2 Steps in The Research Process Review Research EthicsTheory FormulationConcepts, Constructs, Variables, and Relationships
3 The Building Blocks of Theory ConceptsConstructsDefinitionsVariablesPropositions and HypothesesTheoriesModels
4 Understanding Concepts A concept is a bundle of meanings or characteristics associated with certain events, objects, conditions, situations, and behaviorsConcepts have been developed over time through shared usage
5 Understanding Concepts The success of research hinges on:how clearly we conceptualizehow well others understand the concepts we use
6 What is a Construct?An image or idea specifically invented for a given research and/or theory-building purpose
7 What is a Variable?A factor, phenomenon or characteristic that has more than one value or category, either quantitative or qualitative.If a characteristic has only one value, it is a constant, not a variable.Identifying VariablesUser Information Satisfaction, Color of Monitor, Number of Units Sold, Decision Quality, Computer Abuse, Ease of Use, Attitude towards Usage, Decision Making Satisfaction, End User Computing Satisfaction, Task-Technology Fit
8 Types of Variables Dependent The outcome, effect, consequence or output of some input variable.The research problem often comes about by considering the dependent variable.
9 Types of Variables (cont’d) IndependentThe input or antecedent variablePresumed cause of the dependent variableManipulated, measured or selected prior to measuring the outcome or dependent variableIndependent/Dependent categorization is most useful in experimental research; however, even if one is looking for correlations, it is always useful to think in terms of independent and dependent variables
10 Types of Variables (cont’d) ModeratingAnother independent variable which is hypothesized to modify the relationship between the dependent and independent variableE.g., Demographic variables such as age, experienceExtraneous/ControlInfinite number of such variables that might conceivably affect a given relationshipThese variables are generally Controlled (“effects cancelled out”) by eliminating the variable, holding the variable constant or using statistical methods.
11 Types of Variables (cont’d InterveningA variable which is hypothesized to exist but cannot be observed, measured or manipulated;It is presumed to occur to explain the relationship between the independent and dependent variable
12 Variables: Operational Definitions A statement which defines a variable by specifying the operations used to measure and manipulate it.Vs. Conceptual definitions (more dictionary like)Variable in research Problem: Computer usageLabeling the variable: Attitudes towards computer usageOperational Definition: An individual’s score on the attitudes towards computer usage instrument
13 Describing the Theoretical Framework for your Research Important foundation for a research project and requires:identifying and operationally defining all variablesEstablishing logical relationships among variablesExplaining the basis and potential direction of the relationshipsMust be solidly grounded in literature survey (a priori research)A diagrammatic model of the variables of interest and their relationship
14 The Value of a Theory Narrows the range of facts we need to study Suggests which research approaches will yield the greatest meaningSummarizes what is known about an object of studyPredicts further facts that should be found