What is Longitudinal research? research methodology

What is Longitudinal research?

In longitudinal research, researchers examine the features of a unit at more than one time.

longitudinal research
Figure: Longitudinal research

What are examples of Longitudinal research?

Different computer parts are observed at a different time to measure the computer speed(as shown in figure 1).

Longitudinal research is conducted for a long period. It is mostly performed for medical, psychology, or sociology research. It is a long-term research project in which data is collected mainly through surveys that can be either quantitative or qualitative. During the research, the changes in participants’ behaviors and attitudes are observed.

Following are some examples to elaborate longitudinal research:

Example 1: violence and video games

Longitudinal research can be conducted to observe violence in teens. The researcher tries to know the link between video games and violence to know the cause. To take samples, he interacts with a large group of teenage participants (13-20 years old) who constantly play video games. The researcher records how participants become vulnerable to violence at the onset. This sample is a baseline that helps in further research by comparing different samples at different times.

The research will give a log or diary to all the participants to keep a record of how frequently they play games and for how much time they spend on this activity. The research can continue for months. During this period, the researcher will compare the behaviors of participants with violent tendencies. After a long time of observation, he will be able to conclude whether video games cause violence in teenagers.

Example 2: Identical twins

In this research, the researcher conducts a study to know the similarities and differences of identical twins who are brought up separately and those identical twins who are brought up together. In this study, several variables are observed. All the participants of the research will be identical twins. The observation will be made from childhood to adulthood and it will take many years to reach findings. The researcher makes a record of their habits, traits, and overall personality. After this long period, the researcher will conclude what similarities and differences are there in identical twins who would bring up separately and together.  He will come to know that differences between them are because of the different environments in which they would bring up and similarities are due to their upbringing in the same environment.

What are the advantages of Longitudinal research?

More powerful as compared to cross-sectional research.

What are the advantages of Longitudinal research?

  • Much more  time-consuming
  • Much more expensive than cross-sectional

What are the three types of Longitudinal research?

  • Cohort
  • Panel
  • Time Series

What is time series research?

It is longitudinal research. In time-series research the same type of data and information is gathered on a group of units or people across different and multiple time periods.

What is an example of time series research?

  • Teacher and course evaluation in a university. Evaluation is done for each subject and for each teacher at the end of each semester. one course is evaluated multiple times in different years.
  • A university result ration is measured each year

What is the panel study?

It is longitudinal research. In a panel study, researchers observe exactly the same unit, people or group across multiple and different time periods. It is difficult to carry out because some people leave or die. Exact same people are not always available for a researcher.

What is cohort analysis?

It is longitudinal research. Cohort analysis is similar to panel study but there is some difference that the exact same people or units having the same behavior or life experience are observed.

What is an example of cohort analysis?

  • All students got admission in the same year.
  • All employees hired in the same month.

You must also know the following topics

Cross-sectional and longitudinal research pdf | longitudinal study advantages and disadvantages | longitudinal study child development | longitudinal study vs cross-sectional study | longitudinal cohort study | cross-sectional research | famous longitudinal studies | cross-sectional study psychology.

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