Dr. Tanima Dutta
Stages in the Research Process
Prepare the Research Report
Analyze and interpret the Data
Design Sample and collect data
Design Data Collection method
Determine Research Design
Generally not sufficient for dissertation project.
This can be the goal if significant new facts or
relationships are identified.
Usually need to at least speculate on explanation.
Central goal of most political science research.
Describe what is going on or exists.
Estimate how groups of consumers might
Examine relationships between two or
Two Basic Types
The discovery of ideas and insights. Exploratory
research usually results when someone says, "We're
not meeting our objectives. What's wrong?"
Exploratory research will be used to find the most likely
explanations regarding some observed problem.
This type of research is often used for
Formulating a problems for more precise investigation
Discovering new ideas
Establishing priorities for further research
Screening of alternatives
Increasing the analyst's familiarity with the problem area
What is Research Design?
• Research Design is obtaining satisfactory evidence
for a research problem.
• It answers the question “What type of evidence is
required for the problem?”
• Yin “ Research Design deals with logical problem
and not logistical problem”.
• Before collecting evidence it is important to design
the nature of evidence required.
• Research Design is a work plan.
Kees, Jeremy, Paula Bone, John Kozup and Pam Scholder Ellen
(forthcoming), “Barely or Fairly Balancing the Black Box?
Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Internet Promotion,”
Psychology and Marketing.
RESEARCH DESIGN refers to the plan, structure, and strategy of
research--the blueprint that will guide the research process.
Problem & Objectives
Data Analysis &
Refinement of theory
Framework and the
More Careful Studying
of the Phenomenon
THE PROCESS OF
RESEARCH DESIGN: The blueprint/roadmap that will guide
the research. The test for the quality of a study’s
research design is the study’s conclusion validity.
CONCLUSION VALIDITY refers to the extent of researcher’s
ability to draw accurate conclusions from the research. That
is, the degree of a study’s:
a) Internal Validity—correctness of conclusions regarding the
relationships among variables examined
Whether the research findings accurately reflect how the research variables
are really connected to each other.
b) External Validity –Generalizability of the findings to the
Whether appropriate subjects were selected for conducting the study
•Formulate problems more
•Establish priorities for research
•Eliminate impractical ideas
•Analysis of select
•Estimate proportion of people
who behave in a certain way
•Make specific predictions
•Provide evidence regarding
•Rule out all other explanations
Design versus Method
• Research Design is not a mode for data collection
• It is a logical structure of the enquiry
• Data can be collected by any method for any
• Design is more important than data collection
• Important to distinguish between the two because
otherwise there is poor analysis of design
Quantitative and qualitative Research
• The purpose of Research Design is to reduce the ambiguity of
much research evidence
• Designs are often equated with qualitative an d quantitative
methods which is not correct
• Social surveys and experiments are equated with quantitative
• Case study is equated with qualitative research
• “a point of confusion….has been the unfortunate linking
between the case study method and certain types of data
collection for example those focusing on qualitative methods,
ethnography or participation observation. People have thought
that the case study method required them to embrace these data
collection methods….On the contrary, the method does not imply
any particular form of data collection which can be qualitative or
Quantitative = numeric data
Qualitative = non-numeric data
◦ Caveat – all qualitative data can be coded
and all quantitative data is based on
◦ Qualitative Data = preliminary
◦ Quantitative Data = confirmatory
To gain a qualitative
understanding of the
underlying reasons and
Small number of non-
Develop an initial
To quantify the data and
generalize the results from
the sample to the
population of interest
Large number of
Recommend a final course
Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research
◦ True Experimental Studies
◦ Pre-experimental Studies
◦ Quasi-Experimental Studies
◦ Expost Facto/Correlational Studies
SPECIFIC TYPES OF RESEARCH DESIGN
BASIC RESEARCH DESIGNS:
RESULT: Significant Improvement from O1 to O2 (i.e.,
sig. O2 - O1 difference)
QUESTION: Did X (the drug) cause the improvement?
One of the simplest experimental designs is the ONE GROUP PRETEST-
One way to examine Efficacy of a Drug:
O1 X O2
Measure DRUG Measure
Patients’ Condition Experimental Patients’ Condition
(Pretest) Condition/ (Posttest)
CONTROL GROUP simulates absence of X
◦ Origin of using Control Groups (A tale from ancient Egypt)
Pretest Post-Test Control Group Design--Suppose random
assignment (R) was used to control confounding variables:
R Exp. Group O1E X O2E
R Ctrl Group O1C O2C
RESULT: O2E > O1E & O2C Not> O1C
QUESTION: Did X cause the improvement in Exp.
The design of choice in social sciences since the phenomenon
under study is usually not reproducible in a laboratory setting
Researcher has little or no control over study’s indep., dep. and
the numerous potential confounding variables,
Often the researcher concomitantly measures all the study
variables (e.g., independent, dependant, etc.),
Then examines the following types of relationships:
◦ correlations among variables or
◦ differences among groups,
Inability to control for effects of confounding variables makes
causal inferences regarding relationships among variables more
difficult and, thus:
Generally, higher external validity, lower internal validity
NOT NECESSARILY! EXAMPLES:
◦ Water Fluoridation and AIDS
(San Francisco Chronicle, Sep. 6, 1984)
◦ Armed store robberies and cold weather
◦ Longevity and Pollution
◦ In-vitro birth and likelihood of developing eye tumors
◦ Hearing problem and blood pressure
What can a significant correlation mean then?
Non-experimental designs rely on correlational evidence.
QUESTION: Does a significant correlation between two
variables in a non-experimental study necessarily represent a
causal relationship between those variables?
Popular Qualitative Research Methods
expect more creative
•Richness of data
•Gets at the “Why”
•Not influenced by others
•Max probing, great depth
•Candid, sensitive topics