The Research Process (Step 4 & 5







The Research Process (Step 4 & 5)


Table of Contents TOPICS
What is Research? Business Research Defined Why do Research? The Request for Proposal (RFP) Business Methods versus Research Methodology Observation The Scientific Method: An Overview Steps of the Scientific Process What is a Literature Search Purpose of a Literature Search The Literature Review: Finding Sources Kinds of Sources Converting an Idea into a Research Hypothesis A Strategic Approach A Search Plan Synthesizing Information What to look for in relation to the Literature Review Where to look for reference material Types of Questions Types of Relationships Patterns of Relationships Variables

6 6 7 12 13 14 16 17 19 20 28 29 29 30 31 32 33 35 37 44 45 46 48


The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Determine the Relevant Variable Types of Variables Independent and Dependent Variables Moderating Variables Extraneous Variables Intervening Variables Recapitulation Operational Definition of Variable Threats to a Valid Measurement Procedure Controlling Threats to Reliability and Validity Creating a Reliable Manipulation Controlling Confounding Variable Control Demand Characteristics Cause and Effect Relationships Manipulation and Measurement Theory Theory and Research Two Purposes of Theory Concept (or Construct) Theoretical Framework Importance to Research Hypothesis Propositions and Hypotheses Descriptive Hypothesis Relational Hypothesis 48 51 52 53 53 54 55 57 64 68 68 68 77 78 84 84 84 86 86 88 89 90 90


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The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Correlational Hypothesis Explanatory(causal) Hypotheses The Role of the Hypothesis What is a good hypothesis? Research Questions Correlational Research Formulating the Research Problem Hypothesis Development and Testing Explanation of Correlation Coefficient Operationalization Conceptual Variables Validity and Reliability Types of Validity Reliability Types of Reliability Generalization Choosing the Research Method Choosing the Measurement Errors in Research Experimental Research Aims of Experimental Research Identifying the Research Problem Constructing the Experiment Sampling Groups to Study Creating the Design 93 94 95 95 96 98 4 102 104 105 107 107 108 109 109 110 110 110 110 110 111 111 111 111 111 112 4 .

Cost and Benefits-Analysis Statistics Tutorial Hypothesis Testing .The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Typical Designs and Features in Experimental Design Pretest-Posttest Design Control Group Randomized Controlled Trials Between Subjects Design Solomon Four-Group Design Within Subject Design Counterbalanced Measures Design Matched Subjects Design Pilot Study Conducting the Experiment Types of Research Designs Quantitative and Qualitative Research Different Research Methods Ethics in Research Research .Statistics Tutorial Statistical Tests Testing Hypothesis Statistically Analysis of Variance References 5 112 113 113 113 114 114 114 114 114 115 117 119 119 120 120 121 122 123 124 126 126 127 What is Research? 5 .

By William G. but all follow the same basic structure. Literally. Often.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Research is an often-misused term. Business Research Defined Business Research is defined as the systematic and objective process of generating information for aid in making business decisions. Scientific research adheres to a set of strict protocols and long established structures. These protocols can vary slightly between scientific disciplines. research (re-search) -“search again” Business research must be objective Detached and impersonal rather than biased 6 . In the field of science. In everyday language. What is Research? . The correct and most common term used in science is that we are conducting a literature review. it gives a misleading impression. Failure to follow the guidelines will prevent your findings from being accepted and taken seriously. its usage in everyday language very different 6 from the strict scientific meaning. we will talk about conducting internet research or say that we are researching in the library. Zikmund Business Research Research information is neither intuitive nor haphazardly gathered. it is perfectly correct grammatically. Science has developed these guidelines over many years as the benchmark for measuring the validity of the results obtained. you must understand the methodology behind any research and be aware of the correct protocols. it is important to move away from the looser meaning and use it only in its proper context. but in science.The Guidelines What is research? For a successful career in science.

Aims of Research The general aims of research are: Observe and Describe Predict Determination of the Causes Explain Purpose of Research . It involves a dedicated system of scientific methodology that can be used by researchers to arrive at the right conclusions. Information Reduces Uncertainty “It ain’t the things we don’t know that gets us in trouble.Why do we conduct research? Why is it necessary? Elements of Research Common scientific research elements are: Characterization . and the researcher concludes and generalizes the findings to the real world. It’s the things we know that ain’t so.” Artemus Ward 7 I don’t know if we should offer on-site child care? Research Process Research process deals with the ways and strategies used by researchers to understand the world around us.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) It facilitates the managerial decision process for all aspects of a business.How to understand a phenomenon Decide what to observe about a phenomenon How to define the research problem How to measure the phenomenon Hypothesis and Theory 7 .

hypothesis.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) The research questions before performing research Often based on earlier research Prediction What answers do we expect? Reasoning and logic on why we expect these results Observation or Experimentation Testing characterizations. Here are a few articles about different reasoning and logic when conducting the scientific method. theory and predictions Understanding a phenomenon better Drawing Conclusions Reasoning and Logic 8 There is no straight answer to the best reasoning to apply to the research process. Hypothetico-Deductive Method Falsification Testability Deductive Reasoning Inductive Reasoning and the Raven Paradox Scientific Reasoning Casual Reasoning Abductive Reasoning Post Hoc Reasoning Defeasible Reasoning Why do Research? In the beginning 8 .

for he wanted to make perfectly sure before he spoke… My astonishment was his triumph. it is proven. Days and days he conducted his experiments secretly. By and large. no child wonders to see the water run down and not up. and this inventive added a spur to our friendly rivalry. and effectively protected us against falling into idle unprofitable ways and frivolous pleasure seeking (p. saying nothing to me about it. Each was ambitious to beat the other in scientific discovery. but it was an amazing thing then. Doing our own research and experimentation allows us to make 9 direct examination of the information we already possess as well as providing us with new information. never up. even when it is the basis of very important decision. learning inquiring into the cause and nature and purpose of everything we came across. It was Adam that found this out. his reward. nothing can controvert it. "There—you see it runs downhill— in every case it runs downhill. the knowledge upon which we base our decisions comes from what we have been told rather than from direct experience.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) We all have a great store of wisdom in our heads and rarely ask where it came from.71) Some of Adam and Eve's experiments bear fruit: Our tint memorable scientific discovery was the law that water and like fluids run downhill. and m hard to believe as any fact I have ever encountered. In Mark Twain’s story. “Eve’s Autobiography. Eve examines the problem of being newborn in a world in which knowledge in not communicated: But studying. and this research filled our days with brilliant and absorbing interest…. We usually are not too careful about the source of our information." In the present day. 9 . My theory was right. it is established. were passions with us.” (1962). not up. He took me from rill to rill—dozens of them—saying always.

I stole away to my cow. My hand shook so with excitement and with dread failure that for some moments I could not get a grip on a teat.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) In the story. I knew at once the explanation: The milk was not taken in by the mouth. and his happiness was as great as mine. All day I was in a fidget. The result was the same—the puzzle remained unsolved. and looking at the stars. or stay dry. it was condensed from the atmosphere through the cow's hair. I milked her dry. and while he was drunk with the joy of his achievement and dead to my presence and all things else. deep in the woods I chose a small grassy spot and wattled it in. and could not talk connectedly I was so preoccupied. However. and his pride in me inexpressible. then I enclosed a cow in it. and I saw my way! . a prisoner. . Both of us had marveled over that mystery a long time. . . Adam and Eve proceed from one discovery to another about their environment and themselves. at last we said they undoubtedly procured it night. how the milk gets into cow. the mere fact that they are engaged in "scientific research" does not always lead them to interpretations that are beyond in challenge: I scored the next great triumph for science myself: to wit. I ran and told Adam. One night as I lay musing. . Two gallons and nothing to make it out of. but Adam was busy trying to invent the multiplication table. . making a secure pen. There was nothing there to drink— she must get milk by her secret alchemy. and did not notice! Toward sunset he had got as far as 6 times 9 are 27. We had followed the 10 cows around for years—that is. Then we took turns and watched them by night. in the daytime—but had never caught them drinking a fluid of that color. And so. then I succeeded. and then left her there. 10 . and the milk came! Two gallons. a grand idea flashed through my head.

presumably. also. My discovery revealed the fact that there was still another ingredient—milk. she might try shaving the cow. that the cow had not strayed over the fence). When systematic observation fails to provide an answer. Eve's experiment should be conducted on other cows. she reports the results and her conclusion to her colleague. All the steps of scientific research are shown in Twain's story. Finally. If she thinks hair in important in the process. there might be distressing effects on milk production. Eve asks a question to which she wants an answer. She might also try confining the cow to areas where no grass grows. After analyzing her data (determining that she has two gallons of milk) and. "Do you know. We enlarged the symbol to H20. that the components of water were hydrogen and oxygen. One of the greatest strengths of scientific method as a way of gaining knowledge is that this knowledge is always subject to further testing. you have not made merely one weighty and farreaching contribution to science. she and Adam attempt to generalize her conclusion more widely and fit it in with other information they already possess. she then plans an experiment. devising a methodology and working out a way to collect data. Adam and Eve's conclusion may be open to challenge. By a series of experiments we had long ago arrived at the conclusion that atmospheric air consisted of water in invisible suspension. the cow she watched might be unique. in the proportion of two parts of the former to one of the latter. as are the results and conclusions of any research.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 11 Presently he said. The experiment also should be continued for a longer period of time. but two!" And that was true.M. checking to see that her methods have not gone astray (namely. 11 . if Eve continued to withhold fluids. which not affect should milk production if her air-suspension theory is correct. and expressible by the symbol H20. not to mention the cow.

genetics. to believe nothing of what we are told and to discover everything through direct experience? The problems would be overwhelming there simply isn’t enough time to gather all information firsthand. we need a process by which we can generate new information when we feel the need for a firmer base for our decisions. Yet if you were to pursue this question with someone who “really knows. all we need do is ask someone or look it up in a book. a small portion of direct experience by itself can be misleading. The answer you get this year may not be the same as the one you would get ten years from now. then. what distinguishes us from monkeys is that we have culture which can be handed down from generation to generation. Is the solution. Besides. they also must be able to pinpoint weaknesses in applications of scientific method and weight the truth of any conclusions accordingly.” you would be likely to find out that this is an area of current research. according to the anthropologist. Scientific research does not provide final answers. and milking practices is still going on. In addition. If we want to know how the milk gets into the cow. it simply helps eliminate unlikely explanation. Scientific method is a set of procedures that allows us to generate information of high quality and to check the worth of what we have been told by others. as we saw with Eve's work. but it increases the probability that the 12 . This culture consists of physical objects and knowledge communicated both orally and in writing. The improvement of milk production through feeding. Scientists are not only interested in testing what they have been told. and it certainly won’t be the same as the answer you would have got in 1900. In fact. What is wrong with believing what we are told? After all. What we need is a means of estimating how much we should trust a particular piece of information.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 12 A single experiment or research project rarely provides final answers. we're not Adam and Eve.

They are aware that any particular belief may have to be altered because of future research findings. Our work often costs other people money. we will need to use a number of research methods. this is using data that already exists. the internet and the other methods mentioned earlier. we will be using forms of secondary research also. we are constantly making decisions that affect our fellow human beings. we will need to create a questionnaire and come up with questions to ask the store manager in the interview with him. scientific procedures will expose weaknesses in information gathered in earlier research and suggests new research to deal with these weaknesses. A particular method of research we will be using is primary research. newspapers. Scientists "believe" something only on a provisional basis.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 13 information obtained does reflect reality. Primary and secondary research can be split up into two groups. In order to solve the problem of low motivation at the store. anthropologists. For instance. Whether we are psychologists. and controlled experiments. we will need to practice a number of research methods. sociologists. Properly applied. when gathering research for our first objective. however. Research Methodology Research Methodology – In order to meet our objectives. health-service practitioners. Between these two methods we aim to collect data that is more 13 . or business managers. These are both primary methods of research. Behaving like a scientist means fighting a continuing battle against the inclination to be dogmatic about what we "know. such as books. educators. Primary research is collecting data that does not already exist. quantitative and qualitative research." It is especially important for those of us hoping to work with other people to ride herd on our beliefs. One hallmark of scientific method is that it is self-correcting. politicians. takes up their time. Methods of quantitative secondary research include official statistics. Another method of research is secondary research.

This will in turn able our to complete our fifth objective of collecting significant secondary research. If the process is undertaken by a public sector organization or large corporation. This in turn would help us decide whether the lack of motivation affects the day to day running of the business. the number of copies to be provided. 3. In order to complete our final objective of offering conclusions to our research. which will allow us to analyze and come up with some quality solutions for the problem of low motivation at Sainsbury’s Local in Wylde Green. we will use both primary and secondary research. A detailed quotation by phase or task as well as per diem rates and time spent for 14 .The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) qualitative than quantitative. Proposals that required thousands of hours of preparation have been refused for being one minute late (see this article)! The RFP usually sets out the objectives or client's information requirements and requests that the proposal submitted by the potential supplier include: 1. the exact time when the proposal must be submitted. A detailed research methodology with justification for the approach or approaches proposed. To meet our first objective we will need to collect primary research in the form of questionnaires and interview. Phasing or realistic timelines for carrying out the research. as we believe a subject such as motivation requires 14 peoples’ opinions and much more elaboration than what closed-ended questionnaires and other quantitative methods of research could possibly offer. 2. the process can be extremely strict with set rules regarding communication between client and potential suppliers. whether it is in the production area or whether quality is more effected. etc. The Request for Proposal (RFP) The request for proposal (RFP) is part of a formal process of competitively tendering and hiring a research supplier.

clients ask a short-listed number of suppliers to present their proposed methodology during an interview. The researcher may or may not. focus groups. At times.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) each researcher participating in the execution of the work. Business Methods versus Research Methodology Many authors use these terms interchangeably. interviews.. to assist suppliers in understanding where tradeoffs might need to be made between available budget and importance. 15 4. we must know the difference. These criteria also allow the supplier to ensure that all areas deemed important by the client have been addressed as part of the proposal. Deductive Reasoning 15 . What is it? Textbooks treat this differently but research “methods ” usually refers to specific activities designed to generate data (e. Sue Greener (2003 Pg 10) Observation Observation is a primary method of collecting data by human. As students of “Research Methods”. but there is a correct way of using them.g questionnaires. observation) and research “methodology” is more about your attitude to and your understanding of research and the strategy you choose to answer research questions.. mechanical. electrical or electronic means. This idea is based on the views of author Dr. which allows for probing by the client but also discussion as to the advantages and disadvantages associated with the research design that is proposed. The qualifications of each participating researcher and a summary of other projects each person has been involved in to demonstrate past experience and expertise The client should provide the potential suppliers with the criteria for selection and the relative weight assigned to each one.

16 .The scientific method has a similar structure to an hourglass . then designing research where we can observe and analyze this aspect. All managers that have ever been seen are human beings. At last. The Scientific Method: An Overview 16 Assess relevant existing knowledge Formulate concepts & Propositions Statement of Hypotheses Design research Acquire empirical data Analyze & evaluate data Provide explanationstate new problem Key Concepts of the Scientific Method Steps of the Scientific Method . the hourglass widens There are several important aspects to research methodology. If we also know that John Smith is a manager. We know that all managers are human beings. then we can deduce that John Smith is a human being.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) The logical process of deriving a conclusion from a known premise or something known to be true. narrowing down to focus on one specific aspect. Inductive Reasoning The logical process of establishing a general proposition on the basis of observation of particular facts. This is a summary of the key concepts in scientific research and an attempt to erase some common misconceptions in science. therefore all managers are human beings.starting from general questions.

basic assumptions are made at all stages of the research. Often the researcher looks at the data gathered. for example. This usually. At last. in studying the culture of a certain people and trying to understand and interpret their behavior. For example. there is always some kind of connection between data (information gathered) and why the scientist think that the data looks as it does. and it should address a unique issue. building upon previous research and scientifically accepted fundamentals. we conclude and generalize to the real world. but not always. but does have a specific goal. must begin with a clearly defined goal. which just reorganizes facts and makes no commentary on the results. 17 . and then comes to a conclusion of why the data looks like it does. A history paper. is not research but a review. The whole study is designed around this clearly defined goal.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 17 Steps of the scientific method are shaped like an hourglass . In scientific research. an anthropological study may not have a specific hypothesis or principle.starting from general questions. Whilst nothing in science can be regarded as truth. Steps of the Scientific Process 1) Setting a Goal Research in all disciplines and subjects. not just science. narrowing down to focus on one specific aspect and designing research where we can observe and analyze this aspect. takes the form of a hypothesis. 2) Interpretation of the Results Research does require some interpretation and extrapolation of results. building upon widely accepted knowledge.

Most scientific research looks at an area and breaks it down into easily tested pieces. The gradual experimentation upon these individual pieces will allow the larger questions to be approached and answered. as is found in anthropology.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 18 If you think of it this way. but they still fit most of the other criteria. as it is refined and developed. behavioral biology and social science. Science tends to use experimentation to study and interpret a specific hypothesis or question. with the results generated leading to new areas or a refinement of the original process. Research is cyclical. is an important part of the project and should revolve around answering specific predictions and questions. This will allow an exact duplication and verification by independent researchers. somebody writing a school textbook is not performing research and is offering no new insights. They are merely documenting pre-existing data into a new format. into manageable chunks. Again. 18 . there must be a clear procedure so that the experiment can be replicated and the results verified. True research never gives a definitive answer but encourages more research in another direction. ensuring that the results are accepted as real. that will give an answer and generate new ideas. Even if a hypothesis is disproved. Planning and designing the experimental method. allowing a gradual accumulation of knowledge that slowly becomes a basic assumption. If the same writer interjects their personal opinion and tries to prove or disprove a hypothesis. 3) Replication and Gradual Accumulation For any study. then they are moving into the area of genuine research. there is a bit of a grey area for observationbased research. breaking down a large and seemingly insurmountable problem.

research. iii) generate related questions. repeated and refined experimentation gradually reaching an answer. Only by having a rigid structure to experimentation. The basic stages in a typical research project are: i) identify your topic of interest. ii) perform a literature review. Some other areas. What is a Literature Search The literature search is a very significant step in the research process. All scientific research has a goal and ultimate aim. and vi) document your results. such as history and economics. is much stricter in science than in everyday life. We are often trained to think. also perform true research. can results be verified as acceptable contributions to science. but tend to have their own structures in place for generating solid results. It revolves around using the scientific method to generate hypotheses and provide analyzable results. v) find or develop a solution. and describe tasks sequentially. They also contribute to human knowledge but with different processes and systems.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 4) Conclusion The term. but anyone who has earned an advanced degree in engineering (or any other field) can tell you 19 . iv) state your unsolved problem or hypothesis. approach. These results are a way of gradually 19 uncovering truths and finding out about the processes that drive the universe around us. By Martyn Shuttleworth (2008).

manage complexity.” The authors describe how overlapping the stages can help you understand the problem. it is not surprising that many beginning researchers have difficulty. A literature search serves three important functions [2]. FIGURE 1. how researchers must work at different stages of their project simultaneously [1]. demonstrates your familiarity with research in your field. and performing a literature search helps define an unsolved problem. Flow Diagram of Research Process. and motivate changes in both earlier and later stages. The important idea to convey is that you really understand what others in your field have accomplished and 20 .. Reference 1 explains “. 20 The important concept to grasp is that the literature search is not just one distinct step in a research task. Defining an unsolved problem determines what kind of literature search is appropriate. Purpose of a Literature Search An introduction chapter in a research paper generally includes information gleaned from a thorough literature search. Figure 1 depicts the research process and some of the complex inter-relationships. Because of this complexity. including those of the literature search and documentation efforts. Reference 2 states that the literature review gives your reader background information regarding your own research. and shows how your work contributes one more piece in the puzzle of expanding the knowledge base in your field..The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) that a sequential checklist of the process is too simplistic. It is both a step and an iterative feedback loop.

This topic explains how current knowledge grows. you will complete your research study and write your own research report.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) how your work differs from the works of others [3]. your goal in conducting a literature search is to find set of published research reports that define the current state of knowledge in an area . keep in mind that your study should be a logical extension of past research. This sets the stage for you to describe what your research contribution is going to be. Each research study is part of existing body of knowledge. As we discussed the literature and develop an idea for a research study. with each new piece of information growing out of existing body of previous knowledge. you demonstrate your understanding of the relevant works of others and your ability to summarize this information for the convenience of your readers. 21 Research does not exist in isolation. The research report begins with an introduction that summarizes past research (from your literature 21 . Eventually. Ultimately. and to identify a gap in that knowledge base that your study will attempt to fill. building on the foundation of past research and expanding that foundation for future research. In a literature review.

see Smith. The paragraph can be condensed into a simple. the topic is introduced now as a means of focusing your literature search. you should be able to predict the purpose of the study and should have some idea of what was done. in press). Notice that the background literature is used to construct a logical argument that This study is an investigation of the social behavior processes by which children come to be chronically victimized by their peers. & Lagerspetz.2 presents the first paragraph of a journal article (Schwartz. A small minority of children consistently seem to be victimized of bullied by their peers. 22 . Researchers have suggested that these chronic victims are at high risk for later maladjustment (e. Although other research has looked at the characteristics of the victim children.. (Are these kids doing something that actually helps them to become victims?) 3. Olweus. & King. There is substantial evidence that a small minority of children are consistently targeted for victimization by their peers (for a review. Figure 2.. investigators have devoted considerable effort to identifying the correlates of peer victimization (e. logical argument: 1.g. Although we have not described the research study. 2. little has been done to examine their social behaviors prior to becoming victims. Ekman. Lagerspetz Bjorkqvist.g. Dodge. Berts. Accordingly. Bjorkqvisf. 1991).The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 22 search) and provides a logical justification for your study. we need to examine children’s behaviors before they are identified as victims. Therefore. & Coie. 1993) as an example of the use of a literature review to introduce a topic area and provide a logical justification for a new study. Although we discuss the task of writing a research report later (in Chapter 15). 1982. The goal is to determine whether some children are destined to become victims because they exhibit behaviors that may cause their peers to view them as easy targets for bullying.

The Growth of Research Throughout this chapter we repeat the notion that each research study builds on previous knowledge and attempts to expand that knowledge base. you must search backward. When you begin a literature search. you will enter this tree and find your way along the branches. Second. These classics usually will provide 23 . however. First. Smith & Thompson 1991). Olweus. 1991. to identify the historically significant foundations of your work. it is possible to represent the existing knowledge base (the literature) as a treelike structure that is continuously growing over time. you need to find a set of research articles that can be organized into a logical argument supporting and justifying the research you propose to do. As a result. 1978) and designing effective prevention programs (e.g.. You probably will find that most of the current research studies in an area will cite the same "classic" studies as their foundations. Our limited understanding of these behavioral processes is unfortunate because detailed data on the behavior patterns that precede the emergence of chronic peer victimization would facilitate the development of appropriate interventions and greatly enhance current understanding of the mechanisms underlying bully/victim problems in childhood leads the reader directly into the proposed study. Elliot. little is known about the social behaviors that precede and potentially contribute to the emergence of chronic peer victimization. systematically identified the behavioral antecedents of chronic victimization. you must work your way to the very tips of the highest branches and find a cluster of the most recent research studies. Researchers have not. Specifically. 1991. Your study will form a new branch coming out of this cluster. With this thought in mind. Your goal in conducting the search is twofold. The purpose of your literature review is to provide the elements needed for an introduction to your own research study. Olweus.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 23 1982. down the tree.

Your purpose. in this section we identify several different starting points and provide some suggestions to help you find one. Use the chapter headings and subheadings in the text to help focus your search on a more narrowly defined area. is to narrow down your general idea to a specific research question and to find all the published information necessary to document and support that question. there are many different ways to begin a search of the literature. make notes of the following item. each of which can serve as an 24 . in addition. You may. One of the best places to start is with a recently published secondary source – for example. If this happens. find yourself with a cluster of recent articles that seem to be a dead end. therefore. for example. For example many good research studies involve establishment a connection between two previously unrelated branches of research. Nonetheless. a textbook in a content area appropriate for your idea (perhaps a developmental psychology or social psychology textbook). The tree metaphor is only a conceptual guide to help you visualize the process and the goals of a literature search—-the concept of a tree greatly oversimplifies the process.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 24 a broader perspective for your work and will help you understand and explain the significance of your study as it relates to the more general tree of knowledge. As you will see. you can simply work back down the tree to an earlier branching point and branch off in a new direction without completely abandoning your original research topic. offering no prospect for developing new research. Conducting a Literature Search Starting Points Let’s assume that you’re starting your literature search with only a general idea for a research topic. the tree metaphor should help direct your literature search activities.

When you finish. many tools are available to help you search through the publications to find the few that are directly relevant to your research topic. In the recent past. For example. Using Online Databases Although there are thousands of research articles published every year. These summaries are the actual abstracts.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 25 excellent starting point when you begin to search for primary sources (journal articles) relevant to your topic: Key words: Make a list of the correct terms of key words used to identify and describe the variables in the study and the characteristics of the subjects. As you develop your list of key word terms and author names. and then combine your lists. keep in mind that any single secondary source is necessarily incomplete and probably selective. chapter. make a note of these individuals as the current leading researchers in the area. it is wise to repeat the list-making process with two or three different sources. Researchers often develop a specific set of terms to describe a topic area. the primary tool was a publication called Abstracts. retention interval. you should have an excellent set of leads to help you move into the primary source literature. which consisted of bound volumes containing: A brief summary of every article. 25 . It is much easier to locate related research articles if you use the correct terms. you may have trouble finding articles on “duration of memory” unless you use the accepted term. or book published during the year and information about where to find the original publication. If you repeatedly encounter the same names. Thus. Author Names: Commonly a small group of individual researchers is responsible for much of the work being done in a specific area.

with each one focusing on an individual topic area (like psychology. your task is simply to extend the current research one more step.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 26 A subject index that cross-referenced every publication according to key words or subjects relevant to the publication. In addition to gaining general knowledge about your topic area. but now most of the cross-referencing tools exist as computer databases. Notice that we said "find" a question rather than "make up" or "create" one. to find a specific research question. Finding and using background Literature Once you have settled on a general idea for a research study. in which you combine two or more established facts to reach a new conclusion or prediction. In Section 2. or criminal justice) The databases provide the same basic information that was available in the bound volumes of Abstracts. The same principle of cross-referencing publications by subject and by author is still used today. Once you are familiar with what is currently known and what is currently being done in a research area. the next step is to go to the library to gather background information on the topic you have identified. Often the authors of a research report literally will give you ideas for new research. There are many different databases. Sometimes this requires a bit of logic. your goals are to determine the current state of knowledge and to become familiar with current research —in particular. one could use Abstracts to look up everything that was listed on a particular topic and/or everything that was published by a particular author in any year. You are welcome to turn one of these suggestions into a research question. It is very common for researchers to conclude a discussion of their results with suggestions for future research. but the computer provides much faster and easier access to the information. chemistry. An author index that cross-referenced every publication according to author.5 we provide additional hints for 26 . Thus.

all the individual publications are interconnected by cross-referencing. Primary and Secondary Sources Before we discuss the actual process of a literature search. The research journals probably will. This mass of published information is referred to as “the literature. let the literature lead you to a new idea. Specifically. do not try to impose your own preconceived idea onto the literature Instead. the books devoted to research will occupy at least 100 feet of shelves. including why the research was done. Typically. a secondary source is a secondhand report in which the authors discuss someone else's observations. the literature is filled with useful aids to guide your search. in which the authors describe their own research study. how the study was conducted. a primary source is a research report. there are a few terms you should know. Individual items in the literature can be classified into two broad categories: primary sources and secondary sources. Some examples of secondary sources include: (1) books and textbooks in which the author describes and summarizes past research.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 27 finding research idea For now. This may at first appear to be an overwhelming task. In most college or university libraries. In contrast. what results were found. (2) the introductory section of research reports. fortunately. A primary source is a first-hand report in which the authors describe their own observations. published in a scientific journal or periodical. and how those results were interpreted. and there are many summary guides providing overviews that can send you directly to specific topic areas. it is possible to conduct a successful literature search without undue pain and suffering. By following the guides and tracing the interconnections." Your job is to search the literature to find a handful of items that are directly relevant to your research idea. however. in which previous research 27 . fill even more space.

Specifically. This assumption is incorrect on several levels. Students often confuse this distinction with the notion that anything published in a journal or periodical is automatically a primary source and that all other kinds of publications are secondary sources. Notice that the principal distinction between a primary source and secondary one is firsthand versus secondhand reporting of research results. and (3) newspaper and magazine articles that report on previous research. most research reports begin with an introductory section that reviews current research in the area and forms the 28 . A journal article is firsthand report of research results. yet sections of the article are actually secondary sources. A book or book chapter is primary sources. 28 A Primary Source is a firsthand report of observations or research results that is written b the individual(s) who actually conducted the research and made the observations. Occasionally an individual or a group of researchers will publish an edited volume that presents a series of interrelated research studies. A Secondary Source is a description or summary of another person’s work.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) is presented as a foundation for the current study. The following are also possible: The journal article is not a primary source. or a historical summary of none is a firsthand report of research results. a theoretical article that attempts to explain or establish relationships between several previous studies. Instead. Each chapter is written by the individual(s) who actually conducted the research and is therefore a primary source. A secondary source is written by someone who did not participate in the research or observations being discussed. the article may be a review of other work.

In general. The Literature Review: The literature review is where you will present others writings in a systematic and thorough way. the authors must describe their own research studies and results. the author has selected only bits and pieces of the original study. Remember. however. secondary sources tell only part of the truth and may. the selected parts may have been taken out of context and reshaped to fit a theme quite different from what the original authors intended. Secondary sources can provide concise summaries of past research. for example. to qualify as primary source. distort the truth. in fact. as primary sources are typically long. plan to use secondary sources to gain an overview and identify a few specific primary sources. A textbook. citing several important studies. Therefore.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 29 foundation of the study that is being reported. it is essential to consult primary sources. As the literature review is a description and critical analysis of what others have written on 29 . However. This allows you as an author to build your conceptual analysis. This review of current research is secondary because the authors describe research conducted by others. In secondary sources. thus. in a few paragraphs. Individual research reports that fill 10 to 15 pages in journals are often summarized in one or two sentences. can be a tedious process. you should be constantly aware that secondary sources are always incomplete and can be biased or simply inaccurate. To obtain complete and accurate information. Reading primary sources. detailed reports focusing on a narrowly defined topic. will often summarize 10 years of research. Both primary and secondary sources play important roles in the literature search process. secondary sources can save your hours of library research.

Finding Sources 30 . The literature review will be referred to many times in a dissertation or project. to develop measurement methods. (1994) defines four predominant reasons for a Literature Review 1. When we draw conclusions and make recommendations. To assist with measurement and design issues. How can your proposed study add to the current study? 3. to assess strengths and weaknesses of those used previously. To assess how well developed the literature is. To help you to formulate your research questions in the light of theory or previous research done. Barker et al.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 30 your chosen subject matter before you. Counseling research by its nature can be wordy and literature reviews can be quite significant in the overall compilation of the project document. what kinds of gaps there are in it and whether there has been sufficient preliminary descriptive research to define the phenomena of interest. It would be prudent to present other authors work in a systematic way i. Organization and the eloquent ‘stitching’ together of themes and subject areas is vital if a literature review is to have substance and if it is to present a literate/theoretical framework to your research topic and ultimately to the end user: your reader or academic professionals. often we will make them based on work done before us by other authors and we will frame their work in our overall recommendations. present each critical subject area in a defined chapter. this makes it easier and more manageable to handle various subject themes and modalities. it allows you to narrow other authors work and make it relevant and concise in relation to your subject. To see and establish how far the available literature answers your research questions. 4.e. 2.

or International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSN). or tertiary.” Tertiary . authors. and note the source. International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN). Regardless of the sources you use. Track titles. secondary. You will also be constructing your reference chapter as you work. if possible. Tertiary sources are “books and articles based on secondary sources. but there are many others as well.” Secondary . Secondary sources are “books and articles in which other researchers report the results of their research based on (their) primary data or sources . You should print it out immediately. keep a bibliographic trail [1]. the next day it is gone. 31 . Kinds of Sources Sources are generally described as primary.” Tertiary sources synthesize and explain the work of others and might be useful early in your research. including the internet. also note on-line addresses and other pertinent information so that a search can be duplicated if necessary. Primary sources are “materials that you are directly writing about. Retracing these efforts by memory is very risky. The time required to relocate and require a source is also reduced. so it is better if you take notes at every step. These tracking habits can help you avoid duplication of effort and speed the process of obtaining permission (to use the work of others) when needed. page numbers. the raw materials of your own research. publication information. Primary. and the search engine you used to get to that source. When searching through cyberspace. on the research of others [1].The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 31 Libraries are one obvious resource for a student performing a literature search. the “navigation” route. Also be aware that some online information changes daily – one day it is there. but they are generally weak support for your own arguments [1]. and possibly library call numbers (LCN).

and handbooks. Examples of primary sources are data sets. drawings. scale models. Tertiary. Lists of references at the end of each journal article can provide leads to further sources. and books. computer programs. Earlier we called this task "finding a research idea. Finding an Idea for a New Research Study Once you have located a set of recent and relevant articles. civil. the final step is to use these research reports as the foundation for your research idea (see Chapter 1. proceedings. these sources are especially useful during the writing phase of your research [4]. ask at your facility or university library for specific guides. mathematics. materials used. and numerical calculations. Engineering journals are typically field-specific. A well-kept 32 engineering notebook can provide valuable information for later documentation of test conditions and assumptions. Step 1 of the research process). define unfamiliar terms.” Guides and handbooks cover topics such as tables.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Primary. They can provide general background information to help narrow or broaden the focus of a topic. Secondary. measures and units of conversion." When 32 . Examples of secondary sources include conferences. chemical. Some works include an index. Examples of tertiary sources include dictionaries. Journal articles are often the most current source of information on a topic of study that is new or subject to rapid change. and offer bibliographies of other sources. computer runs. observations as well as measurements. and engineering notebooks. encyclopedias. statistics. engineering fundamentals. guides. For a selected list of current journals in agricultural. and mechanical engineering. formulas. computer. electrical. environmental. and unusual occurrences that prompted further testing. industrial. which will provide excellent access to a subject [4]. “Dictionaries and encyclopedias are excellent starting points for research. journals.

discovering this next step may not be as simple as we have implied. (Performance is related to motivation. laboratory rats). the concept of memory can be defined in a variety of different ways. it will improve their memory for the material. Although this idea could be examined with nearly any group of human beings. and so we list here a few suggestions: Describe the tree ways identified in the text to find a new research idea. but for this study we choose to measure the number of words correctly recalled 33 . This transformation usually involves specifying how each of the individual variables will be measured and what individuals will be needed to participate in the study (men. For example: If people use visual images while studying new material. concrete hypothesis. a research idea involves a general statement about the relationship between two variables. Selecting participants and measuring variables are discussed in the following chapters.) Although providing motivation to people generally improves their performance. the idea for the next study 33 involves simply extending the current research one more step. (Memory if related to using images. the idea must be transformed into a specific. concrete research hypothesis that can be tested by direct observation. children. but for now we provide a brief example of what we mean by a specific. Similarly. it is probably most convenient to use college students as participants in the study. Converting an idea into a Research Hypothesis Typically. However. The first of the two research ideas we have proposed states that memory it related to using visual images. too much motivation may create stress and actually lower performance. women.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) you are familiar with the current research in an area.) To evaluate these ideas in an empirical research study.

we could have tested 10-years-old children instead of college student. we can define the idea of "using Imagery as “forming a mental image of the object represented by a word. For example. we could have used a set of 20 items( instead of 40. the method you select depends on a variety of factors. each of the many possible hypotheses should provide a direct test of the basic research idea. than 10-year-old children who view a series of word resenting the same 20 items for example . Notice that the research hypothesis provides a very specific procedure for testing the research idea. However. Finally. TABLE. including the set of individuals you want to study and the measurement techniques that are available.” (For example.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 34 from a list of 40 nouns that each participant studies for a period of exactly 2 minutes. Also note that the same research idea (that memory is related to using images) could produce a variety of different research hypotheses. the research hypothesis then becomes: Ten-year-old children who view pictures of 20 items (for example. TREE) In general. there are many different ways to convert a research idea into a specific research hypothesis. on average . Convert your Research Idea into a specific Research Hypothesis 34 . a table. and we could have presented on a screen and another group a series of words presented on a screen and another group a series of pictures of the same items. a horse.) With these definitions in place. forming a mental image of a horse when you see the word horse. HORSE. our research hypothesis becomes: College students who are instructed to form mental images while studying a list of 40 words for 2 minutes will recall more words (on average) than college students who study the same words for 2 minutes but are not given instructions to form mental images. a tree) will recall more items.

Conclusion or hypothesis: Higher levels of academic success are related to higher levels of self-esteem. Although it is possible to form a hypothesis from logic of from pure speculation. The logical argument provides a rationale or justification for your research hypothesis and establishes a connection between your research and the research results obtained by others. a good hypothesis must be testable. it must be transformed into a research hypothesis. these facts would be obtained from extensive library research. Consider the following example: Premise 1: Academic success is highly valued and respected in society (at least by parents and teachers). a good hypothesis usually is founded on established theories or develop[ed from the results of previous research. theories. In this argument. In 35 . Premise 2: Being valued and respected by others contributes to high self-esteem.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 35 Before a research idea can be evaluated. that is. predictions. Specifically. and methods that make up the knowledge base for a specific topic area. A hypothesis is a statement describing the relationship between two variables. By knowing the basic facts. Typically. you gain a clearer picture of the variables being studied and their relationships. a good hypothesis should be the logical conclusion of a logical argument. we will assume that the two premise statements are "facts" or research results that have been demonstrated and reported in the scientific literature. Library research will acquaint you with the relevant knowledge that already exists—what other researchers have done and found. it must be possible to make observations that will either support the hypothesis or refute it. In addition to being logical. A hypothesis is a statement about the relationship between two (or more) variables.

You cannot test a hypothesis that refers to imaginary events or makebelieve situations. A Strategic Approach As a beginning researcher. “Doing research consists of two basic tasks: brainstorming and researching itself. However. During early phases of research. and real individuals. both printed and electronic. you might speculate about what might happen if the heat from the sun were gradually to increase over the next 25 years. usually the existence of a relationship. not knowing how to sift or sort through an excess of information to determine what is useful to you. or a treatment effect. The following paragraphs elaborate on these two problems and describe a general plan that can help you overcome these difficulties during your literature review process. You need to know what information you will need. A second characteristic of a testable hypothesis is that it must make a positive statement about the existence of something. The propositions cannot be observed and therefore are inappropriate as scientific hypotheses. and ii) once sources are located. Getting Started A lot of time and frustration can be saved by understanding the process and the system. and you need to know where to get your hands on it [5].” “Developing the working bibliography requires knowledge of library resources. developing a tracking method to maintain a complete record of all of the bibliographic information 36 . two of the most common problems you might encounter are: i) not knowing where to find sources. and the use of reference systems to locate sources.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 36 particular. a difference. For example. neither of these two propositions leads to a testable hypothesis. the hypothesis must involve real situations. real events. or you could debate what might have happened if JFK had not been assassinated.

Such a list can be invaluable. For these two approaches. You might try sending e-mail messages to well-known authors or lecturers. This approach is especially useful because some databases might categorize differently or use different descriptors as key words. Science Citations Index (often available on CDROM) becomes a very important source. This approach should at least get you started on a good literature search. you might contact the authors or the authors’ advisors. Even experienced researchers often feel overwhelmed by 37 . what advice would you give?” A Search Plan A recommended search strategy is to consider how a topic progresses through the research documentation life-cycle. since you do not yet know whether it will be cited in 37 your thesis [6].The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) from your sources is advised. By locating and reading at least the abstracts of these papers. Another approach is to look for original (seminal) reports. If you notice that several recent dissertations are written by students at a particular university. An oral interview with an expert can produce valuable insight and possibly save you a lot of time and effort. Given the opportunity to ask.” It is also advisable for you to construct a list of experts in your field. The above advice sounds easier than it really is. but possibly even how the works of others are interrelated. one important question is: “If I were to pick up where you (or your student) left off. papers. One approach is to look for books that are currently accepted reference texts in your research area and find out who has cited them in recent years. you can begin to categorize the available papers by topic and by the authors’ technical interests in a topic. Implementing this strategy can help you develop a tree-like diagram or network showing not only relevant research. Then look at the reference lists for the newer papers. or theses written by known experts and see who has cited them in recent years.

Specific aspects of a field of study are often listed in annotated bibliographies. you find volumes of information.” As technological electronic storage and retrieval capabilities continue to advance. What To Do If You Have Too Many Sources If. your topic might be too narrow. get help from library personnel and experts in your field of research. and to have a conceptual ”blueprint” understanding of the resources available. on the other hand. but not necessarily critical to your own research. Journals specific to a field are good sources. It takes a lot of skimming of books and articles to identify which sources 38 . you can easily become lost in your search or feel as if you are going around in circles. If your search still yields little information. we will all struggle with this problem. That is why it becomes very important to have a plan in mind when conducting a literature review. It also helps to understand and categorize your sources so that you know what kind of information you have. it is a good idea to see what topic headings or terms any newly found information was cataloged under. If this is the case. In particular. ask for advice about ways to expand your topic so that searches will produce some useful information. You must analyze accurately and critically. then you need a plan to scale your search down to a manageable amount. the next step is to summarize it into a coherent literature review section for your document. Otherwise. Experts in your field of interest can suggest where many of your important sources can be found. Synthesizing Information Once information is located.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 38 “information overload. What To Do If You Have Too Few Sources If you find little or no information. Then you can draw on what you need without being overwhelmed by material that is interesting and related. so that you can use those key words in other database searches.

The main point is speed and efficiency. its topic. ii) locate the point of the argument. It can be very counterproductive to try to read everything in detail. research problem. Summarizing and Note-Taking Both references [7] and [1] have good advice about notetaking. and conclusion sections of each source document should contain the necessary information for you to write a good summary paragraph. and focusing on material relevant to your own research without spending time on material that is at best only marginally related. Reference [1] recommends writing and summarizing as you find sources and has a three-page section called “Quick Tip: Speedy Reading.” The abstract. v) record all vital names. it is more important to categorize and understand what sources you have and what might still be missing. and the outlines of its argument [1]. and vii) check accuracy before returning or filing the source. The book suggests that not all five steps are needed all the time. Reference [7] 39 states that the challenge is to condense others’ work without distorting it. dates. resolution. iv) leave out vowels when you can. and definitions.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) are useful to you and in what context they are useful. introduction. iii) identify key subpoints. iv) identify key themes. 39 . Their sevenstep process includes: i) do not write everything down. ii) create your own shortcuts and shorthand. At first. vi) mark items that need further examination.” It recommends a five-step process: i) become familiar with the geography of the source. Your goal at this point is to “present an overview of what your source offers. and v) skim paragraphs. iii) use numbers for numerical terms.

and plagiarism. for determining if your topic is too narrow. 1. 40 . and for scaling your search to a manageable amount.Are all questions posed at this stage. Jankowicz (1999) outlines two distinct approaches at this stage and they are. Knowing what to look for. What to look for in relation to the Literature Review Knowing what to look for is one of the chief problems when building you literature review. 1. Finding references to authors who have published and getting the documents themselves. All of the sources mentioned contain discussions about direct quotations. Identifying subject matter relevant to your topic. who are the authors?. summarizing. Understanding how the literature search dovetails with other steps in the research process helps form a good plan. A recommended beginning search plan has been described. Guidance has been given for finding sources. this report will help you get a “jump-start” on a good literature review and contribute to the successful conclusion of your research project.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) While taking notes and preparing condensed summaries of the work of others. Hopefully. Useful tips have been given to help you track and summarize information so that it becomes useful for your research purposes. Readers and researchers are advised to locate and carefully read about these topics from any available source in order to avoid trouble while writing. What is the relevance of published research to your research questions? . you must be ever mindful of the requirement to eventually cite all “borrowed” work in your final paper. especially for 40 engineering researchers. Identifying subject matter relevant to your topic 2.

methodologies. Library catalogs contain a referenced list of books by author and it is possible to extract key texts all related to the one prominent author. field and aspect: this will keep it ordered and thus easier to write up and interpret. Journals of interest in your area would be especially useful for insights and abstracts from current research. but there are key sources and it is important to keep the search within the frame of reference you have established through your specific research questions. 41 . modalities and referenced authors. As you develop your reference list in relation to the different subjects. who are the ‘experts’ in your chosen area of research. Where to look for reference material In established research areas there will exist an enormous amount of literature. Look up text books for the keynote theorists and authors and establish. You need to organize your data by Area. 2. journals. This can seem daunting at the outset. Finding references to authors who have published and getting the documents themselves. The American Counselling Association would have a journal on a monthly basis for example. internet sources and text books. references to authors will be contained in the various texts you will source and it is important to note the important authors. you begin to see that for this area to be effective it has to be systematic. above.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 41 Discuss with your tutors and assess the relevance of lecture notes in the particular area that you want to research. Access to reading materials which will be discussed later in this report will include use of libraries. Similar to 1.

Two key points to note: Primary Data: Primary data is data that you have collected yourself whereas Secondary Data: Secondary data is everything else.together because they are often contrasted with each other. It's really just the first five terms that came into our mind when we were thinking about this and thinking about how we might be able to impress someone with really big/complex words to describe fairly straightforward concepts). articles and referenced materials concerning all areas with counseling. Research is theoretical. We present the first two terms -. (This list is not exhaustive. But it is also empirical. other people primary research. understand the specific methods used to conduct research.questia. which is a subscription based services provide access to thousands of understand the subject that you are studying. meaning that 42 . exploring or testing the theories or ideas that social researchers have about how the world operates. and on and on. stay on track and on schedule. Five Big Words Research involves an eclectic blending of an enormous range of skills and activities. On line repositories such as www. you have to be able to work well with a wide variety of people. we want to introduce you to five terms that we think help to describe some of the key aspects of contemporary research.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 42 Current editions of handbooks and core text books would be most useful and also contain detailed bibliographies and references to authors concerning each modality and theory.theoretical and empirical -. Here. To be a good researcher. be able to convince someone to give you the funds to study it. speak and write persuasively. meaning that much of it is concerned with developing.

a comparison of our theories about how the world operates with our observations of its operation.on what we perceive of the world around us. This doesn't mean that most studies actually study cause-effect relationships. We often study individuals.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 43 it is based on observations and measurements of reality -. Thus.comes (We think) from the writings of the psychologist Gordon Allport.for instance.rather than the individual. Part of the reason we have seen statistics become so dominant in social research is that it allows us to estimate probabilities for the situations we study. Note that it is spelled causal not casual. Nomothetic refers to laws or rules that pertain to the general case (nomos in Greek) and is contrasted with the term "idiographic" which refers to laws or rules that relate to individuals (idios means 'self' or 'characteristic of an individual ' in Greek). The last term we want to introduce is causal.they are seldom meant to be considered covering laws that pertain to all cases. we no longer regard certainty as attainable. or based on probabilities. The next term -. In any event.the general case -. but usually we are interested in generalizing to more than just the individual. You can even think of most research as a blending of these two terms -. The inferences that we make in research have probabilities associated with them -. the fourth big word that describes much contemporary research is probabilistic. In our post-positivist view of science. You've got to be very careful with this term. There are some studies that simply observe -.nomothetic -. You'll really be embarrassed if you write about the "casual hypothesis" in your study! The term causal means that most research is interested (at some point) in looking at cause-effect relationships. surveys that seek to describe the 43 . the point here is that most social research is concerned with the nomothetic -.

So why are we talking about causal studies? Because for most researches. Probably the vast majority of applied research consists of these descriptive and correlational studies. it is important that we go beyond just looking at the world or looking at relationships. there are many studies that explore relationships -.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) percent of people holding a particular opinion. Types of Questions There are three basic types of questions that research projects can address: Descriptive When a study is designed primarily to describe what is going on or what exists. And.ones that tell us how our causes (e. A public opinion poll that compares what proportion of males and females say they would vote for a Democratic or a Republican candidate in the next presidential election is essentially studying the relationship between gender and voting preference. We would like to be able to change the world.. Relational When a study is designed to look at the relationships between two or more variables. studies that attempt to see whether there is a 44 relationship between gender and salary. we are automatically interested in causal relationships -. If we want to change the world (especially if we want to do this in an organized. Public opinion polls that seek only to describe the proportion of people who hold various opinions are primarily descriptive in nature.for example.g. Causal 44 . we are simply interested in describing something. to improve it and eliminate some of its major problems. For instance. programs. scientific way). if we want to know what percent of the population would vote for a Democratic or a Republican in the next presidential election. treatments) affect the outcomes of interest.

When we talk about types of relationships. unemployment also tends 45 . a causal study assumes that you can describe both the cause and effect variables and that you can show that they are related to each other. When inflation is high. The Nature of a Relationship While all relationships tell about the correspondence between two variables. Types of Relationships A relationship refers to the correspondence between two variables. we often talk of a correlation between inflation and unemployment. And. there is a special type of relationship that holds that the two variables are not only in correspondence. a relational study assumes that you can first describe (by measuring or observing) each of the variables you are trying to relate. unemployment also tends to be high. That is. A correlational relationship simply says that two things perform in a synchronized manner. The three question types can be viewed as cumulative. we would essentially be studying whether the campaign (cause) changed the proportion of voters who would vote Democratic or Republican (effect). but that one causes the other. a 45 program or treatment variable) causes or affects one or more outcome variables. For instance. When inflation is low.g. This is the key distinction between a simple correlational relationship and a causal relationship. If we did a public opinion poll to try to determine whether a recent political advertising campaign changed voter preferences.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) When a study is designed to determine whether one or more variables (e.. we can mean that in at least two ways: the nature of the relationship or the pattern of it. Causal studies are probably the most demanding of the three.

we don't believe that the relationship is a causal one. that there is a correlation between the number of roads built in Europe and the number of children born in the United States.. But knowing that two variables are 46 correlated does not tell us whether one causes the other. While there is a relationship between the number of roads built and the number of babies.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) to be low. you cannot assume that the relationship is causal: that computer use improves grades. the third variable might be socioeconomic status -. We know.richer students who have greater resources at their disposal tend to both use computers and do better in their grades.S. In this example. The key lesson here is that you have to be careful when you interpret correlations. In this case. Patterns of Relationships 46 . we should encourage U. we should stop building so many roads in Europe? Or. When the economy is good more roads are built in Europe and more children are born in the U. for instance. This leads to consideration of what is often termed the third variable problem.S. Does that mean that is we want fewer children in the U.S. perhaps the general world economy is responsible for both. For instance. it may be that there is a third variable that is causing both the building of roads and the birthrate. citizens to have more babies? Of course not. It's the resources that drives both use and grades. I hope not). The two variables are correlated. that is causing the correlation we observe. does it mean that if we don't have enough roads in Europe. If you observe a correlation between the number of hours students use the computer to study and their grade point averages (with high computer users getting higher grades). (At least. not computer use that causes the change in the grade point average.

any 47 . On the other hand a negative relationship implies that high values on one variable are associated with low values on the other. These are the simplest types of relationships we might typically estimate in research. If I know your GPA. I don't have idea how long your lifeline is. there is the case of no relationship at all. the patient begins to experience negative side effects associated with too high a dosage. high values on one variable are associated with high values on the other and low values on one are associated with low values on the other. If you know the values on one variable. severity of illness goes down. This is also sometimes termed an inverse relationship. Here. Then. we show an idealized negative relationship between a measure of self esteem and a measure of paranoia in psychiatric patients. First. As dosage rises. For instance. a curvilinear relationship. But the pattern of a relationship can be more complex than this. you don't know anything about the values on the other. and the severity of illness begins to increase again. In this example. the figure on the left shows a relationship that changes over the range of both variables. But at some point. we assume an idealized positive relationship between years of education and the salary one might expect to be making. we have the positive relationship.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 47 We have several terms to describe the major different types of patterns one might find in a relationship. In a positive relationship. In this example. the horizontal axis represents dosage of a drug for an illness and the vertical axis represents a severity of illness measure. For instance. I suspect that there is no relationship between the length of the lifeline on your hand and your grade point average.

variables are manipulated by the experimenter to see how they affect other variables. chances are that the temperature will be higher than if it's cloudy. two or more variables are measured at the same time to see if there is any relationship among them.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Variables Experiments and research studies are designed around variables. like the name of someone. while other variables are almost constant. For example. In research. in other words. like the stock-exchange value. but rather a single value of the variable “sex of subject. you typically define variables according to what you're measuring. Distinguishing Between a Variable and a Single Value of a Variable For something to be called a variable it must be capable of varying. since it can take two values: male and female. It changes according to different factors. that is. might be a variable if you could think of a way to measure it. The temperature varies according to other variable and factors.” “Femaleness. If it is a sunny day. like lighting a fire in the chimney. “sex of subject” is a variable. or. A variable is something that changes. Variables are 48 measured. Researchers are often seeking to measure variables. The variable can be a number. while the dependent variable is the effect (or assumed effect).” however. You can measure different temperature inside and outside. Another thing that can make the temperature change is whether something has been done to manipulate the temperature. a name or anything where the value can change. Some variables changes easily. An example of a variable is temperature. it must be able to take more than one value or level. So what then is a variable? It is anything that can vary along some dimension. “Female” by itself is not a variable. The independent variable is the variable which the researcher would like to measure (the cause). it is anything that can be measured. dependent 48 .

Confounding variables are variables with a significant effect on the dependent variable that the researcher failed to control or eliminate . They might not be stated because the researcher does not have a clear idea yet on what is really going on. assign quantitative values instead of (or in place of) the text values. the independent and the dependent variables might not be identified beforehand.g. age can be considered a variable because age can take different values for different people or for the same person at different times. A variable is any entity that can take on different values. in some qualitative research. so what does that mean? Anything that can vary can be considered a variable.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 49 on the independent variable. The variable 'gender' consists of two text values: 'male' and 'female'. if it is useful. "what is the effect of personality on helping behavior?" In explorative research methodology. in a hypothesis. OK. e. but we don't have to assign numbers in order for something to be a variable. there is a preoccupation with identifying constructs and their relation to propositions and theory. a variable is a symbol to which we assign numerals or values.g. where the propositions are converted to hypothesis and testing occurs. The key is to identify possible confounding variables and somehow try to eliminate or control them. These variables are often stated in experimental research. We can. Variables aren't always 'quantitative' or numerical. It's also important to realize that variables aren't only 49 . Similarly.sometimes because the researcher is not aware of the effect of the confounding variable. country can be considered a variable because a person's country can be assigned a value. the scientist is likely to be dealing with variables. At the theoretical level. In this context. You won't be able to do very much in research unless you know how to talk about variables. e. Scientists operate at both theoretical and empirical levels. For instance. At the empirical level.

do I go to arrivals because I'm arriving at the airport or does the person I'm picking up go to arrivals because they're arriving on the plane!). An educational program can have varying amounts of 'time on task'. we consider the treatment or program to be made up of one or more variables (i. It took me the longest time to learn this distinction. This distinction is particularly relevant when you are investigating cause-effect relationships.a treatment or program or cause. But this is entirely backwards! In fact the independent variable is what you (or nature) manipulates -. it's the treatment). (Of course. 'studentteacher ratios'. I'm someone who gets confused about the signs for 'arrivals' and 'departures' at airports -. in much social research and in program evaluation.. the variable sex or gender has two attributes: male and female.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 50 things that we measure in the traditional sense. 'classroom settings'. For instance. An attribute is a specific value on a variable. and that a dependent variable must be one that depends on my efforts (that is. For instance. So even the program can be considered a variable (which can be made up of a number of sub-variables). I originally thought that an independent variable was one that would be free to vary or respond to some program or treatment. and so on.e. the 'cause' can be considered a variable). the variable agreement might be defined as having five attributes: 1 = strongly disagree 2 = disagree 3 = neutral 4 = agree 5 = strongly agree Another important distinction having to do with the term 'variable' is the distinction between an independent and dependent variable. The dependent variable is 50 . Or.

if you are studying the effects of a new educational program on student achievement. each of the categories in a question like that is its own variable and is treated dichotomously as either "checked" or "unchecked".you 51 would simply have too many responses. On the other hand. While this might seem obvious. the attributes of a variable should be mutually exclusive. but technically speaking. it should include all possible answerable responses. For example. attributes that are mutually exclusive.a person who is looking for a second job while employed would be able to check both attributes! But don't we often use questions on surveys that ask the respondent to "check all that apply" and then list a series of categories? Yes. we do. there are two traits of variables that should always be achieved. and "Muslim".The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) what is affected by the independent variable -. no respondent should be able to have two attributes simultaneously. Finally. you might be tempted to represent the variable "Employment Status" with the two attributes "employed" and "unemployed. "Jewish". In addition to being exhaustive. Each variable should be exhaustive. For instance. The list does not exhaust all possibilities.religion being one of them -.your effects or outcomes. Determine the Relevant Variable Anything that may assume different numerical values 51 . For instance. there are quite a few religions I can think of that haven't been included." But these attributes are not necessarily mutually exclusive -. it is often rather tricky in practice. the program is the independent variable and your measures of achievement are the dependent ones. The way to deal with this is to explicitly list the most common attributes and then use a general category like "Other" to account for all remaining ones. if you exhaust all the possibilities with some variables -. if the variable is "religion" and the only options are "Protestant".

Moderating Variables In each relationship. Often one uses another type of explanatory variable of value here—the moderating variable. and then they try by reality testing to see if the relationships actually work out that way. It is normally hypothesized that in some way the independent variable causes the dependent variable to occur. In actual study situations. For example. Researchers hypothesize relationships of independence and dependence: They invent them . As one writer notes: There’s nothing very tricky about the notion of independence and dependence. A moderating 52 . there is at least one independent variable and a dependent variable. such a simple one-on-one relationship needs to be conditioned or revised to take other variables into account. 52 does a participative leadership style (independent variable) influence job satisfaction or performance (dependent variables) or can a superior’s modeling of ethical behavior influence the behavior of the subordinate? It is important to remember that there are no preordained variables waiting to be discovered “out there” that are automatically assigned to one category or the other.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Types of Variables Categorical Continuous Dependent Independent Independent and Dependent Variables Researchers are most interested in relationships among variables. But there is something tricky about the fact that the relationship of independence and dependence is a figment of the researcher’s imagination until demonstrated convincingly. however.

but most must either be assumed or excluded from the study. Most can be safely ignored. counted. Extraneous Variables An almost infinite number of extraneous variables exists that might conceivably affect a given relationship. Fortunately.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) variable is a second independent variable that is included because it is believed to have a significant contributory or contingent effect on the originally stated IV-DV relationship.” 53 . the introduction of the four–day workweek(IV) will lead to higher productivity (DV). The intervening variable may be defined as “that factor which theoretically affects the observed phenomenon but cannot be seen. or manipulated. its effect must be inferred from the effects of the independent and moderator variables on the observed phenomenon. 53 Whether a given variable is treated as an independent or as a moderating variable depends on the hypothesis. Others may be important. Some can be treated as independent or moderating variables. but their impact occurs is such a random fashion as to have little effect. or observed in some way. In routine office work(EV-control). the infinite number of variables has little or no effect on a given situation. they can be seen. especially among younger workers(MV). one might hypothesize that The introduction of the four–day workweek(IV) will lead to higher productivity (DV). measured. Intervening Variables The variables mentioned with regard to casual relationships are concrete and clearly measurable. For example. especially among younger workers(MV).

you used three different possible operational definitions of activity level. especially when free prizes are offered (MV). In the preschool class example at the beginning of this chapter. by increasing job satisfaction (IVV). but rarely well defined. you asked two student raters who did not know the 54 . and dependent variables. you asked the teacher to sot the children into three word-labeled categories. The results come from enhancing the motivation to save(IVV).” Another obvious question would be what is meant by “moderate” and “large” doses. It would make a lot of difference if the researcher were talking about “amphetamine” rather than “caffeine. For each of them.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) The introduction of the four–day workweek(IV) will lead to higher productivity (DV).. When you use activity level as a variable is a research study. None of the three variable definitions given above is a good operational definition. it is necessary to be very specific about the basis on which you will decide that a given child should be classified as withdrawn. In one case. For another measure. The management of a bank wishes to study the effect of promotion on savings. It might advance the following hypothesis: 54 A promotion campaign (IV) will increase savings activity (DV). For the amount of stimulant consumed variable. normal. It would be necessary to be much more specific about dosages before this would begin to be a usable operational definition that would allow someone else to repeat the research. controlled extraneous. the first question that probably occurred to you is “what stimulant?”. “Hyperactivity” is a word that is often used. Here is the example illustrating the relationships involving independent. but chiefly among smaller savers(EV-control). or hyperactive. you would have to ask the researcher some questions before you could determine exactly what was meant. moderating.

” Recapitulation For what is a variable? a) A variable is anything that can vary along some dimension. a child might choose the pretty doll first. would also be usable by other researchers. you’ll have to use the operational definition that comes closest to what you mean by “toy preference. and who did the classification. in your research. then it is likely that the second operational definition. For example. but there are still some things that the original definition doesn’t specify. Notice that these two operational definitions might not yield the same results. it would be necessary to state the rules by which the children were classified or assigned values. but might subsequently spend a longer time playing with the model farm. If your two student observers showed high agreement in their rating when flowing your instructions as to how to use the rating scale. The toy-preference variable seems somewhat easier to operationalize. Another researcher might define it according to the amount of time the child spent playing with each toy when all were continuously available.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) children to observe them and to agree on a rating of their activity. if it included your instructions. Probably this last operational definition is most 55 repeatable by a new researcher. but it might not be exactly what you fell is meant by “activity level”. When you define a 55 . Your third operational definition concerned the frequency with which each child would switch among toys under set conditions. To make a complete operational definition of hyperactivity. Any variable must have at least two or more different single values or levels. how they were observed. one researcher might define “toy preference” as which toy the child selected when presented with the entire array and told to choose the one he or she liked best.

the actual measurements obtained are dependent on the responses of the children and can be known only after running the experiment. Both of these variables can be seen as input into the experiment. are called Independent Variables (IVs). the variable measuring what the children remembered about the story is an output variable for the experiment. the definition must be so complete that another person would have Identify at least three variables involved in this study. c) Are there any improvements or clarifications these operational definitions should have? Please should have? d) For one of the variables you have identified. The experimenter decided to make the sex of the children participating in the study a variable by selecting both boys and girls. write out the operational definition of the variable as given in the above description of the experiment. In addition. Such variables. Independent and Dependent Variables Distinguishing IVs and DVs As you worked on the sample test question at the end of the previous section. after all. What the children remember is. the experimenter created the four story situations. give a description of the complete set of single values the variable could have. you may have felt that the different variables you identified function in very different ways in the study. b) For each of the three variables. determining all the levels of another variable in the experiment. what the experimenter is trying 56 . In contrast. The levels or values of some of the variables were specifically created by the experimenter before running the actual experiment.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 56 variable in a research study. While the experimenter determined ahead of time how this variable would be measured. whose levels are determined ahead of time by the experimenter.

” Even though this statement appears in reverse order. The input to this particular study would be a set number of different levels of subject anxiety as selected or determined by the experimenter. the above experiment might be described as: “This experiment attempted to show whether performance on a learning task was affected by the level of anxiety of the subjects. You have to be careful about picking out IVs and DVs from research description. an experiment might be done to investigate the effects of subject anxiety on learning a list of nonsense syllables. the experimenter will determine ahead of time the kinds of learning tasks to which the subjects will be exposed and will measure as output for the study the level of anxiety produced in the 57 . The output would be measurements of each subject’s performance on the learning task.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) to find out by conducting the research. such variables representing the output of the experimental process are called Dependent Variables (DVs). The same combination of IV and DV could be given in a different form of statement: “This research study was conducted to see whether (DV) was affected by changes in (IV)”. a researcher might be interested in determining whether engaging in a learning task affects a subject’s level of anxiety. One general form of descriptive statement that often occurs is: “This experiment was done to establish the effects of IIV) on (DV). The purpose of the experiment would be to establish a cause-effect relationship between the two variables. because a given variable might be and IV in one research study and a DV in another. 57 Usually it is not too difficult to spot the major IVs and DVs early in the description of a research study. Specifically.” For example. For instance. the experimenter still is doing the same thing: manipulating or selecting subject anxiety level (IV) to determine whether it affects or changes measurements of the subjects’ learning performance (DV). sometimes in the title itself. In this case.

In the sex-stereotyping research study described on page 51. Now. the IV is the type of learning task and DV is subject anxiety. you must be explicit about which levels of the IV you are using when defining a particular IV for a particular experiment. one cup of coffee (low-dose level). Since most variables can potentially have a large number of levels.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 58 subjects by participating in the learning tasks. we would specify not only what stimulant we Intend to use. Since as IV is a variable. The experimenter saw to it that he selected 20 of each of the two kinds of subject. was also set up ahead of time by the experimenter: he made sure that each of the four sex-stereotyping situations was represented equally often in the story the children read. the operational definition of an IV must specify at least two levels. We might. if we wanted to do a study on the effects of the consumption of a stimulant (IV) on the speed of working through a set of math problems (DV). The second IV. the four levels of story situation. For example. the “sex-ofsubject” IV had two levels: boy and girl. Depending on how we designed our experiment. we might have different subjects for each of the dosage levels or we might study the same subjects’ at all three dosage levels. for example. our DV will be a measurement of how rapidly each subject works through the set of math problems. set up three levels of the IV as follows: no cups of coffee (no-dose level). although there can be more. but also all the dosage levels. Operational definition of a Dependent Variable 58 . and four cups of coffee (high-dose level). In either case. Operational definition of an Independent Variable An IV is operationally defined by specifying the levels (single values) that the experimenter is going to use in the experiment.

The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 59 An operational definition of a DV must include specification of what measures you are going to take on the subjects. For example. the DV was a reading-comprehension score. it also increases the amount of information that can be gathered from a single study. and how you will take the measurement. In the stereotyping study. Using multiple IVs can quickly make an experiment more complicated to run. designed to determined whether the amount of coffee consumed by a person affects the speed at which a set math problems can be worked. For example. The major IV. moderate consumer (one or two cups a day). we might wonder whether those subjects already used to drinking coffee would react differently to the stimulation effects of a dose of coffee than subjects who didn’t regularly consume the stuff.” and define it as having three levels: rarely or never drinks coffee. For a complete operational definition he researcher has to describe the test and how it was scored. Or he might ask each child to recall an event from the story and then categorize the child according to which of the four story situations he or she chose to recall. Multiply IVS Frequently an experiment or research study will use more than one IV or more than one DV. While this increases the complexity of doing the research. Now we have expanded 59 . and heavy consumer (three or more cups a day). This would be a nominal-type measurement of what the child remembered best about the story.” was defined as having three levels. Each child could then score from 1 to 10 for each story situation. as we begin to think about this. This would be an interval-type measurement of the child’s recall. he might have used 40-item test with 10 items relevant to each of the four story situations. “amount of stimulant consumed. But. “customary coffee consumption. Consider the experiment proposed on page 53. what kind of measurement scale you will be using. So we decide to add a second IV.

moderate drinkers who get four cups. but would be unable to concentrate on hard problems. a minimum of ten for each experimental condition. What does it mean to “Operationally Define” a Variable? 60 . Dealing with multiple IVs and deciding how many you can use at the same time is a design issue we will consider in a later chapter.e. This tempts us to add a third IV. When we contemplate having to find ten men and ten women for each of 18 experimental conditions. He speculates that a person who had consumed a timulant might whip through a set of easy problems more quickly. Our statistical consultant points out that if we intend to use different subjects for each condition of our experiment. An example of one of the condition would be a moderate coffee drinker (level 2 of IV2) who is given a heavy dose of coffee (level 3 of IV1) and is then asked to work an easy set of problems (level 1 of IV3). and accordingly suggests yet a fourth IV for our experiment. which we define as having two levels: an easy set of problems and a hard set of problems. rare drinkers who get no coffee. problem difficulty. who get one cup. Now there are eighteen (3*3*2) condition in our experiment. we slug him. A friend (?) of ours then suggests that the difficulty of the math problems might also be worth considering. then we’d better find at least 180 subjects. and heavy drinkers who get four cups). Another so-called friend subsequently muses that the use of stimulants may be helpful to men in solving problems but be harmful to women (whom he feels are sufficiently agitated without any outside help). Seriously. heavy drinkers who get no coffee. rare 60 drinkers who get one cup.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) the experiment to include nine conditions (i. it is easy to see how careful consideration of a research question could suggest many interesting IVs. heavy drinkers.

Application 1 of Operational Definition of Variables 61 . don’t throw up your hands in despair. Stop and take a look first at how the variables were operationally defined in the two studies. Does anxiety mean the same thing in both studies? Was learning measured the same way in the two studies? The apparent difference in results may actually represent a difference in the operation definitions of the variables in the experiments. you have to look for the operational definition closest to your definition of the term. It is pointless to try to make any theoretical or practical use of a research procedure that works one way for one person and another way for another person. but also that any other person who repeats the same research should get the same results. Only if others can interpret your variables in the same way as you did originally will they be able to replicate your research. To ensure that your research will be repeatable by other investigators it is necessary that you be perfectly clear as to how your variables are defined in terms of what you did to vary them or to measure them. if study 1 says that increased “anxiety” improves “learning” and study 2 day that increased anxiety impairs learning .The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 61 Defining a variable completely so that another person interprets the variable in the same way is called “operationally defining the variable. If you want to apply the research results of others to your own work. the results must be repeatable. chuck the studies in the wastebasket. and walk off muttering that you knew there was nothing gto social science research. Much of the confusion that exists about differing results of what appears to be the same research procedure can be traced to differing operational definitions of variables called by the same name. This means not only that the original researcher should get the same results when the research study is repeated.” In order for the results of an experiment or research study to be of any use to the rest of the world.

Thus for one experiment. Hunger is another term that may be operationally defined in many ways." Political viewpoint is yet another general term that would have to be operationalized for any particular research study. it might be the rate of learning a new task. for another. Be very specific in your definitions so that another person could not be confused about your meaning. researchers might measure the intensity of electric shock the: animal is willing to experience to gain access to the food.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) For each of the variables below. In animal experiments it is often operationally defined as “hours without food”. If you are dealing with humans. Another possible definition of hunger of may be expressed in terms of how much trouble the subject is willing to go to get at food. it might be the solution time for puzzle. and for another. Learning Hunger Political view point For the variable learning. and so on. with a little thought. however. the conditions under which it is being learned. you could come up with a vast number of operational definitions of "hunger. An operational definition of “learning” for a particular experiment or research study must specify what is being learned. and. you could probably come up with different operational definitions as long as you continued to think about it. and how the learning is being measured. how much they take. and operational definition for learning might be score on a particular test. think of two different ways you might 62 operationally define the variable. you might ask them either directly or indirectly how hungry they feel at a given moment. Obviously. Political viewpoint might be defined 62 . if they do. believe that percent of normal body weight after deprivation is a better operational definition. Or you might offer them some food and note whether or not they take any. Some animal researcher. To be precise.

Amount of stimulant consumed: Each subject will consume no stimulant. 1. 1965). or a large dose. Application 2 of Operational Definition of Variables For each of the following definitions of variables. Measuring correct 63 . normal. a moderate dose. it must be possible for someone else to read your operational definition and be able to take measures of political viewpoint in the same way. You could ask people who they voted for in a recent election or determine their score on a standardized questionnaire (for example.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 63 for your purposes as the political party to which a person is registered. Maybe you might prefer to have the people rate themselves on a conservative-to-liberal scale. specify in what ways the operational definitions are not complete by writing down at least one further question you'd want to have answered before you could use the variable in your own research study. However you define the variable. Or you might want to define it in terms of the person's response to a set of questions about current political situations. or hyperactive. Threats to a Valid Measurement Procedure Sensitivity of Dependent Measure Sensitivity is increased thought observing responses that can differ subtly. Activity level: The children in the classroom will be classified as withdrawn. measuring subjects’ reaction time in a stoop interference task is more sensitive than merely seeing if they correctly name the ink color. Toy preference: The same set of six toys will be presented to each child and the one he or she prefers noted. 3. 2. the RadicalismConservatism Scale published by Comrey and Newmeyer. There are still other ways you could operationally define political viewpoint. For example.

Sensitivity is also increased through increased precision in measurement. when designing a measurement procedure we should envision the range of scores it has the problem of restricted range. we want a system that allows a wide range of scores 64 . To avoid restriction of range. These are generally more precise and sensitive of procedure. in our aggression study. we also attempt to avoid any aspects of the design that might artificially limit subjects’ scores. Therefore. Thus. rating scales increase precision. Therefore our procedure should allow subjects to score anywhere within that wide range. first consider the method you will use to assign scores. Avoiding the Restriction of Range Problem The experimental task must realistically allow subjects to obtain any of the different scores that occur on the variable. because we have limited the scores that subjects may obtain. Restriction of range occurs when the range of scores on a variable is limited by the researcher. so instead of merely judging whether or not a child acts aggressively toward “Bobo.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 64 responses glosses over subtle differences in what subjects are mentally experiencing. reaction time is measured in milliseconds (thousandths of a second) because this level of precision is sensitive to very small differences cause by interference. For example. as opposed to merely nothing whether it occurs r not. Measuring reaction time is sensitive to these differences because a slow correct response indicates more interference than a fast one. Then. In other words as we originally planned. it is because it is now more difficult to obtain relatively large differences between the groups we have reduced our statistical power. try to use interval or ration scales of measurements. If it does not we have restricted the range.” we would rate the degree of a behavior. there is a wide range of aggressiveness that a subject might exhibit. Likewise.

however we need to divide exactly how we will define and measure “TV violence” and exactly how we will define and measure “aggressive behavior. These decisions are usually made after reviewing precious research and determining how other researchers have defined and measured their variables. for example. Before we can evaluate this prediction. if subjects can score between 0 to 100. we should see that those who watch more TV violence are more aggressive than those who watch less TV violence. the hypothesis that watching violence on television is directly related to aggressive behavior of preschool children. we must first translate the hypothesis into a specific prediction about the outcome of empirical observation. that will restrict the behaviors that subjects exhibit and. inherently restrict the range of scores they receive. Determine how you will Define and measure your Variables To scientifically evaluate a hypothesis. we transform the research hypothesis (from Step 2 of the research process) into a specific. we avoid testing only exceptionally coordinated athletes who may produce the same scores regardless of condition. the range is restricted.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 65 to occur. If our system allows subjects to get an aggression score of only 1. welldefined prediction that can be tested by making empirical observations. or 3. Second. for example. or task requirements. thus. We are now 65 . In our aggression study. subject characteristics. if we observe a group of preschool children. consider demand characteristics. By defining our variables so that they can be observed and measured.” The variables identified in the research hypothesis must be defined in a manner that makes it possible to measure them by some form of empirical observation. Consider. we avoid communication the expectation that our subjects should “behave themselves” so that all children do not produce the same low aggression score in the different condition. This hypothesis predicts that. 2. the range is not restricted. In our reaction time study.

You also must determine how many individuals you will need for your research and you must plan where and how to recruit them. The individuals who take part in research studies are called participants if they are human and subjects if they are nonhuman. they are called participants. you must decide exactly what individuals will participate in the research study. Note that the task of determining exactly how the variables will be defined and measured often depends on the individuals to be measured. It is the responsibility of the researcher to plan for the safety and well-being of the research participants and to inform them of all relevant aspects of die research. Identify the Participants or Subjects Before you can begin data collection. Nonhumans are called subjects. For example. middle-income households who have been diagnosed with a specific learning disability. If the individuals are human.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 66 ready to evaluate the hypothesis by actually observing the variables to determine whether or not they are really related. The key idea is that the hypothesis is now in an empirically testable form. you would certainly measure the aggressive behavior of a group of preschool children very differently from the aggressive behavior of a group of adults. you must decide whether you will place any restrictions on the characteristics of the participants. Or you may be more restrictive and use only 4-year-old boys from twoparent. Select a Research Strategy 66 . especially any risk or danger that may be involved. For example. In addition. you may decide to use preschool children.

the measurement procedure. You may. 67 . We seek reliability not only in terms of measuring subject’s scores but also in terms reliably manipulating the independent variable: All subjects in a condition should receive the same amount or category of the variable. then we want precisely 70 degrees for all subjects in one condition and precisely 90 degrees for all subjects in the other conditions. for example. and when we change to another condition. the researcher. and the environment. want to know whether or not there is any relation between academic success and self-esteem. Controlling Threats to Reliability and Validity Once we select the conditions of the independent variable. The choice of a research strategy is usually determined by one of two factors: The type of question asked: The simplest kind of research question asks only about the existence of a relationship. For each. all subjects there should receive the same new amount.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 67 Choosing a research strategy involves deciding on the general approach you will take to evaluate your hypothesis. Creating a Reliable Manipulation Recall that reliability means that nut result are consistent and contain no error. we must consider the four components of an experiment: the subjects. In doing. A more sophisticated question would concern why there is a relation: what causes the relation between academic success and self-esteem? Questions about causes typically require a different strategy from questions about existence. Thus if in our temperature study the conditions are 70 and 90 degrees. we must precisely define how we will create and present them. we try to anticipate and eliminate anything that may threaten the reliability and validity of our results.

2. it is especially important that our manipulation of the independent variable does not introduce a confounding. Recall that a confounding occurs when systematic differences between the conditions exist. internal validity is of paramount importance. so we 68 . let's say that holding a pen between the teeth not only makes subjects smile but also makes them laugh. The results of such a study can be diagrammed as shown in Table 5. Note that what we are calling the smile condition produced a higher average mood score. we will end up with different responses and thus variability among the scores within each condition. in addition to the Independent variable. or in terms of the confounding variable of laughing or not laughing. Holding the pen in their lips does neither. the degree to which we can draw accurate inferences about the observed relationship in our study. because we seek to draw a causal inference. We must be confident that it is only the changes in the independent variable that cause changes in the dependent scores.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 68 If there is inconsistency in out manipulation. Therefore. then we are not always presenting the condition we think we are. The problem is that there are two ways to describe our conditions: either in terms of the intended manipulation of mimicking or not mimicking a smile. In experiments. Controlling Confounding Variables Although we are concerned with all aspects of validity. In our smile study. Recall that such variability is called error variance. Because of this confounding we don't know which variable is causing die elevated mood. for example. and that greater error variance reduces the strength of the relationship and decreases power. and our conclusions well be based on the wrong amounts of the independent variable Alto. if the experimental situation b in any way different for each subject. once an independent variable has been created our concern is focused on internal validity.

anything that consistently differentiates that experimenter from one temperature condition to the next is a potential confounding variable. this confounding could produce results directly opposite to those we predicted. although smiling might actually tend to increase mood. If subjects holding die pen with puckered lips laughed more often and thus experienced a higher mood. Given that we must provide an experimenter for subjects to aggressive toward. Or.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 69 cannot be confident that we have confirmed die hypothesis that facial feedback from smiling increases mood. causing us to think that mood improves with less use of die smile muscles. A confounding can also work to cover up die predicted relationship. TABLE 5.2 Diagram of a Confounded Smile Study Conditions Condition 1 Condition 2 (Pen in teeth) (Pen in lips) Independent variable Confoundin g variable Mood scores High X mood Low X mood A confounding could also occur in our temperature study. increased anxiety might tend to decrease mood. let's say that the researcher inadvertently made those subjects in the smile conditions more anxious. These effects could cancel out so that we find no difference in our original hypothesis. Let's say that we carelessly employ a male experimenter when the room is 70 degrees and a female experimenter when the room Smile Laughter XXX No-smile No-laughter XXX 69 . Then.

For example. the same familiarity. so that to your knowledge. and so on. for any study. ideally. you won't know whether subjects are being influenced by such extraneous variables instead of by your independent variable. or more disorganized in one condition than in another. are less familiar. If. Remember every design must be scrupulously examined to eliminate potential confounding. but one song contains lyrics and another does not. In this case. We may control extraneous variables that produce confounding by trying to eliminate them. however. We would design a procedure for the smile study in which no subjects will laugh. We have a confounding variable if we are presenting examples of different types of music. the only thing that systematically differentiates the conditions is your independent variable. Remember. we could select happy and sad words that all have the same length. but one list consists of words that contain more syllables. 70 . Or. we may keep the extraneous variables constant across all condition. The same is true if we are presenting lists of happy or sad words. or one is familiar and another is obscure. more attractive.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) is 90 degrees. Different confounding variables arise with the use of different independent variables. or are more socially acceptable. the volume of one is greater than that of another. thus. we're unable to eliminate them. Rather you must anticipate penitential confounding and attempt to eliminate them. we have a confounding if we employ a confederate who is friendlier. we cannot know whether differences in subject 70 aggressiveness are due to differences in room temperature or to differences in the sex of the experimenter.

or when we surprise them with some event. we would say that we "collapsed across gender" because we combined the two groups in a column into one group. we could see what differences arise due to the presence of a male or female experimenter. By balancing experimenter gender. In a between-subjects design. Diffusion of treatment occurs when subjects in one condition are aware of the treatment given in other conditions. but the internal validity of the design will be threatened as well: Instead of being influenced only by the condition of 71 . Diffusion of Treatment Another threat to internal validity associated with the independent variable is diffusion of treatment. then we may balance it. we are collapsing across that variable—that is. Because the latter subjects are now aware of the treatment. for example. for example. For example. By ignoring gender. because each sex is equally represented in each condition. we evenly distribute its Influence in each temperature condition. so. let's say the subjects who have participated in one condition tell other potential subjects about their experience. we could employ a male experimenter with half of the 71 subjects in each temperature condition and a female experimenter with the other half. Above. combining the scores from the different amounts or categories of that variable. We can also analyze the influence of a balanced variable.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) If we do not eliminate or keep an extraneous variable constant. the strength of our manipulations may be reduced. allowing its influence to be evenly spread across subjects within every condition. Then. if the 90-degree condition produces greater aggression In subjects this result cannot be attributed to the particular sex of the experimenter present. Diffusion of treatment is especially a problem when we manipulate the information given to subjects in each condition. Not only will the strength or impact of our treatment be reduced.

we can test subject from different locations so that they have little physical contact with each other. Your original idea will guide you through the literature and help you decide which research studies are important to you and which are not relevant to your interests. and so on. you will become familiar with the current state of knowledge and can determine what questions are still unanswered. Third. preventing any extraneous variables from randomly fluctuation within and between the conditions. for the same period of time. In the temperature study. 72 Bear in mind that your general idea is simply a starting point that eventually will evolve into a very specific research question. we standardize our procedures. all subjects should be warmly dressed to the same degrees. subjects' responses will be influenced by extraneous information they have about the conditions and the study. all subjects should hold the same type of pen in their mouths. we can also endeavor to disguise our treatments. Thus. all the while maintaining the same posture and performing the same tasks. To accomplish this objective. Eventually.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) our independent variable. as we'll see. acclimated to the temperature to the same extent. fluctuating variables may cause subjects to respond differently with in condition. At this stage you will be ready to identify which subjects might communicate with each other. Creating Consistent Procedures In addition to presenting a reliable manipulation and eliminating any obvious confounding. seated the same distance form the heater. in each condition of the smile study. a key issue in designing the remainder of the procedure is the need to achieve consistency. Your final question or research hypothesis will develop as you read through the research literature and discover what other researchers have already learned. producing greater error variance and reducing 72 . Finally. if we have not achieved such consistency.

Of course. and wording) constant. we describe the sequence of events. We never "ad lib" instructions. instead. the goal is to have all subjects perform precisely the same intended task. without introducing extraneous stimuli or behavior that make the task different for different subjects. length. Instructions Our instructions should clearly explain the task so that subjects consistently attend to the stimulus and respond appropriately. When creating instructions. or talk.. such fluctuations might cause one condition to differ from another.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 73 our statistical power. we may read them aloud. Then. duration. Further. we change only the necessary parts and avoid a confounding by keeping all other aspects (e. avoiding psychological jargon and using words that subjects will easily understand (especially if they are children). so they don’t miss crucial aspects of the task. thus confounding the independent variable. We can encourage subjects to ask questions if they don't understand us. fidget. we present the same instructions to all subjects. (Should they guess when making a response? Should they hurry?). identify the stimuli they should attend to. or play a tape recording of them. we use instructions to prevent unwanted subject behaviors: We tell them not to look around. We also anticipate subjects' questions. If we are manipulating a variable through instructions. In particular. and explain how to indicate a response. Remember: A key issue in designing our procedures is the need to produce consistency within and between conditions.g. there are no guarantees that our instructions will have the desired effect. but the more 73 . Further. we make sure they're clear for the least sophisticated subjects. using a neutral voice that can be consistently reproduced.

For clarity we can add more detail. such as on a test or questionnaire. which present many opportunities for providing reliable presentation of stimuli through automation. but experienced or bored subjects may not listen. the more their testing experience differs from those who do not ask 74 questions. when presenting auditory stimuli. we must consider the mechanics of how we will present a stimulus and determine whether it will introduce inconsistency. all subjects will experience the same condition 74 . especially when instructions are presented in a dry. Testing Subjects in Groups An important question to ask ourselves when designing a study is whether to test subjects individually or in groups. Also if we can test an entire condition at one time. Automation At the outset of any study. potentially confounding variable. The advantage of group testing is greater efficiency in collecting the data. Likewise. The alternative is to rely on automated equipment—electronic timers. we can have subjects read the instructions themselves. When creating a situation for subjects to react to. The creation of effective yet efficient instructions requires considerable effort on the part of the researcher. we might videotape the situation so that all subjects in a condition see exactly the same event.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) they do so. slide projectors and the like—to control and present stimuli. Group testing is more common when the task requires subjects' written responses. Finally. For example. and variation in presentation times is an extraneous. We can also benefit from the availability of personal computers. neutral manner. we can use headphones to keep the volume constant for all subjects (rather than risk having them sits near or far from speakers) and exclude distracting environmental noises. but in that case we must be sure they actually do read and understand them. use of a stopwatch to time the presentation of visual stimuli can be unreliable.

Rather than just measuring the dependent variable. block one another's view. A pilot study is a miniature version of a study in which we test our procedures. we would show the films to pilot subjects and have them rate the amount of violence each contains. a pilot study allows the experimenter to work out any bugs in the equipment or procedure. In addition. or otherwise distract each other. Our personal judgment is of little help in determining the amount of violence in a film (perhaps we are particularly insensitive to violence). so as to prevent potential confounding. but it also depends on the experiment and how susceptible the subjects are to the presence of other subjects. Pilot Studies To be sure that our procedures are appropriate and reliable and that we have anticipated all major extraneous variables. especially for those tested in another group. Lets say our conditions involve showing films that contain different amount of violence. (In the smile study. the experimenter should not giggle!) Pilot studies are also used to create and validate our stimuli. we may ask subjects questions and talk with them about the procedure to determine what they are actually experiencing. for example. we need to be especially careful to control subjects' extraneous behaviors.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 75 consistently presented The disadvantage is that subjects may make noise. this issue can handled with particularly explicit instructions. Usually. Therefore. 75 . the situation for some subjects may be slightly different fro that for other subjects. weather the task is doable given time constraints or other demands and whether the manipulation actually works and is strong. we determine such matters as whether the instructions are clear and subjects perform appropriately. we conduct a pilot study before conducting our actual study. Therefore. As a result. Using a sample of the type of subjects we will test in our actual study.

"Normal people crave cookies at this time of day.g. or instructions and conduct more pilot studies until we have the desired situation in each condition (In APA-style reports. Remember Instruction. Controlling Demand Characteristics Imagine you are a subject in an "experiment" that is taking place in a "laboratory" full of timers. in additions to the dependent variable that determines whether the independent variable had tits intended effect. In a study where we manipulate frustration to influence subjects' intervening anger and then measure aggressiveness. cameras. He says. Usually this check is made after subjects have performed the tasks. it is especially useful for ensuring that an independent variable has the intended influence on an intervening variable. If he says. If subjects make the desired responses. task. Manipulation Checks Although pilot studies are very useful. by determining their physiological responses or having them complete a questionnaire). and manipulation checks are important consideration for creating a reliable and valid design. A manipulation check is a measurement. we alter the stimuli. we have greater confidence that differences in aggression are the result of differences in anger. For example. group testing. to increase internal validity we may also want to check whether our manipulation actually influenced our subjects in the experiment. pilot studies are briefly described in the materials section). If they don't. "Only 76 . pilot studies. and who-knows-what A "psychologist" with lab coat and clipboard puts a plate of cookies in front of you. we go back to the drawing board to redesign the study.. automation. we can check the manipulation by directly measuring subjects' anger (e. so eat if you want" I'll bet you eat one.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 76 For any problems we identify during a pilot study.

and crazy people. however. Research procedures are mysterious. experimental. and rumor has it that psychologist do strange things to subjects and study only intelligence. Therefore. Because of these concerns. they are also on guard. In research these cues are called demand characteristics. while subjects are trying to determine what is expected of them. conscious process. Demand characteristics can be grouped in terms of the four components of study. subject brings with them certain attitudes that influence their behavior." I'll bet you don't in any situation the social and physical surroundings provide cues that essentially "demand" that we behave in a certain way. a research study must meet specific criteria to qualify as an experiment. sexual deviance. co relational. sensitive to portraying themselves in a bad light or appearing abnormal. but eat if you want. different subjects will react differently to the same situation. First. 77 . Now we discuss details of the experimental research strategy. and only a limited number of research studies actually deserve periment from other kinds of research studies. Subjects rely on demand characteristics to answer such questions as "what's really going on here? What am I supposed to do? How will my response be interpreted These cues arise in addition to-or despite-the explicit instructions we give subjects. and their use is not necessarily the result of an intentional.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 77 people who have no self-control eat at this time. The term experiment is often used as a generic label for any kind of scientific research. A demand characteristic is a cue provided by the research context that guides or biases a subject s behavior. Cause and Effect Relationships Four basic strategies for investigating variables and their relationships – descriptive. and quasi-experimental.

Although it is relatively easy to demonstrate that one variable is related to another. the method of observing variables is intended to show that changes in one variable are directly responsible for causing changes in the other variable. In natural circumstances. Ronald Freedman and his colleagues examined trends in family planning and birth control through the 1960s and 1970s in Taiwan. The researchers evaluated the relationship between birth control practices and each of the individual variables. particularly to establish the causal influence of one event on another.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 78 The goal of the experimental strategy is to establish the existence of a cause-andeffect relationship between two variables. That is. they recorded data on a wide range of behavioral and environmental variables. it is essential that a researcher separate and isolate the specific variables being studied. The task of teasing apart and separating a set of naturally interconnected variables is the heart of the experimental strategy. The following example illustrates one basic problem with interrelated variables. changes in one variable are typically accompanied by changes in many other related variables. Although demonstrating a causal relationship may seem straightforward. researchers are often confronted with tangled network of interrelated variables. it is much more difficult to establish the underlying cause of the relationship. Causation and the Third-Variable Problem One problem for researchers is that the variables they study rarely exist in isolation. In the course of their studies. The purpose of this research was to identify the factor of factors they determine how people set preferences for family size and whether or not they use birth control. To determine the nature of the relationships among variables. As a result. Although the research identified many variables related to family 78 . it can be very difficult.

1987). Although the results of the study establish that television watching is related to contraception. A more reasonable interpretation of the results is that there is another. it is reasonable to assume that assertiveness is a necessary prerequisite for this kind of job. Coombs. having people watch more television probably will not cause the use of contraception to increase. Many researchers have investigated the relationship between personality and success or failure in different occupation. This example is a demonstration of the third-variable problem. people who enter executive position with an assertive personality will tend to be 79 . For example.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 79 planning. even a strong one. Although the researchers demonstrated a relation between contraception use and television watching. The existence of a relationship. Based on the consistency of the relationship and on common sense. that is. 1974). Clearly. unidentified variable (or combination of variables) responsible for causing simultaneous increases in birth control and television watching. and education are involved. you probably are not willing to conclude that it is a causal relationship. Causation and the Directionality Problem A second problem for researcher's attempting to establish cause and effect is demonstrated in the following example. it is temptation to conclude that there is causal relation between assertiveness and executive success. common sense suggests that this is not a causal relationship. other variables such as age. Chang. the results clearly showed a strong relationship between television watching and birth control practices (Freedman. 1976. is not sufficient to establish cause and effect. household income. & Syn. One of the most consistent findings is that successful executives or entrepreneurs tend to be more assertive than their less successful counterparts (McClelland. therefore.

assertiveness causes success. For example. the problem is determining which variable is the cause and which the effect is. We acknowledge that it is somewhat paradoxical that experiments must interfere with natural phenomena to gain a better understanding of nature how can observations made in an artificial. To establish a cause and effect relation. Although a research study may establish a relationship between two variables. carefully controlled experiment reveal any truth about nature? One simple answer is that the contrived character of experiments is a necessity: To see beneath the surface. This example is demonstration of the directionality problem. is that there is a difference between the conditions in which an experiment is conducted and the results of the experiment Just because an experiment takes place in an unnatural environment does not necessarily imply that the results are unnatural. A more complete answer. success causes assertiveness. In particular. Controlling Nature The preceding examples demonstrated that we cannot establish a cause and effect relationship by simply measuring two variables. so people who persist and are successful in the job tend to become assertive. however. it is necessary to dig. that are. the researchers must actively unravel the tangle of relationships that exists naturally. an experiment must control nature. if you drop a brick and a feather from the roof Of a 80 .The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 80 successful that is. it is equally reasonable to assume that executive positions require people to become assertive. you are probably familiar with the law of gravity. However. essentially creating an "unnatural" situation wherein the two variables being examined are isolated from the influence of other variables and wherein the exact character of a relationship can be seen clearly. You are no doubt equally familiar with the "natural" fact that. which states that all objects fall at the same rate independent of mass.

To use the terminology presented in chapter 6. and identify the general problem that can preclude a cause and effect explanation. Mr. Does this result indicate that method B causes higher 81 . Smith teaches other class using method B. Researchers are aware of this problem and have developed techniques to increase the external validity (natural character) of experiments. wherein forces such as air resistance have been eliminated. Nonetheless. conceal the true effects of gravity. in the same way. they will not fall at the same rate. Does this relationship mean that higher self-esteem causes better academic performance? Does it mean that better academic performance causes higher self-esteem? Explain your answer. the law accurately describes the underlying force of gravity and explains the behavior of falling objects. specifically a vacuum. A researcher would like to compare two methods for teaching math to third grade students. Two third-grade classes are obtained for the study. the students from the method B class have significantly higher scores on a mathematics achievement test. At the end of the year. Jones teaches one class using method A and Mrs. an experimenter can be so intent on ensuring internal validity that external validity is compromised. such as air resistance. there is always a risk that the conditions of an experiment will be so unnatural that the results are questionable. Other factors in the natural world. controlled environment. Learning Checks It has been demonstrated that students with high self-esteem tend to have higher grades than students with low self-esteem. the goal of any experiment is to reveal the natural underlying mechanisms and relationships that may be otherwise obscured. even though natural conditions may conceal the basic principle. we must create an artificial.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 81 building. This fact does not in validate the law of gravity. To demonstrate the law of gravity.

extraneous variables Definitions The goal of the experimental research strategy is to establish the existence of a cause-and-effect relationship between two variables. It must be shown that changes in one variables cause changes in the other variable. an experiment must demonstrate the character of the relationship. This general goal can be broken down into two sub goals: 1. an experiment must rule out the possibility that the changes are caused by some other variable.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 82 scores than method A? Explain your answer. and identify the general problem that precludes a cause and effect explanation. To accomplish this goal. In addition. To establish that one specific variable is responsible for changes in another variable. Manipulation of one variable while measuring a second variable 2. Elements of an Experiment The general goal of the experimental research strategy is to establish a cause and effect relationship between two variables. an experiment attempts to demonstrate that changes (or differences) in one variable are directly responsible for changes (or differences) in a second variable. Control of other. 2. That is. These sub goals dictate the two characteristics that differentiate experiments from other research strategies: 1. an experiment manipulates one variable while a second variable is measures and other variables are controlled. 82 . It is not sufficient for an experiment to demonstrate that a relation exist between two variables.

The primary purpose of manipulation is to allow researchers to determine the direction of a relationship. researchers can use manipulation to determine which variable is the cause and which is the effect. the observed relationship does not answer the causal question. it certainly is possible to manipulate the amount of sleep. a researcher could change the value of variable A (manipulation) and then observe what happens to variable B. if the 4 hour group is more depressed. After a week. does depression cause sleep problems or does the lack of sleep cause depression? Although it may be difficult to manipulate depression directly. But lack of change in variable B would indicate that variable A is not a causal agent. there is a direct relation between the position of the switch and the brightness of the light. it ahs been observed repeatedly that people suffering from depression also tend to have problems sleeping. we can demonstrate that the switch causes changes in the light instead of the light causing changes in the switch. could be allowed only 4 hours of sleep each night and a comparison group allowed 8 hours. if the manipulation produces changes in B. Figure 8. when ever there is a relationship between two variables. the researcher can conclude that variables A is the causal agent.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Manipulation and Measurement 83 A distinguishing characteristic of the experimental strategy is that the researcher manipulates one of the variables under study. For example. By manipulation. one group of individuals.1 shows two situation in which there is a relationship between variables. depression scores could be obtained and compared for the two groups. However. In the top half of the figure. In general. For example more closely related to psychology. for example. 83 . this is evidence that sleep deprivation causes depression. consider the relationship between depression and insomnia.

Theory A coherent set of general propositions used as principles of explanation of the apparent relationships of certain observed phenomena. In the family planning study discussed earlier (Freedman. While theory development has not historically been an important aspect of business research. In one sense. The lack of authority created two serious problems. it is becoming more so. Coombs.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 84 A second purpose of manipulation is to give the researcher command of one of the variables being studied. We use these generalizations to make decisions and predict outcomes. Second. but it does not prove that theory and fact are opposites. The truth is that fact and theory are each necessary for the other to be of value. the researchers observed a higher use of birth control in homes where television was watched and a lower use in homes with no television. your basis of explanation or decision is not sufficiently attuned to specific empirical conditions. & Sun. other variables naturally related to television watching were allowed to intrude into the study. However. A person not familiar with research uses the term theory to express the opposite of fact. Hypothesis play an important role in the development of theory. Our ability to make rational decisions. the researchers had only vague definitions of watching television and not watching television. theories are the generalizations we make about variables and the relationships among them. First. the researchers could manipulate the amount of television watching. Chang. When you are too theoretical. 84 . as well as to develop scientific knowledge. the researchers had no power to determine which households watched television and which did not. is measured by the degree to which we combine fact and theory. 1974). This may be so. We all operate on the basis of theories we hold. In an experiment.

The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) A theory is a set of systematically interrelated concepts. Theory summarizes what is known about an object of study and states the uniformities that lie beyond immediate observation. and propositions that are advanced to explain and predict phenomena. Theory can be used to predict further facts that should be found. Karl R. we are 85 successful in our explanations and predictions. to explain. they are not opposites. Theory and Research It is important for the researchers to recognize the pervasiveness and value of theory. Theory suggests a system for the researcher to impose on data in order to classify them in the most meaningful way. In this sense. We endeavor to make the mesh ever finer and finer. To the degree that our theories are sound and fit the situation. definitions. Thus. and to master it. we have many theories and use them continually to explain or predict what goes on around us. Theories Theories are nets cast to catch what we call “the world”: to rationalize. Popper Two Purposes Of Theory Prediction Understanding 85 . while a given theory and a set of facts may not fit. Our challenge is to build a better theory and to be more skillful in fitting theory and fact together. Theory serves us in many useful ways: Theory narrows the range of facts we need to study Theory suggests which research approaches are likely to yield the greatest meaning.

The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Concept (or Construct)


A generalized idea about a class of objects, attributes, occurrences, or processes that has been given a name. Building blocks that abstract reality “leadership,” “productivity,” and “morale” “gross national product,” “asset,” and “inflation” A Ladder Of Abstraction

For Concepts

Incre asingl y more abstr act

Vegetation Fruit Banana Reality

Scientific Business Researchers Operate at Two Levels Abstract level Concepts Propositions Empirical level Variables Hypotheses Definitions: Abstract level -In theory development, the level of knowledge

expressing a concept that exists only as an idea or a quality apart from an object.


The Research Process (Step 4 & 5)


Empirical level -Level of knowledge reflecting that which is verifiable by experience or observation. Concepts are Abstractions of Reality Abstract Level


Empirical Level



Incre asing ly more abstr act


Concepts Observation of objects

Scientific Method The use of a set of prescribed procedures for establishing and connecting theoretical statements about events and for predicting events yet unknown.


The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Abstract Level Concepts abstract reality. Propositions are statements concerned with the relationships among concepts. Proposition at Abstract Level Concept A (Reinforcement) Concept B (Habits)


Hypothesis at Empirical Level
Dollar bonus for sales volume over quota Always makes four sales calls a day

Theoretical Framework: Research is always conducted within an explicit or implicit theoretical framework, therefore it is useful to work at developing the framework and make it more explicit. Working within an explicit framework allows the formulation of research questions and also creates a ‘frame of reference’ in terms of the research process and the application of research principles, thus a way forward. Understanding Theory: Components and Connections When we do research, we seek to know what is in order to understand, explain and predict phenomena. We might want to answer the question, “What will be the employee reaction to the new flexible work schedule?” or “Why did the stock market price surge higher when all normal indicators suggested it would go down?” when dealing with such questions, we must agree on definitions. Which employees? What kind of reaction? What are the normal indicators? These questions require the use of concepts, construct and definitions. Concepts


The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) A concept is a generally accepted collection of meanings or characteristics associated with certain events, objects, conditions, situations and behaviors. Classifying and categorizing objects or events that have common characteristics beyond any single observation create concepts. We abstract such meanings from


reality and use words as labels to designate them. For example, we see a man passing and identify that he is running, walking, skipping, crawling, or hopping. These movements all represent concepts. Importance to Research Concepts are basic to all thought and communication, yet in everyday use we pay little attention to the problems encountered in their use. In research special problems grow out of the need for concept precision and inventiveness. We design hypothesis using concepts. We devise measurement concepts by which to test these hypothetical statements. We gather data using these measurement concepts. We may even invent new concepts to express ideas. The success of research hinges on (1) how clearly we conceptualize and (2) how well others understand the concepts we use. Hypothesis An unproven proposition. A possible solution to a problem. Guess. A testable hypothesis is one in which all of the variables, events, and individuals are real and can be defined and observed. A refutable hypothesis is a hypothesis that can be demonstrated to be false. That is, the hypothesis allows the possibility that the outcome will differ from the prediction. Consider the following hypothesis, which are not testable or refutable:


Sometimes a study is designed to be exploratory (see inductive research). I am really thinking simultaneously about two hypotheses. this does not mean that religion. or you could look for behavioral differences between "pro-life" individuals and "pro-choice" individuals. In general hypotheses that deal with moral or religious issues. There is no formal hypothesis. Not all studies have hypotheses. Hypothesis: Abortion is morally wrong. there would be substantially fewer cases of depression. morals. the less likely he or she is to get into heaven. You could. Actually.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 90 Hypothesis: The more sins a person commits. Although you may find these hypotheses interesting. It describes in concrete (rather than theoretical) terms what you expect will happen in your study. An hypothesis is a specific statement of prediction. or human values are off limits for scientific research. for example. Hypothesis: If people could fly. they cannot tested or shown to be false and therefore are unsuitable for scientific research. whenever I talk about an hypothesis. A single study may have one or many hypotheses. Let's say that you predict that there will be a 90 . or hypothetical situations are untestable or nonrefutable. and perhaps the purpose of the study is to explore some area more thoroughly in order to develop some specific hypothesis or prediction that can be tested in future research. Nearly any topic can be studied scientifically if you take care to develop testable and refutable hypotheses. value judgments. However. Hypothesis: The human mind emits thought waves that influence other people but cannot be measured or recorded in any way. compare the personality characteristics or family backgrounds of religious and nonreligious people.

we call this a one-tailed hypothesis. and the null therefore is the no difference prediction and the prediction of the opposite direction. The way we would formally set up the hypothesis test is to formulate two hypothesis statements. Your prediction is that variable A and variable B will be related (you don't care whether it's a positive or negative relationship). In this case. though.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 91 relationship between two variables in your study. one that describes your prediction and one that describes all the other possible outcomes with respect to the hypothesized relationship. You have to be careful here. which is tested against the alternative hypothesis: are 91 . there will either be no significant difference in employee absenteeism or there will be a significant increase. For instance. you are essentially trying to find support for the null hypothesis and you are opposed to the alternative. we call the hypothesis that you support (your prediction) the alternative hypothesis. and we call the hypothesis that describes the remaining possible outcomes the null hypothesis. Sometimes we use a notation like HA or H1 to represent the alternative hypothesis or your prediction. your prediction might very well be that there will be no difference or change. In some studies. Usually. Your two hypotheses might be stated something like this: The null hypothesis for this study is: HO: As a result of the XYZ company employee training program. If your prediction specifies a direction. let's imagine that you investigating the effects of a new employee training program and that you believe one of the outcomes will be that there will be less employee absenteeism. Then the only other possible outcome would be that variable A and variable B are not related. and HO or H0 to represent the null case.

When your prediction does not specify a direction. or an increase in absenteeism. We can see that the term "one-tailed" refers to the tail of the distribution on the outcome variable.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) HA: As a result of the XYZ company employee training program. You believe (based on theory and the previous research) that the drug will have an effect. there will be a significant difference in depression. The figure shows a hypothetical distribution of absenteeism differences. which is tested against the alternative hypothesis: HA: As a result of 300mg. 92 . The drug has gone through some initial animal trials. In this case./day of the ABC drug. we say you have a two-tailed hypothesis. you might state the two hypotheses like this: The null hypothesis for this study is: HO: As a result of 300mg. The alternative 92 hypothesis -. there will be no significant difference in depression. you've seen more than enough promising drug treatments come along that eventually were shown to have severe side effects that actually worsened symptoms). we see this situation illustrated graphically. let's assume you are studying a new drug treatment for depression. The null must account for the other two possible conditions: no difference. but you are not confident enough to hypothesize a direction and say the drug will reduce depression (after all. For instance./day of the ABC drug. In the figure on the left. there will be a significant decrease in employee absenteeism. but has not yet been tested on shown there.your prediction that the program will decrease absenteeism -.

And anyway. When your study analysis is completed. The logic of hypothesis testing is based on these two basic principles: the formulation of two mutually exclusive hypothesis statements that. If your prediction was correct. then you would (usually) reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative. and then you formulate a second hypothesis that is mutually exclusive of the first and incorporates all possible alternative outcomes for that case. the idea is that you will have to choose between the two hypotheses.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) The figure on the right illustrates this two-tailed prediction for this case. The important thing to remember about stating hypotheses is that you formulate your prediction (directional or not). if all of this hypothesis testing was easy enough so anybody could understand it. Again. exhaust all possible outcomes the testing of these so that one is necessarily accepted and the other rejected OK. we call it a hypothesis. a hypothesis is of a tentative and conjectural nature. together. 93 notice that the term "two-tailed" refers to the tails of the distribution for your outcome variable. As a declarative statement. awkward and formalistic way to ask research questions. If your original prediction was not supported in the data. I know it's a convoluted. and sometimes we just have to do things because they're traditions. how do you think statisticians would stay employed? Propositions and Hypotheses We define a proposition as a statement about concepts that may be judged as true or false if it refers to observable phenomena. 93 . But it encompasses a long tradition in statistics called the hypothetical-deductive model. then you will accept the null hypothesis and reject the alternative. When a proposition is formulated for empirical testing.

With explanatory(causal) hypotheses. Descriptive Hypothesis These are the propositions that typically state the existence. For example: An increase in family income(IV) leads to an increase in the percentage of income saved. 94 . The variable is the characteristics. a hypotheses serves several important functions: It guides the direction of the study.(DV) The Role of the Hypothesis: In research. As we noted previously. we might form the following hypothesis: Executive Jones (case) has a higher-than-average achievement motivation(variable). the causal variable is typically called the independent variable and the other the dependent variable. Relational Hypothesis The research question format is less frequently used with a situation calling for relational hypotheses. Executive Jones (case) has a higher-than-average achievement motivation(variable). Correlational Hypothesis state merely that variables occur together in some specified manner without implying that one causes the other. trait. or attribute that. form. size. These are statements that describe a relationship between two variables with respect to some case. For example. is imputed to the case. in the hypothesis. there is an implication that the existence of. The height of women’s hemlines varies directly with the level of the business cycle. A case is defined in this sense as the entity or thing the hypothesis talks about. or a change in. or distribution of some variable.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 94 Hypotheses have also been described as statements in which we assign variables to cases. one variable causes or leads to a change in the other variable.

What is a good hypothesis? A good hypothesis should fulfill three conditions: Adequacy for its purpose Testable Better than its rivals For a descriptive hypothesis. suppose we use this: Husbands and wives agree in their perceptions of their respective roles in purchase decisions. probably a survey or interview. 95 To consider specifically the role of the hypothesis in determining the direction of the research. The hypothesis specifies who shall be studied (married couples). It suggests which form of research design is likely to be most appropriate. therefore. adequacy for its purpose means it clearly states the condition. it must explain the facts that gave rise 95 . The nature of this hypothesis and the implications of the statement suggest that the best research design is a communication-based study. If it is an explanatory hypothesis. and what shall be studied (their individual perceptions of their roles). In addition. size. We have at this time no other practical means to ascertain perceptions of people except to ask about them in one way or another. It provides a framework for organizing the conclusions that result. involve itself in seeking information about other types of roles husbands and wives might play. The study should not. or distribution of some variable in terms of values meaningful to the research task. in what context they shall be studied (their consumer decision making).The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) It identifies facts that are relevant and those that are not. we are interested only in the roles that are assumed in the purchase or consumer decision making situation.

96 It does not require techniques that are unavailable with the present state of the research art. There are consequences or derivatives that can be deduced for testing purposes. Some of the main types of research questions as espoused by Barker et al (1994) are: Definition questions: What is the nature of ‘x’ or ‘y’. You begin by asking the initial questions and then through initial research you refine and formulate a hypothesis. experts I the field. Utilizing this approach. 96 . This process may involve consultation with colleagues. It does not require an explanation that defies known physical or psychological laws. plus other known and accepted generalizations. This area involves narrowing down from the Area (Broad field of scholarly endeavor) to the Field (Component of the area) and then to the Aspect (A detailed aspect within a field). Using the hypothesis. performing a pilot study and measuring and designing initial research tools. The aim is to develop a clearer understanding of what something actually is. A hypothesis is testable if it meets the following conditions.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) to the need for explanation. Research Questions Having chosen your research area the next step is to narrow this area down to the imperative questions or hypothesis. one should be able to deduce the original problem condition. Bear in mind that research must be able to teach you something. we can implement morphological analysis to narrow down and decide on a specific area and topic. Bear in mind that the key at this stage is to make the research methods for the question and not the other way around.

The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Description questions: What are the features. These are questions of context. 1992) Hypotheses are generally more effective under the following circumstances: • When a research area is new • When a research area is disordered and not moving forward • When the topic is a high topical area requiring definition Correlational Research Correlational Research Introduction This paper reviews correlational research. what is the effect on ‘y’. Discovery. Comparison questions: Does ‘x’ have more ‘a’ then ‘y’. attributes or history of ‘x’ or ‘y’. The points of focus in the review are (1) defining of the research approach. Using hypothesis also has the merit of increasing precision and fitting in more closely with the theory of statistical inference ( a hypothesis to be tested. validity and usefully) can ‘x’ be measured by a measure of ‘m’. Co-variation questions: This is related to relationships of variables within a study. You will use a range of these questions during your research phase and you will revisit the questions many times…. This allows a greater understanding of the subject matter.orientated or confirmatory research questions (hypothesis) : Expressing a research question as a question or in a formulated statement . what’s the frequency of occurrence and what’ its intensity. 97 Amount/Frequency/Intensity questions: How much of ‘x’ exists. These types of questions give an immediate clarity to a research project. If we increase ‘x’. In other words ‘Do chronically depressed patients have a greater chance of relapse when reduced medication is applied’? Measurement questions: How well (reliably. (2) identifying an organizational situation amendable to study through correlational 97 .

The range of the linear relationship between the variables. (3) stating managerial questions appropriate for investigation through 98 correlational research. Defining Correlational Research Correlation quite literally is a measure of association between two variables.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) research. Correlational research more specifically refers to a measure of linear association between two variables. and (4) describing data collection methods that are appropriate for correlational research. represented by a coefficient managerial questions appropriate for investigation through correlational research a measure of linear association between a positive relationship wherein the values of the change A zero correlation coefficient indicates a complete of change in the other variable direction of the relationship Cooper and Schindler state that a of the relationship that exists between To accept the position of Cooper between variables but does not establish a causal link between an Organizational Situation An organizational situation that would general economy In such an analysis there is no the two variables establish the directional characteristic of the relationship between Carter Neter Kutner Nachtsheim Wasserman Bowalekar With respect to the more difficult to purchase all other relevant factors purchasing power of wages leads to a reduction in the increase in demand for retail goods and in turn for the same specified periods Question Based on the situation described in the will increase from threepercent annual basis to determine the relationship between the rate of support reduced expectations for the level of retail sales Describing the various points on the scale are the same interval Thus regression analysis Journal of Postgraduate Medicine Carter G Winter of the research approach identifying an organizational situation Research Correlation quite literally is a measure of association from to The sign of the measure indicates the direction sign indicates a negative relationship wherein the values of variables e g any given change in the value of correlation coefficient indicates the 98 .

The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) strength of the relationship between and mathematics is that correlational analysis provides and Schindler provide a long discussion on causal analysis the issue Thus business researchers should adhere to the widely accepted number the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient defines both the impact on the level of retail 99 sales of change in level of retail sales Rather all that management need to assess As a general rule a correlation coefficient is necessary to establish the relationship areas follows An increase in wages to decrease all other relevant factors inflation has the opposite effects Therefore a decrease in the rate the rate of inflation for specified predict changes in the level of retail sales based projections Considering that the Bureau of Economic inventory levels because of anticipate deductions in turn will permit organizational management to determine how much in character Therefore the collection of data must provide any other point on the scale References Bowalekar S K W Applied linear regression models rd ed Chicago correlational research Introduction This paper reviews correlational research and describing data collection methods that two variables The range of the two variables move in the same direction absence of any correlational relationship between the variables A correlation coefficient Almost all correlation coefficients however fall between the extremes controversy exists as to the capability of correlational analysis to variables but that correlation analysis cannot establish a causal relationship between and Schindler would place business-oriented statistical analysis outside the two variables Correlational research is be amendable to analysis through the application need for organizational management to establish a the rate of inflation and retain sales and measure relationship between the rate of remaining unchanged because An increase in the rate level of retail sales The an increase in the level of retail sales over time The correlation coefficient result from the application of correlation preceding discussion 99 .

The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 100 the managerial question for which correlational research seven-percent annual basis over the coming inflation and the level of retail sales The projected Data Collection Methods For correlation analysis the measurement of measures at any point on the Dueling statistics Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy Neter J amendable to study through correlational research stating between two variables Correlational research more specifically refers to of the correlational relationship A plus sign indicates the presence of the two variables move in divergent directions when they one variable reflects the exact magnitude the two variables regardless of the excellent measure of the magnitude and direction that really does not address the mathematical issues position that correlational research measures the strength of relationships magnitude and the direction of a relationship between two variables Identifying the rate of inflation in the relationship is to determine that a measurable correlation exists between a reliable relationship between two variables the rate of inflation causes retail goods to be remaining equal and A decrease in the of inflation other relevant factors remaining unchanged leads to an periods over time and the level of retail sales for changes in the rate of inflation Stating a Managerial Research is predictingthat the rate of inflation the level of retain sales The correlational research will to reduce inventory levels to values on a scale wherein the differences between Statistics in medical research III Correlation and Richard D Irwin Inc The points of focus in the review are defining are appropriate for correlational research Defining Correlational linear relationship between the variables represented by a coefficient is when they change A minus indicates a perfect correlation between the two of magnitude The magnitude of the establish a causal relationship The widely accepted position in scientific the variables Carter Neter Kutner Nachtsheim Wasserman Bowalekar Cooper the boundaries of the accepted scientific and mathematical position on a 100 .

The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) powerful tool for researchers Correlation analysis with a single of correlational research is the projection of the probable causal relationship between the rate of 101 inflation and the magnitude of the relationship between the two variables inflation and the level of retail sales the underlying assumptions for of inflation causes the purchasing power of assumption is that a decrease in the rate of To examine this situation an organization would collect data relevant to analysis to the data collected would allow organizational management to could develop an answer could be as follows six months to how much should the company reduce change in the level of retail sales the variables analyzed must be interval scale are comparable to measures at Kutner M H Nachtsheim C J Wasserman managerial questions appropriate for investigation through correlational research a measure of linear association between a positive relationship wherein the values of the change A zero correlation coefficient indicates a complete of change in the other variable direction of the relationship Cooper and Schindler state that a of the relationship that exists between To accept the position of Cooper between variables but does not establish a causal link between an Organizational Situation An organizational situation that would general economy In such an analysis there is no the two variables establish the directional characteristic of the relationship between Carter Neter Kutner Nachtsheim Wasserman Bowalekar With respect to the more difficult to purchase all other relevant factors purchasing power of wages leads to a reduction in the increase in demand for retail goods and in turn for the same specified periods Question Based on the situation described in the will increase from three-percent annual basis to determine the relationship between the rate of support reduce the expectations for the level of retail sales Describing the various points on the scale are the same interval Thus regression analysis Journal of Postgraduate Medicine Carter G Winter of the research approach identifying an 101 .

A variable is anything that may assume different numerical values. It is an empirical statement concerned with the relationship among variables. Theory and Song A fact without a theory Is like a ship without a sail. Formulating the Research Problem 102 . A fact without a figure is a tragic final act.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) organizational situation Research Correlation quite literally is a measure of association from to The sign of the measure indicates the direction sign indicates a negative relationship wherein the values of variables e g any given change in the 102 value of correlation coefficient indicates the strength of the relationship between and mathematics is that correlational analysis provides and Schindler provide a long discussion on causal analysis the issue Thus business researchers should adhere to the widely accepted number the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient defines both the impact on the level of retail sales of change in level of retail sales Rather all that management need to assess As a general rule a correlation coefficient is necessary to establish the relationship areas follows An increase in wages to decrease all other relevant factors inflation has the opposite effects Therefore a decrease in the rate the rate of inflation for specified predict changes in the level of retail sales based projections Considering that the Bureau of Economic inventory levels because of anticipate deductions in turn will permit organizational management to determine how much in character. Is like a kite without a tail. Is like a boat without a rudder. A hypothesis is a proposition that is empirically testable. But one thing worse in this universe Is a theory without a fact.

not because he/she loves the research hypothesis. economic. Kids Count is a project of the Annie E. The researcher tests the hypothesis to disprove the null hypothesis. Hypothesis Development and Testing In this module we will be examining Kids Count data and identifying how we can use the available indicators of status of children in the United States for statistical analysis. and physical well-being of children. while the research hypothesis was that the role. a research hypothesis. Hypothesis In research. a hypothesis is a suggested explanation of a phenomenon. The research hypothesis is often based on observations that evoke suspicion that the null hypothesis is not always correct. Data collected is available on-line and is used by a variety of individuals and organizations involved with 103 . Normally. Casey Foundation that tracks children on both a national and state-by-state basis measuring the educational. as an alternate way to explain the phenomenon. instructions and orders were much more important in determining whether people would hurt others. social.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Researchers organize their research by formulating and defining a research problem. This helps them focus the research process so that they can draw conclusions reflecting the real world in the best possible way. the a null hypothesis was that the personality determined whether a person would hurt another person. Research methodology involves the researcher providing an alternative hypothesis. but because it would mean coming closer to finding an answer to a specific problem. A null hypothesis is a hypothesis which a researcher tries to disprove. the null 103 hypothesis represents the current view/explanation of an aspect of the world that the researcher wants to challenge. In the Stanley Milgram Experiment.

Hypotheses are statements of (or conjecture about) the relationships among the variables that a researcher intends to study. What are the specific questions that you are asking or issues you intend to explore? c. The dependent variable 104 is defined as the presumed effect in a study. Why are these issues/questions important and sociologically interesting? 2. if confirmed. and the development of a system of policy supports that can help parents become more successful both as workers and as parents. What is the general issue or interest area on which you are writing? b. Descriptive statistics are procedures for summarizing. The next step of the exercise is to formulate a hypothesis.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) projects such as welfare guidelines. 104 . It is the variable whose values are predicted by the independent variable. and in general. The specification of a research topic should move from a general discussion of an area of interest to a more narrowly defined issue. will support a theory. describing quantitative information. The first step of this exercise is to identify a research question. which. In such cases. health care initiatives. identify the dependent and independent variables that you will use to test your hypothesis. graphing. so called because it “depends” on another variable. After writing your hypothesis. educational programs. they are thought of as predictions. Answer the following three questions: a. Inferential statistics is used to make inferences about a population based on information about a sample drawn from that population. 3. organizing. 1. Hypotheses are generally testable statements of relations. Along with the data we have tools available that allow us to utilize both descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.

The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) whether or not caused by it. For example, in a study to see if there is a relationship


between the teen violent crime arrest rates and the teen dropout rate the teen violent crime arrest rates might be the effect (dependent variable). 4. The independent variables are the presumed causes in a study. Independent variables are the variables that can be used to predict the values of another variable.* In the above example, the independent variable might be the teen dropout rate. 5. When identifying dependent and independent variables the question of cause is preeminent. Cause is defined as an event, such as a change in one variable that produces another event, such as a change in a second variable. Be warned that there is no concept in statistics that is more troublesome than “cause.” Researchers may disagree about what constitutes a cause and especially about how restrictive a set of conditions must be met before it is legitimate to talk of cause. Many social scientists would agree with the following – others would not: to attribute cause, for X to cause Y, three conditions are necessary (but not sufficient): (1) X must precede Y; (2) X and Y must covary; (3) no rival explanations account as well for the covariance of W and Y. Causal relations may be simple or multiple. In simple causation, whenever the first event (the cause/independent variable) happens, the second (the effect/dependent variable) always does too. Multiple causation is much more common in the social and behavioral sciences.* Multiple causes may be such that any one of several causes can produce the same effect (for example, teen violent crime arrest rates may be caused by teen dropout, children living in poverty, teen birth rate or some combination of the three). Multiple causes also may be such that no one of them will necessarily produce the effect, but several of them in combination make it more likely.


The Research Process (Step 4 & 5)


6. Examine your dependent variable as a trend over time. Choose the United States and one or two other states for your line graph. Consider choosing one of the worst of best-ranked states as a comparison. Choose your dependent variable as your indicator. Graph the data from 1990-1999. Describe the overall national trend. Was there an increase, decrease, or did it stay the same. Put another way, nationally is your selected variable on the rise or is it decreasing? 7. Do the same for your independent variable(s). 8. To test the relationship between your dependent variable and the independent variable(s), open the excel file called "tool_us.xls". Make a scatter plot by using the pull down menu. Let x be the independent variable (plotted on the x axis) and y be the independent variable (plotted on the y axis). Cut and paste the scatter plot into a Word file and record the correlation coefficient. (An explanation of the correlation coefficient can be found below) Are there any data points that seem to stand out --not part of the cluster of data points? These are called outliers. Click on an outlier to see which state is represented. Was the hypothesis confirmed? Explain your answer. 9. Repeat step 8 for each of your independent variables. Explanation of Correlation Coefficient The correlation coefficient or Pearson's r is a measure of the degree of linear association existing between two variables. We want to pay close attention to both the direction and strength of the association. A positive correlation is indicated by the absence of a negative sign and means that variables are changing in the same direction. An increase or decrease in one variable corresponds to the same change in


The Research Process (Step 4 & 5)


another variable. For example, we would expect that the more time a students studies for an exam (x) the higher the exam score (y). A negative relationship is indicated by a minus sign and means that as one variable increases there is a corresponding decrease in another variable. The strength of a relationship is indicated by the numeric value of the coefficient. Coefficients range from 1.0 to 1.0. These values are examples of perfect correlations. In reality most values are found in between 1.0 and 1.0. Correlations of .30 or less (either + or -) are considered weak, .31 - .70 (either + or -) are deemed moderate and .71 and above (either + or -) considered strong. These are not absolute rules but should be used as a guide in interpretation. Note that the higher the correlation coefficient (either positive or negative), the more closely clustered the data points are in the shape of a diagonal line. What might be a better measure of your dependent variable than the one(s) you tested? Devising and Improving a Hypothesis A formal statement of the research question is often called the hypothesis. The hypothesis should be stated in a way such that a “true” or “false” answer from an experiment would support or refute the hypothesis. The hypothesis focuses the experimental procedures and, more importantly, helps define the control group. Careful selection of a control group allows the most appropriate and powerful analysis, to determine the truth of the hypothesis and the value of the experiment. Consideration of the control group at the time of hypothesis development will make all of the steps in the research process easier and more powerful. The most common problem in beginning a study is not defining the appropriate control group. This article describes how to identify research questions and how to develop hypotheses in ways that make research, data analysis, abstract presentation, and publication easier. Conceptual Variables


Research methodology lacking reliability cannot be trusted. Reliability may be defined as "Yielding the same or compatible results in different clinical experiments or statistical trials" (the free dictionary).The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Validity and Reliability Validity refers to what degree the research reflects the given research problem. Types of Reliability: Test-Retest Reliability Interrater Reliability Internal Consistency Reliability Instrument Reliability 108 . Replication studies are a way to test reliability. Types of validity: External Validity Population Validity Ecological Validity Internal Validity Content Validity Face Validity Construct Validity Convergent and Discriminant Validity Test Validity Criterion Validity Concurrent Validity Predictive Validity Reliability 108 Reliability refers to how consistent a set of measurements are.

quantitative research uses significance tests to determine which hypothesis is right. Time. It is also important to choose a research method which is within the limits of what the researcher can do. Research methodology in a number of areas like social sciences depends heavily on significance test. It affects what you can say about the cause and factors influencing the phenomenon.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Statistical Reliability Reproducability 109 Both validity and reliability are important aspects of the research methodology to get better explanations of the world. Choosing the Measurement Choosing the scientific measurements are also crucial for getting the correct conclusion. since we can only measure a small portion of the population at a time. ethics and availability to measure the phenomenon correctly are examples of issues constraining the research. money. Generalization Generalization is to which extent the research and the conclusions of the research apply to the real world. It is not always so that good research will reflect the real world. The significance test can show whether the null hypothesis is more likely correct than the research hypothesis. Significance Test To test a hypothesis. because they do not measure the phenomenon as it should. feasibility. Some measurements might not reflect the real world. Choosing the Research Method The selection of the research method is crucial for what conclusions you can make about a phenomenon. 109 .

is to think that correlation implies a causal relationship. 110 The t-test (also called the Student's T-Test) is one of many statistical significance tests. to see if they also reach the same (2008). Drawing Conclusions Drawing a conclusion is based on several factors of the research process. unlikely random events etc. Type 2 error is when we reject the research hypothesis even if the null hypothesis is wrong. A common logical error for beginners. how good the measurement was to reflect the real world and what more could have affected the results. 110 . It has to be based on the validity and reliability of the measurement. there are possible to make two types of errors when drawing conclusions in research: Type 1 error is when we accept the research hypothesis when the null hypothesis is in fact correct. The t-test helps the researcher conclude whether a hypothesis is supported or not. By Experiment-Resources. This is not necessarily true. misinterpretations. which compares two supposedly equal sets of data to see if they really are alike or not. Errors in Research Logically. Errors of the observations may stem from measurement-problems. Anyone should be able to check the observation and logic.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) A significance test may even drive the research process in a whole new direction. The observations are often referred to as 'empirical evidence' and the logic/thinking leads to the conclusions. not just because the researcher got the expected result. based on the findings.

A very wide definition of experimental research. the subjects have been randomly assigned between the groups. This is an experiment where the researcher manipulates one variable. and the researcher only tests one effect at a time. The word experimental research has a range of definitions. Experimental Research is often used where: There is time priority in a causal relationship (cause precedes effect) There is consistency in a causal relationship (a cause will always lead to the same effect) The magnitude of the correlation is great. The experimental method is a systematic and scientific approach to research in which the researcher manipulates one or more variables. It is also important to know what variable(s) you want to test and measure. Generally. It has a control group. and control/randomizes the rest of the variables. or a quasi experiment. and controls and measures any change in other variables. one or more variables are manipulated to determine their effect on a dependent variable. 111 It is a collection of research designs which use manipulation and controlled testing to understand causal processes. 111 . physics. is research where the scientist actively influences something to observe the consequences.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Experimental Research Experimental research is commonly used in sciences such as sociology and psychology. biology and medicine etc. experimental research is what we call a true experiment. chemistry. In the strict sense. Most experiments tend to fall in between the strict and the wide definition.

The results will depend on the exact measurements that the researcher chooses and may be operationalized differently in another study to test the main conclusions of the study. an experiment is constructed to be able to explain some kind of causation. such as physics. which is tested against the null hypothesis. Planning ahead ensures that the experiment is carried out properly and that the results reflect the real world. Defining the research problem helps you to formulate a research hypothesis. Identifying the Research Problem After deciding the topic of interest. A poor ad hoc analysis may be seen as the researcher's inability to accept that his/her hypothesis is wrong. which conduct experiments closer to the wider definition. to try to explain why the contrary helps us to improve our everyday lives. while a great ad hoc analysis may lead to more testing and possibly a significant discovery. such as sociology and psychology. The research problem is often operationalizationed. Typically. Aims of Experimental Research Experiments are conducted to be able to predict phenomenons. in the best possible way. to define how to measure the research problem. 112 . Experimental research is important to society . the researcher tries to define the research problem. This helps the researcher to focus on a more narrow research area to be able to study it appropriately.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 112 A rule of thumb is that physical sciences. chemistry and geology tend to define experiments more narrowly than social sciences. Constructing the Experiment There are various aspects to remember when constructing an experiment. An ad hoc analysis is a hypothesis invented after testing is done.

Deciding the sample groups can be done in using many different sampling techniques. One sample group often serves as a control group. Researchers often adjust the sample size to minimize chances of random errors. whilst others are tested under the experimental conditions. "quasi-randomization" and pairing. such as randomization.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Sampling Groups to Study 113 Sampling groups correctly is especially important when we have more than one condition in the experiment. time. ethics. measurement problems and what 113 . Important factors when choosing the design are feasibility. Reducing sampling errors is vital for getting valid results from experiments. cost. Here are some common sampling techniques: Probability sampling Non-probability sampling Simple random sampling Convenience sampling Stratified sampling Systematic sampling Cluster sampling Sequential sampling Disproportional sampling Judgmental sampling Snowball sampling Quota sampling Creating the Design The research design is chosen based on a range of factors. Population sampling may chosen by a number of methods.

Control Group Control groups are designed to measure research bias and measurement effects. Between Subjects Design Grouping Participants to Different Conditions Within Subject Design Participants Take Part in the Different Conditions . but rarely more than 3 conditions at the same time. The design of the experiment is critical for the validity of the results. Experiments frequently have 2 conditions. 114 . A control group is a group not receiving the same manipulation as the experimental group. Pretests sometimes influence the effect. Typical Designs and Features in Experimental Design Pretest-Posttest Design Check whether the groups are different before the manipulation starts and the effect of the manipulation. such as the Hawthorne Effect or the Placebo Effect.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 114 you would like to test.See also: Repeated Measures Design. Half the groups have a pretest and half do not have a pretest. Randomized Controlled Trials Randomized Sampling. This to test both the effect itself and the effect of the pretest. comparison between an Experimental Group and a Control Group and strict control/randomization of all other variables Solomon Four-Group Design With two control groups and two experimental groups.

Minor errors.and Control-Groups Double-Blind Experiment 115 Neither the researcher. With a pilot study. a common strategy is to first have a pilot study with someone involved in the research. This ensures that the experiment measures what it should. Matched Subjects Design Matching Participants to Create Similar Experimental. which could potentially destroy the experiment.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Counterbalanced Measures Design Testing the effect of the order of treatments when no control group is available/ethical. Those two different pilots are likely to give the researcher good information about any problems in the experiment. are often found during this process. and tries to adjust them to how participants have responded Pilot Study It may be wise to first conduct a pilot-study or two before you do the real experiment. If the experiments involve humans. before putting a lot of effort into the real experiment. The researcher starts with a set of initial beliefs. and that everything is set up right. Bayesian Probability Using bayesian probability to "interact" with participants is a more "advanced" experimental design. and improve the design. nor the participants. The results can be affected if the researcher or participants know this. but not too closely. It can be used for settings were there are many variables which are hard to isolate. 115 . you can get information about errors and problems. know which is the control group. and then arrange a pilot with a person who resembles the subject(s).

for example. e. which typically consists of one line per subject (or item). Variables correlating are not proof that there is causation. The effect that the researcher is interested in. A cell of the output data is. The researcher might generalize the results to a wider phenomenon. the dependent variable(s). Analysis and Conclusions In quantitative research. significance tests. to see if there really is an effect. is crucial to drawing a valid conclusion. is measured. The aim of an analysis is to draw a conclusion. If the researcher suspects that the effect stems from a different variable than the independent variable. Researchers only want to measure the effect of the independent variable(s) when conducting an experiment. an average of an effect in many trials for a subject.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Conducting the Experiment An experiment is typically carried out by manipulating a variable. or randomizing variables to minimize effects that can be traced back to third variables. if there is no indication of confounding variables "polluting" the results. the amount of data measured can be enormous. 116 . This is often done by controlling variables. The raw data is often summarized as something called "output data". Identifying and controlling non-experimental factors which the researcher does not want to influence the effects. allowing them to conclude that this was the reason for the effect. together with other observations. called the 116 independent variable. The output data is used for statistical analysis. Data not prepared to be analyzed is called "raw data". further investigation is needed to gauge the validity of the results. affecting the experimental group. An experiment is often conducted because the scientist wants to know if the independent variable is having any effect upon the dependent variable. if possible.g.

The method you choose will affect your results and how you conclude the findings. Types of Research Designs Different types of research designs have different advantages and disadvantages. It gives direction and systematizes the research. although it happens. Most scientists are interested in getting reliable observations that can help the understanding of a phenomenon. all with specific advantages and disadvantages: True Experimental Design Quasi-Experimental Design Double-Blind Experiment Descriptive Research Literature Review Case Study Survey Twin Studies Meta-analysis 117 . There are two main approaches to a research problem: Quantitative Research Qualitative Research What are the difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Research? Different Research Methods There are various designs which are used in research.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 117 Experiments are more often of quantitative nature than qualitative nature. The design is the structure of any scientific work.

What information do you want? Feasibility How reliable should the information be? Is it ethical to conduct the study? The cost of the design Ethics in Research Ethics in research are very important when you're going to conduct an 118 By Experiment-Resources. The first thing to do before designing a study is to consider the potential cost and benefits of the (2008). Research . whether we are aware of it or not. experiment. conducting and evaluating research. They apply when you are planning.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Systematic Reviews Observational Study Naturalistic Observation Field Experiment Cohort Study Longitudinal Study Cross Sectional Study Factorial Design Case Control Study Pilot Study Which Method to Choose? What design you choose depends on different factors. 118 .Cost and Benefits-Analysis We evaluate the cost and benefits for most decisions in life.

This is especially important when people are somehow reliant on the reward. not offer big rewards or enforce binding contracts for the study. stem cell research is restricted in many countries. as was the case with the ethics of the Stanley Milgram Experiment obtain informed consent from all involved in the study. in fact. never conducted the experiment. whilst he had.Researchers should avoid any risk of considerably harming people. take special precautions when involving populations or animals which may not be considered to understand fully the purpose of the study. Ethical Standards . the environment.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 119 This can be quite a dilemma in some experiments. not use the position as a peer reviewer to give sham peer reviews to punish or damage fellow scientists. not commit science fraud. which devastated the public view of the subject for decades. was the study of selling more coke and popcorn by unconscious ads. As a result. A con-study. falsify research or otherwise conduct scientific misconduct. or property unnecessarily. not use deception on people participating. Stem cell research is one example of an area with difficult ethical considerations. because of the major and problematic ethical issues. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study is an example of a study which seriously violated these standards. not plagiarize the work of others not skew their conclusions based on funding. The researcher said that he had found great effects from subliminal messages. 119 . preserve privacy and confidentiality whenever possible.

120 Competition is an important factor in research. Scientists frequently use statistics to analyze their results. Statistics is often vital to change scientific theories. and also anticipate possible ethical problems in their research. Why are ethics in research important? Statistics Tutorial This statistics tutorial is a guide to help you understand key concepts of statistics and how these concepts relate to the scientific method and research.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Basically. anyone wanting to learn about how researchers can get help from statistics may want to read this statistics tutorial for the scientific method. 120 . research must follow all regulations given. and may be both a good thing and a bad thing. the raw data is processed into "output data". Whistle blowing is one mechanism to help discover misconduct in research. To be able to analyze the data sensibly. This data-material. You don't need to be a scientist though. The results of a science investigation often contain much more data or information than the researcher needs. There are many methods to process the data. is called raw data. Why do researchers use statistics? Statistics can help understand a phenomenon by confirming or rejecting a hypothesis. Research Data This section of the statistics tutorial is about understanding how data is acquired and uses. or information. Any type of organized information may be called a "data set". but basically the scientist organizes and summarizes the raw data into a more sensible chunk of data.

121 . standard error of the mean. that is. But there are various methods to measure ho data is distributed: variance. median and mode shows the "middle value"). the scientist may also want to use statistics descriptively or for exploratory research. a frequency curve which has the most frequent number near the middle. Scientists normally calculate the standard deviation to measure how the data is distributed. standard deviation.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Then. What is great about raw data is that you can go back and check things if you suspect something different is going on than you originally thought. median or mode. third variables). 121 The raw data can give you ideas for new hypotheses. Much data from the real world is normal distributed. central tendency and how it relates to data sets. The central tendency may give a fairly good idea about the nature of the data (mean. This is a reason why researchers very often measure the central tendency in statistical research. researchers may apply different statistical methods to analyze and understand the data better (and more accurately).g. Central Tendency and Normal Distribution This part of the statistics tutorial will help you understand distribution. especially when combined with measurements on how the data is distributed. You can also control the variables which might influence the conclusion (e. This happens after you have analyzed the meaning of the results. since you get a better view of what is going on. Depending on the research. such as the mean (arithmetic mean or geometric mean). standard error of the estimate or "range" (which states the extremities in the data).

(Many wrong conclusions have been conducted from not understanding basic statistical concepts) Statistics inference helps us to draw conclusions from samples of a population. it is an important part of the statistics tutorial for the scientific method. But. you'll normally use the arithmetic mean of a "big enough sample" and you will have to calculate the standard deviation. So. If the distribution is not normally distributed. Thus. 122 . a critical part is to test hypotheses against each other. knowledge of how statistics relates to the scientific method. the distribution will not be normal distributed if the distribution is skewed (naturally) or has outliers (often rare outcomes or measurement errors) messing up the data. When conducting experiments. Making use of statistics in research basically involves learning basic statistics understanding the relationship between probability and statistics comprehension of inferential statistics. often researchers double check that their results are normally distributed using range. which is skewed to the right. median and mode.Statistics Tutorial How do we know whether a hypothesis is correct or not? Why use statistics to determine this? Using statistics in research involves a lot more than make use of statistical formulas or getting to know statistical software. Statistics in research is not just about formulas and calculation. Hypothesis Testing .The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) 122 To create the graph of the normal distribution for something. One example of a distribution which is not normally distributed is the Fdistribution. this will influence which statistical test/method to choose for the analysis.

you will have to choose between one-tailed and two tailed tests. and will probably continue as long as people have intentions about trying to influence others. Proper statistical treatment of experimental data can thus help avoid unethical use of statistics. then the true experimental design is replaced by a quasi-experimental approach. although statistics can also be used to manipulate and cover up third variables if the person presenting the numbers does not have honest intentions (or sufficient knowledge) with their results. which defines the limits when you will regard a result as supporting the null hypothesis and when the alternative research hypothesis is supported. This is done using a significance test (another article). concluding that the null hypothesis provides the best explanation.the result need to differ significantly statistically for the researcher to accept the alternative hypothesis. economically too costly or overly time-consuming. statistics can be used to understand cause and effect between research variables. Misuse of statistics is a common phenomenon.often if the research treats a phenomenon which is ethically problematic. This means that not all differences between the experimental group and the control group can be accepted as supporting the alternative hypothesis . 123 The researcher can work out a confidence interval. Philosophy of 123 . Sometimes the control group is replaced with experimental probability . Depending on the hypothesis.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Hypothesis testing is conducted by formulating an alternative hypothesis which is tested against the null hypothesis. It may also help identify third variables. The hypotheses are tested statistically against each other. the common view. rather than having a "null result". Often there is a publication bias when the researcher finds the alternative hypothesis correct. If applied correctly.

Replication can help identify both random errors and systematic errors (test validity). If a hypothesis cannot be falsified (e. to be open to the possibility of going wrong. Here is another great statistics tutorial which integrates statistics and the scientific method. 124 . sample size and expected results. and thus not scientific. Reliability and Experimental Error 124 Statistical tests make use of data from samples.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) statistics involves justifying proper use of statistics and establishing the ethics in statistics. How can we know that it reflects the correct conclusion? Contrary to what some might believe.g. the possibility of a research error is what makes the research scientific in the first place. The margin of error is related to the confidence interval and the relationship between statistical significance. Ironically. The effect size estimate the strength of the relationship between two variables in a population. the hypothesis has circular logic). Statistically this opens up the possibility of getting experimental errors in your results due to random errors or other problems with the research. errors in research are an essential part of significance testing. These results are then generalized to the general population. by definition. If a hypothesis is testable. A power analysis of a statistical test can determine how many samples a test will need to have an acceptable p-value in order to reject a false null hypothesis. Experimental errors may also be broken down into Type-I error and Type-II error. Replicating the research of others is also essential to understand if the results of the research were a result which can be generalized or just due to a random "outlier experiment". It may help determine the sample size needed to generalize the results to the whole population. it is not testable.

The Meta-Analysis frequently make use of effect size 125 .The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Replicating the experiment/research ensures the reliability of the results 125 statistically. What you often see if the results have outliers. Relationship between Variables Correlation (linear relationship) Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Spearman rho Partial Correlation and Multiple Correlation Making Predictions The goal of predictions is to understand causes. Statistical Tests At this stage in the statistics tutorial for the scientific method. What is the difference between correlation and linear regression? Basically. Regression analysis and other modeling tools Linear Regression Multiple Regression A Path Analysis is an extension of the regression model A Factor Analysis attempts to uncover underlying factors of something. Correlation does not necessarily mean causation. which then makes the result not be statistically different between the experimental and control group. you often measure a manipulated variable. correlation is about the strength between the variables whereas linear regression is about the best fit line in a graph. is a regression towards the mean. we're introducing some commonly used statistics tests/methods. With linear regression.

The F-distribution can be used to calculate p-values for the ANOVA. A Z-Test is similar to a t-test. Student's t-test: Independent One-Sample T-Test Independent Two-Sample T-Test Dependent T-Test for Paired Samples Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test may be used for non-parametric data. Analysis of Variance One way ANOVA Two way ANOVA Factorial ANOVA Repeated Measures and ANOVA 126 . In research it is often used to test differences between two groups (e. between a control group and an experimental group).The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Bayesian Probability is a way of predicting the likelihood of future events in an interactive way. rather than to start measuring and then get results/predictions. or Analysis of Variance. The t-test assumes that the data is more or less normally distributed and that the variance is equal (this can be tested by the F-test). but will usually not be used on sample sizes below 30. is used when it is desirable to test whether there are different variability between groups rather than different means. Testing Hypothesis Statistically 126 Student's t-test is a test which can indicate whether the null hypothesis is correct or not. Comparing more than two Groups An ANOVA. Analysis of Variance can also be applied to more than two groups.g. A Chi-Square can be used if the data is qualitative rather than quantitative.

Main Library Punjab University. Frederick J . Gary W.html Heiman. www. Donald R. Business Research http://www. 5th Edition. Pamela S. Schindler. Lori –Ann B. Greener.bookboon. Research Methods. 127 . Forzano. Cooper. (1995) Research methods in (2001) 5th Edition. Sue (2008) Business Research Methods. Dr. Kenneth S (2002) Edi 5th Research Design and Methods: A Process Approach.experiment-resources.The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Nonparametric Statistics Some common methods using nonparametric statistics: Cohen's Kappa Mann-Whitney U-test Spearman's Rank Correlation Coefficient 127 References: Bordens. Main Library Punjab University. Gravetter. . .. Main Library Punjab University. Main Library Punjab University.

The Research Process (Step 4 & 5) Saslow. Business Research Methods Main Library Punjab University. William G. Carol A. Zikmund. Main Library Punjab University. 128 128 . (1982) 1st Edition. Basic Research Methods.

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