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Research Design Edouard Manet: The Bar at the Folies Bergere, 1882.

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Presentation on theme: "Research Design Edouard Manet: The Bar at the Folies Bergere, 1882."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Design Edouard Manet: The Bar at the Folies Bergere, 1882

2 Three Purposes of Research 1.Description Basic facts about an area of interest. Learn the range of behavior. Learn need for possible applied programs. 2.Exploration Examination of a new interest area. Need for a better understanding of an area. Test the feasibility for further research. Develop measures and methods. NOT an excuse for sloppy research.

3 Three Purposes of Research 3.Explanation Explain why events occur. Predict future events. The ability to explain and predict lends credibility to the development of programs designed for social change. Given that science is distinctive from other ways of knowing because of its reliance upon theory, explanation can be considered the goal of science.

4 The Logic of Nomothetic Explanation 1.Nomothetic Explanation Explanation of cause and effect. Focus on key determinants of an event. 2.Criteria for Nomothetic Causality Correlation: Empirical correspondence between two variables (e.g., as one variable increases, another variable increases). Time Order: The independent variable precedes the dependent variable in time. Nonspurious: The relationship between two variables is not caused by a third variable.

5 The Logic of Nomothetic Explanation 3.False Criteria for Nomothetic Explanation Nomothetic explanation is probabilistic, not complete (without exceptions). Exceptional cases do not refute nomothetic explanation. 4.Necessary and Sufficient Causes Necessary: Condition that must be present for the event to occur. Sufficient: Condition that guarantees an event will occur.

6 The Logic of Nomothetic Explanation 5.Unit of Analysis Whom or what is being studied. Not necessarily the unit from which data is collected because one might want to aggregate individual data. Example: One might examine community social cohesion across 100 communities by asking 150 persons in each community about their sense of belonging to their neighbors and the community. In this case, the unit of analysis is the community (n = 100).

7 Research Design 1.Cross-Sectional Studies Observations taken at one point in time. Explanation occurs by examining differences across the units of analysis. Example: Self-esteem and marital satisfaction are measured for 100 individuals at one point in time. The hypothesis: The greater the self- esteem, the greater the marital satisfaction is tested by the correlation between self-esteem and marital satisfaction for the 100 individuals.

8 Research Design 2.Longitudinal Studies Observations are taken more than once. Explanation occurs by examining differences across time. Example: Self-esteem and marital satisfaction are measured for 100 individuals at two points in time. The hypothesis: The greater the self- esteem, the greater the marital satisfaction is tested by examining changes in self-esteem and changes in marital satisfaction across time for the 100 individuals.

9 Research Design 3.Trend Studies A longitudinal study that examines changes in a population across time. Each study collects data from different individuals. Example: In 2003, 1,000 people are asked for their support of same-sex marriage. In 2013, a different set of 1,000 people are asked for their support of same-sex marriage. The difference in opinions is the trend in support for same-sex marriage.

10 Research Design 4.Cohort Studies A longitudinal study that examines changes in a cohort across time. Each study collects data from different individuals within the same cohort. Example: In 2003, 1,000 people, ages 18-37, are asked for their support of same-sex marriage. In 2013, a different set of 1,000 people, ages 28-47, are asked for their support of same-sex marriage. The difference in opinions is the cohort support for same-sex marriage within this cohort of individuals.

11 Research Design 5.Panel Studies A longitudinal study that examines changes in individuals across time. Each study collects data from the same individuals. Example: In 2003, 1,000 people are asked for their support of same-sex marriage. In 2013, the same 1,000 people are asked for their support of same-sex marriage. The difference in opinions is the change in support for same- sex marriage.

12 Research Design 5.Panel Studies (Continued) Panel studies provide the opportunity for more in-depth analysis. For example, one can examine the key determinants of changes in opinions because one is collecting data from the same individuals. Longitudinal panel studies are very expensive, but very informative forms of research. One must account for attrition as each wave of data is collected from the panel of subjects.

13 Research Design 6.Approximating Longitudinal Studies Sometimes, longitudinal explanation can be inferred from a cross-sectional study. For example, questions might be asked regarding history of alcohol and drug use. One might find, for example, that all persons who use cocaine also smoke marijuana and drink alcohol. And, some persons might smoke marijuana and not use cocaine, but all of these persons drink alcohol. One might infer a progression in behavior from drinking alcohol to smoking marijuana to using cocaine.

14 Research Design Summary Each research design has its advantages and disadvantages. A cross-sectional study is the least expensive to implement, but presents the most difficulty in determining cause and effect. Longitudinal studies are more expensive to implement, but provide a better sense of cause and effect.

15 Research Design Summary A trend study, such as analysis of decennial census data, provides information on changes in a population over time. It can be difficult to understand why change occurred, however, because one is not collecting information from the same individuals over time. A cohort study provides more detail than does a trend study, but still presents problems for determining cause and effect because the same persons are not studied over time.

16 Research Design Summary A panel study collects information from the same persons over time, thereby providing the best form of research design for determining cause and effect. A panel study, however, is difficult and expensive to implement.

17 How To Design a Research Project 1.Getting Started Literature review Learn the key issues and main theoretical perspectives used to examine these issues. Learn which types of research have been the most productive. Learn what kinds of research are needed. Learn the key methods used in this area. Data availability Learn what data are available for analysis. Learn the limitations of collecting data.

18 How To Design a Research Project 2.Conceptualization Decide which key concepts need to be measured. This decision rests mainly with deciding which extant theories to use or how one wishes to develop new theories. Evaluate the levels of validity and reliability found in previous studies for your concepts of interest.

19 How To Design a Research Project 3.Choice of Research Method Decide whether the study will be quantitative, qualitative, or some combination of these. This decision rests with what you want to learn from the research, not upon your opinion of what type of research is better overall. What is better overall is to select the appropriate method for the task at hand. It can be very difficult to conduct survey research if one does not have a good sense of the content validity of ones concepts.

20 How To Design a Research Project 4.Operationalization Decide how to measure your concepts. This task is not always so straightforward as it might seem. It can be very difficult to design a valid and reliable measure of even simple concepts. Sometimes, it is necessary to ask indirect questions to avoid a normative response. When do you give coca to animals? Do you want your children to have the same job that you have? same job as you?

21 How To Design a Research Project 5.Population and Sampling The population is the group about whom we want to draw conclusions. Sampling of this population can involve several steps, with decisions to be made for each step. 6.Observations Collecting data involves many steps and many decisions. Data collection might be done overnight, or might take years to accomplish.

22 How To Design a Research Project 7.Data Processing Quantitative data analysis might entail just the calculation of descriptive statistics or it might entail using highly sophisticated procedures. Qualitative data analysis might rely simply upon field notes, or it might use sophisticated software designed for such analysis. 8.Application Reporting results to the community of scholars. Designing programs for social change.

23 The Research Proposal 1.Problem or Objective What is to be accomplished? 2.Literature Review What has been done so far? Work on the missing brick. 3.Subjects for Study Who will be studied? 4.Measurement What are the key variables? How will they be measured? How do your measurements compare with ones in previous literature?

24 The Research Proposal 5.Data Collection Methods How will the data be collected? Why was this method chosen? 6.Analysis How will the data be analyzed? Will you focus on description or explanation? 7.Schedule When will the data be collected? What is the timeline for the study? 8.Budget How much money is needed? How will it be spent?


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