Intro Research

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Introduction to a research projects class at Indian Hills High School.

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Intro Research

  1. 2. Research Professor
  2. 3. Psychological Research
  3. 4. Psychological Research
  4. 5. Science/Engineering Research
  5. 6. Medical Research
  6. 7. Medical Research
  7. 8. So What is Research? <ul><li>Pose a question. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop an experiment to answer the question. </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct the experiment and collect factual data. </li></ul>
  8. 9. So What is Research? <ul><li>Rationally interpret the data. </li></ul><ul><li>Use your interpretations to predict other similar events. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Topics of Interest Defining the Problem Designing the Experiment Observations and Analysis Conclusion
  10. 11. So How Do I Get Started?
  11. 12. Idea Generating Phase <ul><li>Pick an area of interest and think of questions . </li></ul><ul><li>Why does Bob wink at Judy all the time? Why does Bob exist? Why do we all exist? </li></ul>
  12. 13. Idea Generating Phase <ul><li>Ideas can be generated from reading a book, walking down the street, eating chicken. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: why is the sky blue, what does a chicken not have lips. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Where to Get Ideas <ul><li>If you have trouble thinking of an idea to research, try this website: </li></ul>http://www.sciencebuddies.org/
  14. 15. Organizing Your Ideas <ul><li>Identify a topic of interest to study. </li></ul><ul><li>Refine a vague question into a precise question to study. </li></ul><ul><li>Decide on specific procedures to use to collect and analyze data. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Organizing Your Ideas <ul><li>Perform the procedures. </li></ul><ul><li>Graphically and statistically analyze the data. </li></ul><ul><li>Compare your results to your hypothesis. </li></ul><ul><li>Compile your research into a report. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Defining the Problem <ul><li>Most scientific research is based on previous studies. </li></ul><ul><li>Step 1: Pick a topic of interest. </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2: Research that topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3: Find a specific study that was done and look for a way to build on the results of that study. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Defining the Problem <ul><li>A big part of your project will be to research the topic to learn as much as you can about it. I will not be teaching you about the subject. Therefore, if you do only cursory research on the topic, how will you be able to analyze your research results? </li></ul>
  18. 19. Designing your Experiment <ul><li>What observations and data will you collect. </li></ul><ul><li>Under what conditions will you perform your tests. </li></ul><ul><li>How will you select the experimental sample to represent the population of interest. </li></ul>
  19. 20. Designing your Experiment <ul><li>What controlled conditions will you compare your tests to. </li></ul><ul><li>How will you analyze your data. </li></ul><ul><li>What do the results mean. </li></ul>
  20. 21. Common Mistakes <ul><li>If you don’t analyze the data each day as your experiment proceeds, how do you not if: 1) your data has errors, 2) your data will prove or disprove your hypothesis, 3) your data are biased or skewed. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Common Mistakes <ul><li>The beginning of your experiment will be trial and error to see if you designed it adequately. You must review the data ASAP to determine whether you are collecting the correct data under the right conditions and if you need additional data you never considered. </li></ul>
  22. 23. Common Mistakes <ul><li>If you don’t select an analysis method, how do you know if: 1) you can interpret the results you get, 2) what the results mean. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: if the mean of the population is 5 g and you measure 10 g for your sample, is this significant? </li></ul>
  23. 24. Observations <ul><li>While collecting data you must make critical observations about the test subjects and make an educated guess about what causes the subjects to respond as you observed. Based on this information you may wish to modify the experiment. Observations assist in the analysis of your results. </li></ul>
  24. 25. Data Analysis <ul><li>Graphical methods are used to visually look for relationships and trends in the data. </li></ul><ul><li>Statistical methods are used to quantify your results. Example: I am 95% confident John will significantly beat the average test score in Physics. </li></ul>
  25. 26. Conclusion <ul><li>Conclusion includes two parts: </li></ul><ul><li>1) A summary of the findings, and </li></ul><ul><li>2) Suggestions for improvements and future research. </li></ul>
  26. 27. Conclusion <ul><li>A summary of the findings should include the following: </li></ul><ul><li>1) How do the results prove or disprove the hypothesis. </li></ul><ul><li>2) A summary of the important facts and observations you made. </li></ul>
  27. 28. Conclusion <ul><li>3) What is the importance of the findings to the field of study (i.e., what did you prove). </li></ul><ul><li>4) What questions were you unable to prove and why. </li></ul><ul><li>5) What errors or testing procedures limited the accuracy of your results. </li></ul>
  28. 29. Conclusion <ul><li>Suggestions for improvements and future research should include: </li></ul><ul><li>1) What other experiments could you do in the future to resolve the unproven questions or to fine tune your tests (i.e., how could you modify your experiment). </li></ul>
  29. 30. Conclusion <ul><li>2) What were the limitations of your experiment and how can you expand on your research (i.e., your results are limited to high school students within the Oakland, NJ region). What could future studies look at using the results of your research? </li></ul>

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