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Introduction to Theory & Research Design

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1 Introduction to Theory & Research Design
Qualitative, Quantitative & Mixed Method

2 Terms to Know Hypothesis: An educated guess about the possible relationship between two or more variables. Variable: A factor or element that can change in observable and measurable ways. Operational Definition: A full description of exactly how variables are defined, how they will be manipulated, and how they will be measured.

3 What’s a Theory? A theory is a based upon a hypothesis and backed by evidence A theory presents a concept or idea that is testable In science, a theory is not merely a guess A theory is a fact-based framework for describing a phenomenon In psychology, theories are used to provide a model for understanding human thoughts, emotions and behaviors

4 What’s a Hypothesis? A hypothesis is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables A hypothesis is a specific, testable prediction about what one expects to happen in a research study

5 In Psychololgy A psychological theory has two key components:
(1) it must describe a behavior and (2) make predictions about future behaviors.

6 Three Approaches to Research
Quantitative Qualitative Mixed Methods

7 Quantitative Postpositive claims: Cause & effect, measurement & observations, tests of theories, etc. Experiments Surveys Predetermined instruments that yield statistical data

8 Quantitative Tests or verifies theories or explanations
Identifies variables to study Observes & measures information numerically Uses unbiased approaches Employs statistical procedures

9 Qualitative Advocacy Phenomenology Grounded Theory Ethnography
Case Study Narrative Advocacy grew out the 1980s and 1990s when some researchers felt that the post positivist assumptions imposed structural laws and theories that did not fit marginalized individuals or grous or did not adequately address issues of social justice. These researchers believe that inquiry needs to be intertwined with politics and a political agenda. Therefore the research should contain an action agenda for reform that may change the lives of the participants, the institutions, and the researchers life In Phenomenology researchers identify the “essence” of human experiences concerning a phenomenon as described by participants in a study Grounded theory – the researcher attempts to derive a general, abstract theory of a process action, or interaction grounded in the views of the participants of the study In an ethnographic study the researchers study an intact cultural group in a natural setting over a prolonged period of time by primarily collecting observational data Case study explores in depth a program an event an activity a process or one or more individuals the cases are bound by time and activities – researchers collect detailed information using a variety of data collection procedures over a sustained period of time

10 Qualitative Open-ended questions Emerging approaches
Text or image data Focuses on a single concept Brings personal values into the study Studies the context or setting Makes interpretations

11 Mixed Methods Pragmatic knowledge claims
Sequential, concurrent and transformative

12 Mixed Methods Both open-ended and closed-ended questions
Both emerging and predetermined approaches Both qualitative & quantitative data and analysis Develops a rationale for mixing Integrates the data at different stages of inquiry Presents visual pictures Employs the practices of both

13 The Abstract The abstract is a brief summary of the research article

14 The Introduction An introduction is the first passage in a scholarly research study The authors announce a problem They justify why it needs to be studied The type of problem or question will vary depending on the approach: qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods

15 Purpose Statement The purpose statement indicates why you want to do the study & what you intend to accomplish Qualitative statements contain the important elements of the research Quantitative statements focus on relating & comparing variables or constructs Mixed Methods will convey both qualitative & quantative statements

16 Research Questions & Hypotheses
Qualitative research state questions not objectives or hypotheses Quantitative research questions are interrogative statements or questions that the researcher intends to answer Mixed Methods need to have both qualitative & quantitative hypotheses or questions

17 Review of the Literature
Usually presented in a separate section of the research article It uses previous studies to support, justify, and demonstrate the need for the current study

18 Use of Theory Quantitative researchers use theory to provide an explanation or prediction about the relationship of the variables Qualitative researchers use theory as a broad explanation Mixed Method researchers use theory either inductively or deductively

19 Definitions Researchers define terms so that readers are able to understand their precise meaning Researchers might define terms with different intent No one format exists for defining terms

20 Limitations Researchers will note the limitations of their studies
Small population sample Temporal limitations Cultural variables Etc.

21 Significance Ways in which the research study adds to the scholarly research and literature in the field Ways in which the research study helps to improve practice Ways in which the research study will improve policy

22 Methods Surveys Experiments Population & sample Instrumentation
Variables Data Analysis Participants Threats to validity

23 Results & Discussions Researchers will explain the results of their study Then will discuss the implications, limitations, suggest, future research

24 Three Research Articles
Find the following in each article: Abstract Approach Introduction Theory Purpose Statement Methods Significance Results Discussion

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