Lecture+1-+research+questions - SE 10 Research Design...

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Unformatted text preview: SE 10 Research Design Lecture 1 Research Questions The Scientific Method 1 Research Design what's the point? Determine if you can trust the results of all types of studies Design a study other people can trust Be skeptical What types of things might be important when designing a study? 2 What is a research question? Start with a topic of interest something you have a question about violence, drug use, depression Narrow down to a clear statement I'd like to know if affluence is related to property crime I'd like to know how DARE affects drug use for participants 3 Where do we get research questions? Personal observation Literature reviews Logic or theory Current relevant social issues Funding and popularity 4 Why are research questions important? Determines the scope and type of research Defines purpose: exploratory or confirmatory Identifies audience Suggests methods and type of analysis Becomes a criteria for judging success 5 How do we narrow and clarify the question? We must define our terms Conceptualizing: the process of defining terms Operational Definition: precisely how concept will be measured 6 Subdivide Focus List indicators Conceptualizing "drug use" Subdivide types of drug use Focus which type(s) should be studied List indicators What specifically do we want to measure? 7 Operationalizing drug use What can we measure? What time period are we measuring? What units are we using? What cutoffs and definitions will we use? An "operational definition" explains how you are measuring a concept 8 Why are conceptualizing and operationalizing so important? Social science looks at complex concepts Keep in mind for next class Too broad to study all at once Individual differences in definitions We have to have a way to measure concepts Measurement validity 9 Variables A variable can be measured or recorded Used to represent a concept Variables have a set of possible values or attributes Variables are measured in specific units Most recent degree: HS, AA, BA, MA, etc. Years, feet, index score, etc. 10 Independent and Dependent Variables Dependent Variable: the outcome of interest Independent Variable(s): Variables you think affect or cause the dependent variable X > Y 11 Basic form of a research question Does X > Y? To make a clear research question we must: Conceptualize Operationalize Identify Variables 12 Types of research Inductive Research Research Question Observations "Exploring" Deductive Research Theory Hypothesis "Testing" Evaluate Question Develop Theory Observations Confirm, refute, revise theory 13 Both inductive and deductive methods are part of the research process Inductive Research Theory Deductive Research 14 Functions of research Exploration more questions are generated Description documenting observations Explanation asks why something occurs Application evaluating outcomes Refutation disprove a hypothesis Replication reproduce findings to support a hypothesis 15 Where can we get information? Tradition: information conveyed through culture, history cumulative Authority: information conveyed by someone with credibility (e.g., expert) on the topic Observation: Information based on logical and empirical support 16 Theory Something we believe to be true based on one or more of these ways of knowing Research can add support to the theory, or take away support In social science we never prove a theory only get more sure about it 17 The scientific method Rigorous, systematic observation 1. Develop research question 2. Formulate a hypothesis 3. Methods and data collection 4. Analysis 5. Conclusions 6. Feedback 18 What is empirical research? Research based on observation Positivism: Assumption that there is an objective reality that can be discovered with observed data only uses what can be observed NOT reviews of literature 19 Science is guided by current framework Paradigm: current set of commonly held beliefs about the world Paradigm shift: change in this framework Evidence is collected refuting the paradigm New paradigm is established 20 How science shapes our model of the world Skepticism: doubting and critically evaluating current paradigm and conclusions Scientific integrity Not reporting false data or conclusions Reading and responding to new research 21 Errors in nonscientific observation Inaccurate observation Overgeneralization Selective observation Wrong information Illogical reasoning 22 More conceptualizing! Think about this for your first assignment Don't just know how to do it know why 23 ...
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2008 for the course SOCECOL 10 taught by Professor Pazzani-raitt during the Spring '08 term at UC Irvine.

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