The Scientific Method

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Develop the problem Develop a theoretical solution to the problem Formulate the hypothesis or question Formulate the research plan (methods) Collect and analyze the data Interpret the results and form conclusions Refine the theory

Identification of the Research Problem

Steps to be Taken
1. Identify a general problem area 2. Revise & narrow the problem statement

1. Identify a general problem area
Criteria to use:
 


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Interest Theoretical value Practical value Workability Critical mass

Worthwhile?

1. basic research vs. Identify a general problem area  Why do people drop out of recreation programs? How do you make this applied research vs. action research? .

1. Identify a general problem area   Review the literature Get broad overview using secondary sources  Write a general problem statement .

Statement of the Problem: The problem was to determine why participants in recreation programs drop out. Topic: Attrition in Recreation Programs II.Outline of the Problem I. .

Writing Problem Statements   Tells what will be (or was) done Identifies variables & relationships to be studied .

2. Revise & narrow the problem statement  Review primary sources in the literature    Identify primary sources Read & record the literature Focus should be on identifying questions that need to be answered (theoretically & practically) .

Revise & narrow the problem statement      Review primary sources in the literature Make a list of research questions Provide a rationale for the problem Identify variables to be studied Rewrite the problem statement .2.

D. Are there any factors that explain the causes of attrition? .Outline of the Problem III. What is the extent of the attrition? What is the nature of the attrition? What are the causes of the attrition? What is the relationship of the cause of attrition to each type of attrition? E. Questions to be Answered: A. Results of Previous Studies IV. C. B.

the reasons for their dropping out. . and the relationship of various facts to loss of enrollment.Statement of the Problem  The problem was to determine the extent to which participants in recreation programs drop out.

5. 3. 7. 4. 6. Develop the problem Develop a theoretical solution to the problem Formulate the hypothesis or question Formulate the research plan (methods) Collect and analyze the data Interpret the results and form conclusions Refine the theory .The Scientific Method 1. 2.

Development of the Research Question or Hypothesis .

Steps to be Taken 1. Delimit the problem 2. Develop operational definitions . Write the hypotheses/research questions 4. Identify assumptions & limitations 5. Rewrite the problem statement 3.

Delimit the problem 2. Develop operational definitions . Rewrite the problem statement 3. Write the hypotheses/research questions 4.Steps to be Taken 1. Identify assumptions & limitations 5.

what is manipulated) and dependent (effect. Identify independent (cause. what is measured) variables to be measured .

Outline of the Problem  What is the extent of the attrition?   In each season? In different programs? .

Outline of the Problem  What is the nature of the attrition?      Males and females? People of different ages? People of different geographic regions? People with different backgrounds in recreation? Combinations of the above? .

Outline of the Problem  What are the causes of attrition?     Economic reasons? Personality differences? Personal (other than economic) reasons? Other? .

Develop operational definitions . Rewrite the problem statement 3.Steps to be Taken 1. Identify assumptions & limitations 5. Write the hypotheses/research questions 4. Delimit the problem 2.

or environments .Variables  Any characteristic or phenomenon that can vary (or change) across organisms. situations.

Types of Variables Variable Independent (Situational) Dependent (Response) Attribute (Subject) Key Characteristic Example Eating apples (none Presumed cause or one per day) Measured Number of doctor outcome (effect) visits for colds or flu Subject characteristic Male vs. female Extraneous (Mediating) Controlled influence Prior health. other foods .

.Statement of the Problem  The problem was to determine the extent to which participants in outdoor recreation programs in college drop out and the reasons for their dropping out.

Rewrite the problem statement 3.Steps to be Taken 1. Write the hypotheses/research questions 4. Delimit the problem 2. Identify assumptions & limitations 5. Develop operational definitions .

Which should it be? .

Hypotheses    Research hypothesis Alternative hypothesis Null hypothesis .

. then their reading comprehension will be higher. then their social interactions will be more positive. then their behavior on the playground will become more aggressive.Examples of Research Hypotheses    If children are taught to read via whole language. If children watch 3 or more hours of TV per day. If children learn in small cooperative groups.

then they will have higher math aptitude 10 years later. QUESTION: Will young children who take piano lessons have higher math aptitude 10 years later?  . THEN: If young children take piano lessons.Form of Research Hypotheses  IF.  STATEMENT: Young children who take piano lessons will have higher math aptitude 10 years later.

05) There is a 5% (5 in 100) chance that the actual findings in the sample would be obtained if the null hypothesis is true.Null Hypothesis & Statistics  STATISTICAL QUESTION: How likely is it (what is the probability) that the actual findings in the sample would be obtained if the null hypothesis was true? STATISTICAL ANSWER: p value (probability value  p =.   .

NULL: In a population of school-age children there is no relationship between TV violence and aggressive behavior. then they will act more aggressively at recess. .Examples    RESEARCH: If children watch violent TV. ALTERNATIVE: Children prone to aggression simply watch more violent TV.

Steps to be Taken 1. Delimit the problem 2. Identify assumptions & limitations 5. Develop operational definitions . Rewrite the problem statement 3. Write the hypotheses/research questions 4.

.Limitations . Caution should be taken in extrapolating these results to people of other age groups in other geographic locations.Example  This sample represented college students in the Northwest United States.

.Assumptions .Examples   All participants who sign up for recreation programs do so voluntarily. All outdoor recreation programs are taught by qualified personnel.

The subjects were a representative sample of college students in the Northwest. . The subjects understood the directions as they were intended.Examples    All subjects completed the questionnaire honestly and correctly.Assumptions .

Write the hypotheses/research questions 4. Identify assumptions & limitations 5. Develop operational definitions . Delimit the problem 2. Rewrite the problem statement 3.Steps to be Taken 1.

Operational Definition   Presumed indicator of a construct Makes construct observable (empirical) & quantifiable Caution: loss of meaning  .

Creativity: Operational Definition      Teacher’s ratings on a scale of 1-10 Number of recognized science projects Number of unusual uses for a briick named within one minute Ratings of a short story written by students as judged by a creativity “expert” Score on a researcher-developed test of creativity .

Intelligence: Operational Definition     Correctly solving logic problem Answering questions about word meanings Repeating backward strings of 8 numbers Solving a math problem      Using “street smarts” to achieve a goal Starting a new business Paraphrasing the theme of a written paragraph Solving an equation Executing a triple lutz .

self-report rating Intelligence Anxiety Motivation GPA Hyperactivity Number of fidgets in 15 minutes Self-esteem Creativity Score on Coopersmith test Number of novel uses for paper clips described in 3 minutes . BP.Construct Operational definition Score on GRE. score on StanfordBinet scale HR.

The Scientific Method 1. 5. 7. Develop the problem Develop a theoretical solution to the problem Formulate the hypothesis or question Formulate the research plan (methods) Collect and analyze the data Interpret the results and form conclusions Refine the theory . 4. 3. 2. 6.

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