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Explication and interpretation The essence of empiricism.

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Presentation on theme: "Explication and interpretation The essence of empiricism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Explication and interpretation The essence of empiricism

2 Explication Explication is a deductive process where you take a general concept, refine it, determine how to test for it and then carry out the test Interpretation reverses the process Your handout is an idealized model of explication and interpretation ConstructMeasureData Concept

3 Your literature review guides your explication It helps assure that you include all of the major relevant theories and constructs in your study. It provides examples of methods, measurement instruments and their use. –Prior studies should include their own explication of important concepts. –Were they successfully applied in earlier studies? It helps you to anticipate common problems researchers studying your topic have faced –What traps did researchers fall into in the past?

4 Conceptualization The process of defining concepts concretely and narrowly enough to develop valid measures –Developing constructs to use in research ConceptConstruct

5 Operationalization You must come up with ways to measure your concepts and/or test your theories in the physical world –Choose a research method –Develop measures of your concepts Includes defining the theoretical relationship in measurement terms ConstructMeasure

6 Data collection Once you have designed your study you must carry out the research in the physical world –Things never go exactly as planned, so you have to make choices –You must try to limit/eliminate real-world ‘noise’ Chosen research methods, including measures Real-world data collection

7 Concept Construct (Variable) Measure/ manipulation Data/actual presentation of materials to groups Conceptualization Operationalization Data collection ExplicationExplication

8 A medieval example of explication

9 Concept Construct (Variable) Results Raw data Reconceptualization Evaluation Analysis InterpretationInterpretation

10 Multiple concepts in a given study Up to now, we have only looked at a single concept, construct, method, data relationship To test a theory, you have to explicate at least two concepts and the relationship between them –As you saw with regard to the models shown in class, there are often quite a large number of concepts explicated in a given study To be practical, they all will most likely need to be measured in similar ways –Using different methods for different concepts leads to great difficulties and expanded costs, etc.

11 Concept 1 (cause) Concept 2 (effect) Construct 1 (independent variable) Construct 2 (dependent variable) Measure 1 (manipulation) Measure 2 Data 1 (Actual presentation of materials to groups) Data 2 Theoretical relationship Theoretical hypothesis Empirical hypothesis Obtained data relationship Theory Proposition Research Hypothesis Data collection and analysis

12 Exposure to chick flicks Empathy Attending movies targeted to adolescent females Ability to understand your partner’s feelings Laboratory exposure to A Walk to Remember Empathy scale Group 1 exposed Group 2 not exposed Obtained scores on Empathy scale Leads to Increases Higher mean score Obtained G1 mean v. Obtained G2 mean

13 Interpretation Interpretation reverses the process –Evaluate the findings –Revisit decisions made in explication with the benefit of hindsight


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