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Quantitative Methods for Researchers Paul Cairns

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Presentation on theme: "Quantitative Methods for Researchers Paul Cairns"— Presentation transcript:

1 Quantitative Methods for Researchers Paul Cairns

2 Objectives  Need for write up  Structure of write-up 2

3 Why write up? 3

4 Formal structure  Title and abstract  Aims = lit review  Method  Results  Discussion 4

5 Literature  Defines the community  Importance/interest  Implicit standard  Implicit style QUAN, Paul Cairns

6 Method section  Aim and hypothesis  Participants  Variables  Design  Materials  Procedure 6

7 Matching Exercise  Aim and hypothesis  Participants  Variables  Design  Materials  Procedure Construct Internal External Ecological 7

8 Results  Report descriptives  Report all tests – not just the “interesting” ones  Don’t do anything else 8

9 Discussion  Interpreting results  Honest criticism  Design => Results – Even if not the result you wanted!  Further work 9

10 Three writing tools  RQ  Fantasy abstract  Method 10

11 Write now!  Known structures  What will sig show?  Is it valid?  Forces a dialogue – With self or supervisor 11

12 Experiments as evidence  If – X has really changed – Y has been properly measured – Nothing else has changed – The result was significant  Then – Evidence that X causes Y 12

13 Value?  Modest but cumulative  One severe test  Isolation of phenomena  Strong pillars 13

14 Not black and white  Experiments are not proof – Validity – Assumptions  Experiments have a frame – Eg speed of gravity 14

15 Health warnings  Craft skill  Simpler is better – Doing it – Interpreting it – Communicating it  Experiments as evidence  Software packages are deceptively easy 15

16 Q & A  Any question about any aspect  Very general or very specific  Any research method! 16

17 Useful Reading  Cairns, Cox, Research Methods for HCI: chaps 6  Rowntree, Statistics Without Tears  Howell, Fundamental Statistics for the Behavioural Sciences, 6 th edn.  Abelson, Statistics as Principled Argument  Silver, The Signal and the Noise 17


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