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Ayaz Muhammad Khan Assistant Professor University of Education, Lahore

Causal Comparative Research
Determine the cause of existing differences among groups.
The Aim

‘ex post facto’ .Definition  It is a quantitative research  To determine the cause or consequences of the differences that already exist between or among group of individuals.

.an activity of characteristic believed to make a difference with respect to some behavior.Description  At least two different groups are compared on a dependent variable or measure of performance (called the “effect”) because the independent variable (called the “cause”) has already occurred or cannot be manipulated.  Dependent variable-the change or difference occurring as a result of the independent variable.  Independent variable.

Cannot manipulate the independent variable Less costly and time consuming . Attempts to identify cause and effect relationships. Involve making comparison. or       reason. Individuals are not randomly selected and assigned to two or more groups. Involve two or more group variables. for pre existing differences in groups of individuals.Characteristic  The researcher attempts to determine the cause.


Design and procedure 4.Data Analysis . Sample 3.Steps Taken 1. Problem 2.

or consequences of these phenomena  Sample  Define carefully the characteristic to be studied and select group that differ in this characteristic  Instrumentation  No limitation  Design  Involve selecting groups that differ on particular variable of interest. compare and remember no manipulation! .Process  Problem formulation  Identify and define particular phenomena of interest and then to consider possible causes for.

 DESIGN  Select two groups that differ on some independent variable I.  Each group possesses the characteristic but in differing amounts .  One group possesses some characteristics that the other does not II.

The Basic Causal-Comparative Designs Group (a) I Independent variable C (Group possesses characteristic) –C (Group does not possess characteristic) C1 (Group possesses characteristic 1) C2 (Group possesses characteristic 2) Dependent variable O (Measurement) O (Measurement) II (b) I O (Measurement) O (Measurement) II .

1) .Examples of the Basic Causal-Comparative Design (Figure 16.

Data Analysis  Construct frequency polygons  Calculate means and standard deviations  T-test to show differences between means  The result do not prove cause and effect.Cont. but only identifying the relationship .

Years of experience .Job satisfaction  Independent. Example: The Relationship between Years of Experience and Job Satisfaction Causal Comparative Design  Hypotheses  Alternative. Variables  Dependent.  Null.Teachers with a high level of experience will be equally satisfied with their jobs when compared to teachers with low levels of experience.Teachers with a high level of experience will be more satisfied with their jobs than teachers with low levels of experience.

Sample  Two groups sampled. Two levels (high & low)  Exists naturally in the population of teachers at the start of study. one for each level of the independent variable  High Experience  Low Experience .

Design and Procedure  Select two groups that differ on some independent variable  One group possesses some characteristic that the other does not  Each group possesses the characteristic but in differing amount  The independent variable must be clearly operationally defined  * Randomly sample subjects from each of the two groups  Collect background information on subjects to determine the equality of the groups  Compare groups on the dependent variable .

 Each high experience teacher who teachers a large class is matched with a low experience teacher who teaches a large class.  Each high experience teacher who teaches a small class is matched with a low experience teacher who teaches a small class.Design and Procedure  Control of Extraneous variable  What other variable besides years of experience could explain job satisfaction among teachers?  Matching: Each subject in the high experience group is matched with a subject with a low experience group along the variable of class size. .

job satisfaction ratings for High Experience and Low Experience subjects are compared using t-test. . ANOVA or other appropriate statistical test.Data Analysis Mean.  Rejection of the null hypothesis supports the alternative hypothesis that years of experience result in increased job satisfaction.

THREATS TO INTERNAL VALIDITY IN CAUSAL COMPARATIVE RESEARCH  WEAKNESSES:  Lack of randomization  Inability to manipulate an independent variable  Loss of subjects  Location  Instrumentation  History  Maturation .

 Data collector bias  Instrument decay  Attitude  Regression  Pre-test/treatment interaction effect .Cont.

WAYS OF CONTROLLING EXTRANEOUS VARIABLES  Matching of Subjects  Finding or Creating Homogeneous Subgroups  Statistical Matching .

EVALUATING THREATS TO INTERNAL VALIDITY  • Step 1: ask: What specific factors either are known to affect or may logically be expected to affect the variable on which groups are being compared?  Step 2: ask: What is the likelihood of the comparison groups differing on each factor?  Step 3: Evaluate the threats on the basis of how likely they are to have an effect. .