to pay specific attention to the advertisement message which inserted within the games. All participants are Malays from both genders and are students in the range of 18- 25 years old which are more attracted to playing games.
3.5 Sampling Methods
There are wide range of sampling methods which researchers can choose between regarding to research approach and strategy. Two main groups of sampling methods are probability and non probability sampling.
3.5.1 Non- Probability Sampling
Non- probability sampling also known as non- random sampling appreciates for any research which faces lack of sampling frame among the population. For instance, if a research aims to investigate about a sensitive issue such as sexual orientation in the secondary students, building up reliable samples is needed to draw trusted data. Therefore, mostly the researcher relies on non-probability sampling. Low cost and convenience are main characteristics of this approach. Non probability sampling is divided into six different subgroups; convenience, voluntary, quota, purposive, dimensional and snowball sampling.
3.5.2 Probability Sampling
Base of the probability sampling or random sampling approach is in probability theory. Two laws, including Law of Statistical Regularity and Law of Inertia of Large Numbers, form this sampling approach. This approach provides equal chance of selection for all elements of population, so it is known as non-zero random sampling. For instance, if the sample’s frame is 200 students, each student has one chance to select (1/200). Probability sampling is divided into these subgroups; simple random sampling, systematic, stratified, cluster and stage sampling.
3.5.3 Sampling Method of the Current Study
Using a convenience sampling technique subjects recruit through classroom announcements that ask for study volunteers. 90 undergraduate students aged 18-25 years need to participate in the study. This sample provides a wide scope of responses from people with little or no gaming experience to those who play games daily. Convenience sampling technique is the best way for this survey to gathering information efficiently and quickly from members of population who are conveniently available and accessible.
3.6 Data Collection Methods
Two types of data collection sources are primary and secondary (Wiedersheim-Paul & Eriksson 1999). Secondary data have been collected by past researchers for the particular purpose which they had while primary data is gathered directly by own researcher for the first time for that special purpose which is the mind of her/him. Secondary data can be gathered from both published and unpublished records and from sources such annul report of the government organization, financial statement of the corporations and census reports. Primary data collection methods are interview and observation. One common instrument for gathering information is questionnaire. Each questionnaire contains a series of queries that correlated to the problem of survey and intends to draw out answers from respondents.
3.6.1 Data Collection of the Current Study
The primary data collection instrument which used for the current exploratory research is questionnaire. Before playing the game, participants are asked to read a page of instructions on how to play the games. And right after 15 minutes playing the games they fill up the questionnaire. 19 questions are asked during four different stages. The first step which is about personal information consists of 6 questions. Term used in advertising is the title of the second part containing 3 questions. This part aims to identify how much participants are familiar with advertising in games. Personal opinions of participants on advertising and their attitudes are assessed during third parts by asking five questions. In the last part the ability to recall advertisements which embedded within the game are evaluated. Recall query would be: which brand or product do you remember seeing in the game? Finally participants are asked whether they had played the game before participating in the study. They also query for their hypotheses concerning the goal of the study. Of course none of participants are informed about the aim of the study before asking the recall task. The recall level are evaluated and depending on gathered information the best effective product integration strategy for preference product category will be defined.
3.7 Validity of Study
One of the first decisions which must be taken by researchers is where the experiment should be conducted, laboratory or field. Usually, laboratory experiment has better internal validity in compare to field study. Even though the extraneous variables are manipulated by researchers in lab environment, researchers do not tend to use lab experiment due to lake of external validity of study which is setting in unrealistic area (Malhotra and Birks, 2003). On the other hand, low internal validity and high external validity are the opposite characteristics of field study (Malhotra and Birks, 2003).
3.7.1 Validity of the Current Study
The current study is conducted in an artificial area which potentially can easily manipulate extraneous variable and also the level of exposing to the stimulus is under control. In addition, in order to expand the external validity of study, three real world games with real product placements are decided to apply. A comfortable room is selected to make the study area closer to the real environment. Using these setting help the researcher to make sure the experiment has been conducted in a realistic environment as much as possible while controlling the extraneous variable promise a reliable result have been drown.
3.8 Ethical Aspects
The main ethical issue of this study which must be considered is explaining the aim of study. They have been told the object of the survey is the quality of video games instead of expressing them that the survey aims to study the effectiveness of advergames. If the truth has been told to participants it would have the main affect in validity of the survey. This problem resolves by explaining the participants right after finishing information collection.