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Conducting Research That Makes a Difference William E. Sedlacek University of Maryland

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Presentation on theme: "Conducting Research That Makes a Difference William E. Sedlacek University of Maryland"— Presentation transcript:

1 Conducting Research That Makes a Difference William E. Sedlacek University of Maryland

2 Research Problems The Quest for the Golden Label Noncognitive variables Three Musketeers All for one & one for all Bias is Bias Statistical bias may lead to racial/gender bias Horizontal Research Same studies repeated at same level I’m OK; You’re Not I’m the good guy Multicultural Myth- We are equally sensitive to all types of discrimination-professional human beings 70% of multicultural office staff would admit no biases

3 Audience Define & understand your audience White students Students of color Faculty Administrators State legislators Parents

4 Types of Research Define research broadly Surveys Likert v. Thurstone Interviews Nonreactive measures Qualitative designs Perceptual mapping Observation

5 Focus Your Questions Don’t try to do too much in one study Information How many Muslims are terrorists? What is range of majors for Asian Americans? Attitudes How do men feel about women? Situational Attitude Scale-SAS How do White students feel about diversity? Universal Diverse Orientation- UDO Behavior What interactions work best between able-bodied students & students with disabilities? What predicts student graduation? Noncognitive variables-NCQ

6 Control The Turf Choose your topics well Decide for yourself what to study Research v data v public relations Make others react to your data Multiple methods of communication Data don’t speak for themselves Galileo Articles Books Presentations Multiple groups

7 The Long-Term View Use references Incremental gains Noncognitive variable research Longitudinal studies Maryland Longitudinal Study Long-term cross-sectional studies Racism over 25 years at UMD

8 Become The Source Who do you trust? Politician Partisan think tank researcher Pollster working for a cause Pundit Professor Others

9 Up The Conceptual Ladder Deductive Test models or theories Don’t always measure variables well Too much too soon Inductive Build higher order constructs from bottom up May never work up ladder Don’t use data just because it’s there

10 Stick To Your Principles Do follow Your goals & interests Defining your interests in terms of your audience Don’t follow: The money The latest fad What will get published What others want you to do

11 Patience & Persistence The mosaic model Internal v external motivation Share ideas & interests Satisfied with small gains Learn from nonsignificance Say hmmm at least once a day Have fun

12 References Sedlacek, W. E. (2004). A multicultural research program. In F. W. Hale Jr. (Ed.) What makes racial diversity work in higher education (Pp ). Sterling VA :Stylus Publishing. Sedlacek, W. E. (2004). Beyond the big test: Noncognitive assessment in higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Longerbeam, S. L., Sedlacek, W. E., Balón, D. G., & Alimo, C. (2005). The multicultural myth: A study of multicultural program organizations at three public research universities. Journal of College Student Development. 46 (3), Sedlacek, W. E. Conducting research that makes a difference. (2007). In C.C. Lee, & G.R. Walz (Eds.) Counseling for social justice. (Pp ). Alexandria, VA. American Counseling Association. Sedlacek, W. E. (in press). Measures worth considering in diversity research and programming. Readings on Equal Education.


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