For example, you won’t be able to infer causality from a correlational study or generalize to an entire population from a case study.
Likewise, while an experimental study allows you to draw causal conclusions, it may require a level of experimental control that looks very different from the real world (thus lowering external validity).
These other questions may be interesting and important, but, again, they are .
Common Examples of Limitations While each study will have its own unique set of limitations, some limitations are more common in quantitative research, and others are more common in qualitative research.
occur in all types of research and are, for the most part, outside the researcher’s control (given practical constraints, such as time, funding, and access to populations of interest).
They are threats to the study’s internal or external validity.If you are working on a thesis, dissertation, or other formal research project, chances are your advisor or committee will ask you to address the delimitations of your study.When faced with this request, many students respond with a puzzled look and then go on to address what are actually the study’s limitations.Limitations may include things such as participant drop-out, a sample that isn’t entirely representative of the desired population, violations to the assumptions of parametric analysis (e.g., normality, homogeneity of variance), the limits of self-report, or the absence of reliability and validity data for some of your survey measures.Some limitations are inherent to your research design itself.Continuing with the previous example, for instance, let’s suppose that the problem you are most interested in addressing is the fact that we know relatively little about elementary school teachers’ experiences of implementing a new curriculum.Perhaps you believe that knowing more about teachers’ experiences could inform their training or help administrators know more about how to support their teachers.Furthermore, you probably won’t be talking to elementary school teachers who have not yet had the experience of implementing the curriculum in question.You would probably only choose to gather data from elementary school teachers who have had this experience because that is who you’re interested in for the purposes of your study.You don’t have to (and can’t) do it all in one project.Similarly, the focus of the research problem itself (and the associated research questions) is another common source of delimitations.