Sie sind auf Seite 1von 40

1

Foundations of
Research Methods

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1 The Research Enterprise

Modern society relies on research


Research allows us to:
Explore our universe
Explore our environment
Use and create new technology
Understand ourselves
What does research mean to you?

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1a What is Research?

Research is systematic investigation


Research is empirical
Research is a public effort
Our focus is on social research
This results in a research project

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1a Research Defined

A type of systematic investigation that is


empirical in nature and is designed to
contribute to public knowledge

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1a Research Enterprise Defined

The macro-level effort to accumulate


knowledge across multiple empirical
systematic public research projects

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1b Translational Research

Translating knowledge gained from our


research into practical applications
This process is called the research-
practice continuum

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


The Research-Practice Continuum

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1b Basic & Applied Research

Basic research
Designed to generate discoveries and to
understand how the discoveries work
Applied research
Tests a discovery under increasingly
controlled conditions in real-world contexts

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1b Implementation & Dissemination
Research
Research that assesses how well an
innovation or discovery can be distributed
in and carried out in a broad range of
contexts
Extending beyond the original controlled
studies

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1b Policy & Impact Research

Policy research
Research that is designed to investigate
existing policies or develop and test new ones
Impact research
Research that assesses the broader effects of
a discovery or innovation on society

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1c Research Synthesis

A systematic study of multiple prior


research projects that address the same
research question or topic and summarize
the results in a manner that can be used
by practitioners

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1c Types of Research Synthesis
Projects
Meta-analysis
Uses statistical methods to combine the
results of similar studies quantitatively in order
to allow general conclusions to be made
Systematic review
Focuses on a specific question or issue and
uses specific preplanned methods to identify,
select, assess, and summarize the findings of
multiple research studies

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1c Guidelines Defined

A systematic process that leads to a


specific set of research based
recommendations for practice that usually
includes some estimates of how strong the
evidence is for each recommendation

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1c Translational Research With
Synthesis

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1d Evidence-Based Practice

A movement designed to encourage or


require practitioners to employ practices
that are based on research evidence as
reflected in research syntheses or practice
guidelines

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.1e An Evolutionary Perspective

Research ideas evolve through the


process of natural selection
A research idea competes with other
ideas, and the strongest ones are
selected and then built upon

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.2a Where Research Topics Come From

Practical problems in the field


Literature reviews
Requests for research proposals
Generating your own research ideas
Although these often come from a
combination of practical problems and
literature reviews

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.2b The Literature Review

A systematic compilation and written


summary of all of the literature published
in scientific journals that is related to a
research topic of interest
The literature included should be peer
reviewed
Peer review is a system for ensuring the
accuracy and methodological integrity of
published research articles
2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
1.2c Feasibility Issues

Feasibility is the practicality of your


research project
Considerations
Cost
Time investment
Access to the population of interest
Ethical constraints

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.3 The Language of Research

Research, like any other endeavor, has its


own language and vocabulary

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.3a Research Vocabulary

Theoretical
Concerned with developing, exploring, or
testing the theories or ideas that social
researchers have about how the world
operates
Empirical
Based on direct observations and
measurements of reality

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.3b Research Vocabulary (contd.)

Probabilistic
Based on probabilities
Causal
Pertaining to a cause-effect relationship
Causal relationships
A cause-effect relationship

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.3b Types of Studies

Descriptive Studies
Answer questions of what? and describe a
particular phenomenon
Relational Studies
Look at relationships between two or more
variables (these are not causal!)
Causal Studies
Look at cause and effect. Does one variable
cause a change in another?
2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
1.3c Time in Research

Cross-sectional studies
Take place at a single point in time
Longitudinal studies
Take place at several points in time
Repeated measures designs
Uses two or a few waves of measurement
Time series designs
Uses many waves of measurement (more
than 20)
2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
1.3d Types of Relationships

Correlational relationships
When two things are synchronized
Causal relationships
When one variable causes another to change
The third variable problem
In a correlational relationship, it is often a third
variable that is causing the synchronization
between two, correlated variables

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.3d Patterns of Relationships

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.3d Patterns of Relationships (contd.)

No relationship
Positive relationship
As one variable increases, the other variable
also increases. As one variable decreases,
the other also decreases
Negative relationship
As one variable increases, the other
decreases. The relationship is inverse

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.3e Hypotheses

Hypothesis
A specific statement of prediction
Alternative hypothesis
A specific statement of prediction stating what
you expect will happen in your study
Null hypothesis
A specific statement that predicts there will be
no effect of a program or treatment you are
studying
2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
1.3e Hypotheses (contd.)

One-tailed hypothesis
A hypothesis that specifies a direction
Two-tailed hypothesis
A hypothesis that does not specify a direction

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.3f Variables

Quantitative
The numerical representation of some object
Attribute
A specific value of a variable
Independent variable
The variable that you manipulate (the cause)
Dependent variable
The variable that is affected by the
independent variable
2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
1.3f Variable Guidelines

The attributes of a variable should be:


Exhaustive
Mutually exclusive

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.3g Types of Data

Qualitative
A descriptive, nonnumerical observation
Qualitative data
Data that are in the form of text, pictures,
sounds, etc.
Quantitative data
Data that is in numeric form

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.3h The Unit of Analysis

Individuals
Groups
Artifacts (books, photos, newspapers)
Geographical units (towns, states)
Social Interactions (dyadic relations,
divorces, arrests)
Hierarchical modeling allows you to
analyze multiple units of analysis
2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Deductive Reasoning

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


Inductive Reasoning

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.4 The Structure of Research

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.4a Research Components

Research question
The central issue being addressed in the
study, which is typically phrased in the
language of theory
Operationalization
The act of translating a construct into its
manifestationfor example, translating the
idea of your treatment or program into the
actual program

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.4a Components of a Research Study

The research problem


The research question
The program (cause)
The units
The outcomes (effect)
The design

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


1.5 Validity

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.


Discuss and Debate

Why is psychological research empirical?


Why does a research endeavor need
structure? Why is it a systematic
approach?
If two variables are related through a
correlation, does that mean one variable
caused the other? Why or why not?

2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.