Understanding Research Menthods Outline

Understanding Research Menthods Outline - Understanding...

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Understanding Research Methods Outline Topic 1: Intro to Empirical Research: Empirical Approach : knowledge based on observation, used by all in everyday living. Uses: Researchers try to avoid misleading results and poor interpretations. Key: Why we want to make observations, whom they want to observe, as  well as how and why to observe. Why to observe:  establishes the need for the study. Hypothesis : statement indicating what results are expected. Whom to observe : decide whether to observe a whole  population or a sample of the population.  Sample is often observed,  must be not biased. How to observe : select available instruments such as objective  tests, interviews, and direct observation of behavior, with an eye to  selecting the most valid instruments.  Most also decide when to use  these instruments. Data : The observations researchers make. Quantitative : data in the form of numbers, which are analyzed statistically. Qualitative : described in a narrative that point out themes and trends. One of the most fundamental distinctions in scientific research is whether research is experimental or  non experimental. Experimental : treatments are given for the research purpose. Non Experimental : observations without the use of treatments. Topic 2: Experimental vs. Nonexperimental studies Experiments : researchers give treatments and observe if they cause changes in behavior. Experimental group : group given treatment Control Group : Not given new treatment True Experiment : when participants are divided at random and uses manipulation. Nonexperimental studies:  researchers do not give treatments, observe participants in order to  describe them as they naturally exist. Survey: or poll , one of most common nonexperimental studies Instruments such as paper and pencil tests, interview schedules, and personality  scales are used in both types of studies.
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Purpose of experiment is to explore cause-and-effect relationships. Topic 3: Experimental vs. Causal-Comparative Studies When it is impossible to conduct an experiment to answer causal questions a researcher must settle for  information derived from nonexperimental studies. Demographics : background characteristics such as socioeconomic status. Causal Comparative Study:  (ex post facto study) researchers observe and describe some current  condition, researchers look to the past to try to identify the possible causes of the condition. Causal Comparative Method is a powerful scientific tool that provides data on many 
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course HDF 315L taught by Professor Anderson during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Understanding Research Menthods Outline - Understanding...

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