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Quantitative Methods for Lawyers - Class #2 - Research Design Part II + Introduction to Sampling - Professor Daniel Martin Katz
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Quantitative Methods for Lawyers - Class #2 - Research Design Part II + Introduction to Sampling - Professor Daniel Martin Katz

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Quantitative Methods for Lawyers - Class #2 - Research Design Part II + Introduction to Sampling - Professor Daniel Martin Katz Quantitative Methods for Lawyers - Class #2 - Research Design Part II + Introduction to Sampling - Professor Daniel Martin Katz Presentation Transcript

  • Quantitative Methods for Lawyers Research Design - Part II Class #2 @ computationalcomputationallegalstudies.comprofessor daniel martin katz
  • Thinking Empirically Empirical is Concerned with Aggregate Effects Important to Know the Resolution at which an empirical claim is made Do not Exceed that scope when using the underlying research Note: anecdote generally does not undermine an aggregate claim Empirical is Oriented Toward Hypothesis Testing
  • Research Design Process of identifying a research question and setting up the plan of study that will best explore that question Research design is critical and it can lead to the most devastating critiques If you need to challenge an expert witness this is most likely a fruitful line of attack
  • Qualitative v. Quantitative Studies
  • As a general premise, qualitative studies are more personal and deal with descriptions based upon what can be observed such as colors, taste, smell, general appearance or answers to open-ended questions. Qualitative Studies
  • As a general matter, quantitative studies deal more with numbers. The data is measured rather than observed. For example: size, sound levels, and cost can be measured with numbers. Quantitative Studies
  • For simplistic purposes, assume the purpose of a study involves lattes. What types of data will be reported in a scientific study based upon a qualitative approach and what types of data will be reported in a scientific study based upon a quantitative approach?
  • Qualitative data (involving latte):
  • Qualitative data (involving latte): • robust aroma • frothy appearance • strong taste • burgundy colored coffee cup
  • Quantitative data (involving latte): Source: http://regentsprep.org/REgents/math/ALGEBRA/AD1/qualquant.htm
  • Quantitative data (involving latte): • 12 ounces of latte • serving temperature of 150º F. • serving cup 7 inches in height • cost $4.95 Source: http://regentsprep.org/REgents/math/ALGEBRA/AD1/qualquant.htm
  • Suppose a study involves the college freshman class at a university. What types of data will be reported in a scientific study based upon a qualitative approach and what types of data will be reported in a scientific study based upon a quantitative approach?
  • Qualitative data (involving college freshman): • friendly demeanors • civic minded • environmentalists • positive school spirit
  • Quantitative data (involving college freshman): • 672 students • 394 females, 278 males • 38% on honor roll • 62 students in accelerated mathematics class
  • Samples of Qualitative Questions When qualitative studies ask questions, they are open-ended. This allows the respondents flexibly to answer with more information and with greater depth.
  • Here are some open ended questions to nurses in a qualitative study: 1. Where are the best locations to get immunizations? 2. What are your views about recommending mothers to breastfeed? 3. What are the first actions that parents do when their children have fever? 4. What signs of illness result in parents taking their children to the emergency room?
  • Here are some open ended questions to nurses in a quantitative study: A. Nurses are capable of identifying when a patient is dying. 1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Disagree 4. Strongly disagree 5. Do not know
  • B. I would not like to take responsibility for the care of a dying patient. 1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Disagree 4. Strongly disagree 5. Do not know
  • C. Nurses cannot reduce the routine care for a clearly dying patient without the doctor’s permission. 1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Disagree 4. Strongly disagree 5. Do not know
  • D. Nurses need not give the dying patients honest answers about their conditions. 1. Strongly agree 2. Agree 3. Disagree 4. Strongly disagree 5. Do not know
  • When reading a study, the participant number is noted by the letter “n.” For example, n = 32. This indicates that the study only involved 32 participants. When a study involves small numbers, the ability to generalize the outcome to the greater population is problematic. Qualitative studies tend to have small n. This allows for in- depth observations, gathers more information, but limits the ability to generalize. When reading a study, look for the “n. What is the “n” of the Study?
  • Suppose a qualitative study interviews children who use the internet over 3 hour daily. After reviewing that study, a quantitative researcher studies the number of books read by such children. What relationship exists between the two studies?
  • Qualitative and quantitative studies can be different stages of the same research. The qualitative part can be used as exploratory data which acts as the phase to generate the hypotheses and theory for a subsequent quantitative study. Using similar concepts, the qualitative exploratory data can lead to the quantitative confirmatory data. the broader qualitative data acts as exploratory followed by a more specific quantitative confirmatory study.
  • The above example can occur in reverse. A quantitative study can establish the book reading capacities for those children using the internet over 3 hours daily. A subsequent qualitative study then can place flesh on the bones by making an in-depth study with selected children who use the internet over 3 hours daily. The in-depth qualitative study will then paint a picture on the quantitative numbers.
  • Literature Reviews
  • The lawyer discovers a major study with contrary findings. It was completed prior to the current researcher’s study. This lawyer suspects the current researcher ignored or just summarily discounted this contrary work. Where does the lawyer look for evidence of that point?
  • The strengths and weaknesses of a study’s design normally are encountered in the study’s literature review. This is the lawyer’s best starting point. A literature review can exist in the study/academic paper, but it also can exist in the proposal for the project (e.g like the nursing study) When a researcher proposes a study, there normally is a literature review portion in that application for funding. This especially occurs when the researcher needs funding for the project.
  • Through discovery procedures, the lawyer can seek that application and thereby read the literature review (even if it is not part of the final paper / product) Literature reviews are written to help establish a valid basis for the scientific research. Not all reviews are balanced. When a researcher dismisses major studies, it might be good judgment, but also can be subjective and selective.
  • Sampling
  • Why Do Researchers Sample?
  • Cost and/or Practical Limits
  • Concept: When a sample is used, the researcher ideally wants a sample that mirrors the population— the sample should represent the whole. Sampling
  • Sampling Population Must Define the Population of Interest
  • Sampling Sampling Frame Population Must Define the Population of Interest Actual Method to Draw the Sample from the Population
  • Sampling Sampling Frame Population Sample Must Define the Population of Interest Actual Method to Draw the Sample from the Population The Resulting By Product
  • Sampling PopulationSample
  • Sampling PopulationSample Then, we use observed sample characteristics to estimate the “true”characteristics of the population
  • Example: Political Polling
  • Sampling Sampling Frame Population Sample Likely Presidential Voters in Ohio Method to Draw a Random Sample from that Population Obtain a Random + Sufficiently Large Sample