Successfully reported this slideshow.

Research Design


Published on

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

Research Design

  1. 1. Research Design • A major issue in research is the preparation of the research design of the research project • Decisions regarding what, where, when, how much, by what means, concerning an enquiry or a research study constitute a research design Research Design – Definition “A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure” Is the conceptual structure within which research is conducted; it constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement and analysis of data More explicitly: i. What is the study about? ii. Why is the study being conducted? iii. Where will the study be carried out? iv. What type of data is required? v. Where can the required data be found? vi. What period of time will the study include? vii. What will be the sample design? viii. What techniques of data collection will used? ix. How will the data be analyzed? x. In what style will the report be prepared? Research Design has the following parts: i. The Sampling Design – which deals with the method of selecting items to be observed for the given study ii. The Observational Design – which relates to the conditions under which the observations are to be made iii. The Statistical Design – which concerns with the question of how many items are to be observed and how the information and data gathered are to be analyzed iv. The Operational Design – which deals with the techniques by which the procedures specified in the sampling, statistical and observational designs can be carried out In brief, a research design must contain: a. A clear statement of the research problem b. Procedures and techniques to be used for gathering information c. The population to be studied d. Methods to be used in processing and analyzing data Research Design – Important Concepts 1. Dependent and Independent Variables 2. Extraneous Variable 3. Control 4. Confounded Relationship 5. Research Hypothesis 6. Experimental and Non-experimental Hypothesis-testing
  2. 2. Dependent & Independent Variables A concept which can take on different quantitative values is called a variable. Ex: weight, height, income etc., are examples of a variable Qualitative phenomena (the attribute) are also quantified on the basis of the presence or absence of the concerning attribute Dependent variable (DV) – if one variable depends upon or is a consequence of the other variable, it is termed as a DV And the variable that is antecedent to the DV is termed as the Independent variable IV 1.Dependent & Independent Variables Ex: if we say that height depends upon age, then height is the DV and age is the IV. Further, if height also depends upon the individual’s sex – then, height is the DV and age and sex are the IVs 2. Extraneous Variable IVs that are not related to the purpose of the study, but may affect the DV are termed as Extraneous Variable (EV) Ex: suppose the researcher wants to test the hypothesis that there is a relationship between children’s gains in social studies achievement and their self-concept. Here, self-concept is an IV and social studies achievement is a DV. Intelligence may as well affect the social studies achievement, but since it is not related to the purpose of the study, it will be termed as an EV Therefore, a study must be always so designed that the effect upon the DV is attributed entirely to the IVs and not to some EV. 3. Control One important characteristic of a good research design is to minimize the influence or effect of the EV. The term “Control” is used when we design the study minimizing the effects of extraneous variables 4. Confounded Relationship When the DV is not free from the influence of the EVs, the relationship between DV and IV is said to be confounded by the EV 5. Research Hypothesis When a prediction or a hypothesized relationship is to be tested by scientific methods, it is termed as a Research-Hypothesis The Research-Hypothesis is a predictive statement that relates an IV to a DV 6. Experimental and Non-Experimental Hypothesis testing research When the IV is manipulated it is an experimental design Research in which the IV is not manipulated is called Non-experimental hypothesis-testing research Ex: a researcher wants to study whether intelligence affects reading ability for a group of students and for this purpose he randomly selects 50 students and tests their intelligence and reading ability by calculating the co-efficient of correlation between the two sets of scores – this is an example of non- experimental hypothesis testing, because the IV, intelligence is not manipulated But now ,suppose that the researcher randomly selects 50 students from a group of students who are to take a course in statistics and then divides them into two groups by randomly assigning 25 to Group A, the common program, and 25 to Group B, the special program. At the end of the course, he administers a test to each group in order to judge the effectiveness of the training program on the students’ performance. This is an example of experimental hypothesis testing because the IV (the type of training program) is manipulated.
  3. 3. Types of Research Designs 1. Exploratory 2. Descriptive & Diagnostic 3. Experimental Exploratory Research Design • Also known as Formulative Research Design • Main purpose – is that of formulating a problem for precise investigation or developing hypotheses from an operational point of view • Major Focus – discovery of new ideas and insights • Exploratory studies must have flexibility in design to provide opportunity for considering different aspects of a problem under study Exploratory Research Design… The following 3 methods are used: • The survey concerning literature • The experience survey • The analysis of “insight-stimulating” examples 1. The Literature Survey • The most simple and useful method of formulating the research problem or developing a hypothesis • Hypotheses stated by earlier workers may be reviewed and their usefulness evaluated as a basis for further research • Use the bibliographical survey of studies already done in one’s area of interest for formulating the problem • An attempt must be made to apply concepts and theories 2. Experience Survey • Is the survey of people who have had practical experience with the problem • The object is to obtain insight into relationships between variables and new ideas relating to the research problem 3. Analysis of ‘insight-stimulating’ examples • The method consists of the intensive study of selected instances of the phenomenon in which one is interested • For this purpose, existing records may be examined; unstructured interviews with experts may be conducted; etc.
  4. 4. II. Descriptive & Diagnostic Research Design • Descriptive Studies are those which are concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual or of a group. • Studies concerned with specific predictions, with narration of facts and characteristics concerning individual, group or situation are ex.'s of descriptive research studies • Diagnostic Studies determine the frequency with which something occurs or its association with something else • Studies about whether certain variables are associated, are ex.’s of diagnostic studies The research design here must focus on the following: 1. Formulating the objective of the study 2. Designing the methods of data collection 3. Selecting the sample 4. Collecting the data 5. Processing and analyzing the data 6. Reporting the findings III. Hypothesis-Testing research design • Generally known as Experimental Studies – where the researcher tests the hypothesis of causal relationships between variables • Such studies require procedures that not only reduce bias and increase reliability but will permit drawing of inferences about causality • Prof. R A Fisher’s name is associated with experimental designs. • He developed certain experimental designs for testing hypothesis
  5. 5. Principles of experimental designs The three important principles are: 1. Principle of Replication 2. Principle of Randomization 3. Principle of Local control Principle of Replication The experiment should be repeated more than once to ensure that each treatment is applied in many experimental units instead of one. By doing so the statistical accuracy is increased
  6. 6. Principle of Randomization Provides protection against the effect of extraneous factors in an experiment. That is, we design the experiment in such a way that the variations caused by extraneous factors can all be combined under the general heading of “chance”. Principle of Local Control Here the extraneous factor, the known source of variability, is made to vary deliberately over as wide a range as necessary and this needs to be done in such a way that the variability it causes can be measured and hence eliminated from the experimental error Important Experimental Designs There are several designs:  Informal Experimental Designs  Formal Experimental Designs Informal Experimental Designs 1. Before-and-after without control design 2. After-only with control design 3. Before-and-after with control design Formal Experimental Designs 1. Completely Randomized design 2. Randomized block design 3. Latin Square design 4. Factorial design
  7. 7. Methods of Data Collection Essentially two types: 1. Primary data – are those which are collected for the first time and are original in character 2. Secondary data – are those which have already been collected by someone else and which have through some statistical analysis Collection of Primary Data Primary data may be collected thru:  Experiments  Surveys (sample surveys or census surveys)  Observation  Personal Interviews Of the above, the important ones are: 1. Observation Method 2. Interview Method 3. Thru Questionnaires/Schedules I. Observation Method • Observation becomes a scientific tool and the method of data collection, when it serves a formulated research purpose, is systematically planned and recorded and is subjected to checks and controls on validity and reliability • Under observation – the information is sought by way of investigator’s own direct observation without asking from the respondent Main advantages are: • Subjective bias is eliminated • The information relates to what is currently happening • This method is independent of respondent’s willingness to respond
  8. 8. Main Limitations are:  It is expensive  The information provided by this method is very limited  Unforeseen factors may interfere with the observation task Types of Observation Essentially two types: 1. Structured vs. Unstructured Observation 2. Participant vs. Non-participant Observation Structured vs. Unstructured Observation Structured Observation – when the observation is characterized by a careful definition of the units to be observed, the style of recording the observed information, standardized conditions of observation and the selection of pertinent data of observation Unstructured Observation – when it takes place without the above characteristics Participant vs. Non-participant This distinction depends upon the observer’s sharing or not sharing the life of the group he is observing II. Interview Method The Interview Method of collecting data involves presentation of oral-verbal stimuli and reply in terms of oral – verbal responses Personal Interview • PI Method requires the interviewer asking questions in a face-to-face contact with the person. • Collecting information thru PI is structured – the use of a set of predetermined questions and highly standardized techniques of recording. • Thus, the interviewer in a structured interview follows a rigid procedure, asking questions in a form and order prescribed
  9. 9. • In unstructured interviews – there is a flexibility of approach to questioning • Unstructured interviews do not follow a system of pre-determined questions and standardized techniques of recording information Focused Interview – to focus attention on the given experience of the respondent and its effects The Interviewer has the freedom to decide the manner and sequence of questions to elicit/explore reasons and motives. The main task is to confine the respondent to a discussion of issues Clinical Interview – is concerned with broad underlying feelings or motivations or with the course of an individual’s life experience. Eliciting information is left to the interviewer’s discretion Non-Directive Interview – the interviewer's function is simply to encourage the respondent to talk about the topic with a bare minimum of direct questioning. The interviewer often acts as a catalyst to a comprehensive expression of the respondent’s feelings and beliefs Advantages 1. More information and in greater depth can be obtained 2. Resistance may be overcome by a skilled interviewer 3. Greater flexibility – an opportunity to restructure questions 4. Observation method can also be applied to recording verbal answers 5. Personal information can be obtained 6. Possibility of spontaneous responses and thus more honest responses Disadvantages 1. Expensive method 2. Interviewer bias 3. Respondent bias 4. Time consuming 5. Under the interview method the organization required for selecting, training, and supervising the field staff is complex with formidable problems 6. Establishing rapport to facilitate free and frank responses is very difficult Data Collection thru Questionnaires • Popular in major studies • Briefly – a Questionnaire is sent (by post) to the persons concerned with a request to answer the questions and return the Questionnaire. • A Questionnaire consists of a number of questions printed in a definite order on a form. • The Questionnaire is mailed to respondents who are expected to read and understand the questions and write down the reply in the space provided Merits of Questionnaire Method 1. Low cost – even when the universe is large and is widespread 2. Free from interviewer bias 3. Respondents have adequate time to think thru their answers 4. Respondents who are not easily approachable, can also be reached conveniently 5. Large samples can be used Demerits 1. Low rate of return 2. Respondents need to be educated and cooperative
  10. 10. 3. Inbuilt inflexibility 4. Possibility of ambiguous replies or omission of items 5. This method is slow Features of a Questionnaire • Questionnaire is the heart of a survey – needs to be carefully constructed • Need to understand the features of the Questionnaire – its general form, question sequence and question formulation and the wording of the questions 1. General Form • May be either structured or unstructured • Structured Questionnaires – are those in which there are definite, concrete, predetermined questions  The questions are presented with exactly the same wording and in the same order to all respondents  The form of the questions may be either closed (yes or no) or open (inviting free responses  Structured Questionnaires may also have fixed alternative questions in which responses are limited to the stated alternatives  Thus, a highly structured Questionnaire is one in which all the questions and answers are specified and comments in the respondents’ own words are held to the minimum • Unstructured Questionnaire – when the above characteristics are absent, it is known as a unstructured Questionnaire • The Interviewer is provided with a general guideline on the type of information to be obtained 2. Question Sequence  Proper sequence is needed to elicit valid responses  Sequence must be clear – that is, the relation of one question to the next  To establish rapport and to gain cooperation from the respondent – difficult questions, personal questions etc should preferably come at the appropriate time rather than at the beginning 3. Question Formulation & Wording  Phrasing the questions must be clear and unambiguous  Questions should be impartial and unbiased  Should be easily understood  Should be simple (one idea at a time)  Should be concrete  Form of questions may be multiple choice or open-ended Data Collection thru Schedules  Very similar to the Questionnaire method  The main difference is that a schedule is filled by the enumerator who is specially appointed for the purpose  Enumerator goes to the respondents, asks them the questions from the Performa in the order listed, and records the responses in the space provided.  Enumerators must be trained in administering the schedule Other Methods of Data Collection 1. Warranty Cards 2. Distributor or Store Audits 3. Pantry Audits
  11. 11. 4. Consumer Panels 5. Mechanical Devices 6. Depth Interviews 7. Content Analysis 8. Projective Tests Collection of Secondary Data Published data are available in: 1. Publications of State/Central govt.’s 2. Publications of International Bodies 3. Technical and Trade Journals 4. Books, Magazines and Newspapers 5. Reports/Publications of various organizations (banks, stock exchanges, business houses, etc) 6. Reports – by scholars, Universities, etc 7. Public records, Historical Documents, etc Secondary Data must possess the following characteristics:  Reliability of data – may be tested by checking:  Who collected the data?  What were the sources of the data?  Was the data collected properly?  Suitability of data – data that are suitable for one enquiry may not be necessarily suitable in another enquiry.  Therefore, the researcher must scrutinize the definition of various terms and units of collection. Also, the objectives, scope and nature of the original enquiry must be studied.  Adequacy of data – the data will be considered inadequate, if they are related to an area which may be either narrower or wider than the area of the present enquiry