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Conceptualizing your study from a methodology standpoint

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Transitioning from Research Problem to Research Question(s)
Problem statement
Purpose of the Study
Research Question

Determining an Appropriate Research Approach
Having working knowledge about frequently used research approaches
Engaging in:
Research Approach Elimination (for qualitative study)
Variable Examination (for quantitative study)
Mixed Methods Design Assessment (for Mixed Methods study)

Published in: Education

Conceptualizing your study from a methodology standpoint

  1. 1. CONCEPTUALIZING YOUR STUDY: FROM A METHODOLOGY STANDPOINT Philip Adu, Ph.D. Methodology Expert National Center for Academic & Dissertation Excellence (NCADE) The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  2. 2. Research Process (Maintaining Consistency) 1. Problem Statement Gap found in the literature 2. Research Purpose: Determine Understand Explain Describe Illustrate Explore Conceptualize 3. Research Question: Confirmatory in nature Exploratory in nature 4. Research Design: Research Plan - logical description of how data would be collected, and analyzed to address the research question (s) Research Approach Sampling Strategy Data Collection Strategy 6. Quality Assurance Reliability Validity Credibility Transferability Dependability 7. Analysis of Data 5. Philosophical Assumptions OR Paradigm Ontology (about reality) Epistemology (about knowledge) Axiology (about value) Researcher’s role(s), background, beliefs, perspectives, and biases (for a qualitative study) 8. Presentation and Interpretation of Results (Yilmaz, 2013)
  3. 3. Outline Transitioning from Research Problem to Research Question(s) a. Problem statement b. Purpose of the Study c. Research Question Determining an Appropriate Research Approach 1. Having working knowledge about frequently used research approaches 2. Engaging in: a. Research Approach Elimination (for qualitative study) b. Variable Examination (for quantitative study) c. Mixed Methods Design Assessment (for Mixed Methods study)
  4. 4. Transitioning from Research Problem to Research Question(s) Transitioning from Research Problem to Research Question(s) a. Problem statement b. Purpose of the Study c. Research Question
  5. 5. Problem Statement Describing the specific problem you want to address in your study • Problem needed to be addressed • Recommended by previous researchers • Highlighted in the existing studies • Inferred from existing studies • Techniques of identifying a gap in existing studies • Confusion spotting • Neglect spotting • Application spotting • Methodological flaw spotting (Sandberg & Alvesson, 2010) Based of the gap identified, what do you want to study?
  6. 6. Research Purpose (Characteristics) Action’ or ‘operative’ words Phenomenon, case, situation, or process Participants and location/setting/ context Explain, describe, illustrate, develop, explore, conceptualize, or determine the effect or relationship Specific issue you plan to investigate in your study Specific participants with their respective location/setting/c ontext you want to study Considering your purpose statement, does your study fall under a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods study? (Creswell, 2013)
  7. 7. Example Purpose statement #1 • The purpose of the study is to explain how mental health stigma influences help seeking behavior among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana. Purpose statement #2 • The purpose of the study is to determine the effect of mental health stigma on help seeking behavior among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana. Purpose statement #3 • The purpose of the study is to determine the relationship between mental health stigma and help seeking behavior among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana. In addition, the study will focus on examining how they seek for help to address their mental health problems.
  8. 8. Criteria Quantitative Study Qualitative Study Mixed Methods Study Collection or assessment of observations Measuring observations using numbers Describing observations using words (i.e. narratives) Both Type of reasoning Deductive reasoning (Testing hypotheses) Inductive reasoning (Developing themes/theories) Both Type of investigation Confirmatory in nature Exploratory in nature Both Focus on the phenomenon, case or situation Breadth of the phenomenon, case or situation Depth of the phenomenon, case or situation Both Features of variables/ concepts involved Variables are clearly stated and relationship between them are clearly defined Concepts are normally generated from data and well defined after arriving at the findings It depends on the specific mixed methods design chosen Number of participants Large number of participants Small number of participants It depends on the specific mixed methods design chosen Criteria for Determining the Type of Study
  9. 9. Example Purpose statement #1 • The purpose of the study is to explain how mental health stigma influences help seeking behavior among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana. Purpose statement #2 • The purpose of the study is to determine the effect of mental health stigma on help seeking behavior among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana. Purpose statement #3 • The purpose of the study is to determine the relationship between mental health stigma and help seeking behavior among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana. In addition, the study will focus on examining how they seek for help to address their mental health problems. (Mixed methods study) (Qualitative study) (Quantitative study)
  10. 10. Research Question(s) Research question: It is the question to be addressed using data collected • Functions: • It drives the study • Informs research approach • Informs data collection and analysis process
  11. 11. Research Question(s) cont... (Saldana, 2013; Trochim, 2006)
  12. 12. Type of Research Question Examples Qualitative Research Question (Exploratory) Ontological research question (Capturing participants‘ realities)  “What is the nature of…?”  “What are the lived experiences of…?”  “What is it like being…?” Saldana, 2013, p.61) Epistemological research Question (Understanding phenomenon)  “How does…?”  “What does it mean to be…?”  “What factors influence…?” (Saldana, 2013, p.61) Quantitative Research Question (Confirmatory) Descriptive research question  What is happening? (Trochim, 2006) Relational research question  What is the relationship between…? (Trochim, 2006) Causal research question  What is the effect of …. on …? (Trochim, 2006)) Research Question(s) cont...
  13. 13. Example #1 Purpose statement • The purpose of the study is to explain how mental health stigma influences help seeking behavior among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana. Research Question • How does mental health stigma influence help seeking behaviors among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana?
  14. 14. Example #2 Purpose statement • The purpose of the study is to determine the effect of mental health stigma on help seeking behaviors among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana. Research Question • What is the effect of mental health stigma on help seeking behaviors among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana?
  15. 15. Example #3 Purpose statement • The purpose of the study is to determine the relationship between mental health stigma and help seeking behaviors among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana. In addition, the study will focus on examining how they seek for help to address their mental health problems. Research Question 1. What is the correlation between mental health stigma and help seeking behaviors among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana? 2. How do teens with mental health problems seek for help or mental heath services?
  16. 16. Determining an Appropriate Research Approach Determining an Appropriate Research Approach 1. Having working knowledge about frequently used research approaches 2. Engaging in: a. Research Approach Elimination (for qualitative study) b. Variable Examination (for quantitative study) c. Mixed Methods Design Assessment (for Mixed Methods study)
  17. 17. Determining Appropriate Methodology (Creswell, 2013; Creswell, Plano Clark, Gutmann, & Hanson, 2003; Keele, 2011) 1. Having working knowledge about frequently used research approaches
  18. 18. Research Approach Elimination (for a Qualitative study) 1. Reviewing characteristics of the research question(s) 2. Eliminating the research approaches that are not consistent with the research question(s) 3. Determining the kind of data needed to address the research question(s) 4. Compare the expected data with the methodological rationale/purpose of each potential research approach Reviewing EliminatingDetermining Comparing REDC
  19. 19. Example Purpose statement • The purpose of the study is to explain how mental health stigma influences help seeking behavior among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana. Research Question • How does mental health stigma influence help seeking behaviors among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana? 1. Phenomenological approach 2. Grounded theory approach 3. Narrative approach 4. Case study 5. Ethnography Reviewing EliminatingDetermining Comparing REDC
  20. 20. Variable Examination (for a Quantitative study) 1. Reviewing characteristics of the research question(s) 2. Examining the features of the variable(s) or concept(s) involved a. Operational definition b. Variable type – in terms of the role (independent/predictor, or dependent/outcome variable) c. Level of measurement (Nominal, interval, or ratio) d. Relationship with other variables (causal relationship, predictive relationship or correlation/association) 3. Determining whether the study falls under descriptive, correlational, non-experimental, quasi-experimental, or experimental study. Review Examine Determine RED
  21. 21. Example Purpose statement • The purpose of the study is to determine the effect of mental health stigma on help seeking behavior among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana. Research Question • What is the effect of mental health stigma on help seeking behaviors among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana? Review Examine Determine 1. Descriptive study 2. Correlational study 3. Non-experimental study 4. Quasi-experimental study 5. Experimental study RED
  22. 22. Mixed Methods DesignAssessment (for a Mixed Methods study) 1. Reviewing characteristics of the purpose statement and research question(s) 2. Examining the features of the features of mixed methods designs – looking at: a. Theoretical Lens, Timing, Integration, Purpose, and Priority (TTIPP) a. Using Mixed Methods Design Decision Tool (MMDDT) a. (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Choosing_Appropriate_Mixed_Methods _Design) – free to use 3. Choosing the mixed methods design that best fit your study Review Examine Choose REC
  23. 23. (Creswell, Plano Clark, Gutmann, & Hanson, 2003) Mixed Methods Design Theoretical Lens Timing Integration Methodological Rationale Priority Sequential Explanatory Design Implicit (Post- positivist lens) Sequential – beginning with quantitative phase Data Analysis stage (connected) and Interpretation stage (merged) Complementarity Quantitative data Sequential Exploratory Design Explicit (constructivist lens) Sequential – beginning with qualitative phase Data Analysis stage (connected) and Interpretation stage (merged) Development, complementarity, and/or expansion Qualitative data Sequential Transformative Design Explicit – advocacy lens Sequential – beginning with either quantitative or qualitative phase Data Analysis stage (connected) and Interpretation stage (merged) Complementarity, development and/or expansion Either quantitative or qualitative data (Sometimes both…) Concurrent Triangulation Design Implicit Concurrent Data analysis (separated) and Interpretation stages (merged) Triangulation Equal – both quantitative and qualitative data Concurrent Nested Design Implicit or explicit Concurrent Data analysis (data transformed and/or merged) and Interpretation stages (merged Complementarity, initiation, and/or expansion Unequal Concurrent Transformative Design Explicit – advocacy lens Concurrent Data analysis (separated) and Interpretation stages (merged) Complementarity, initiation, and/or expansion Equal or unequal Types of Mixed Methods Design
  24. 24. Example Purpose statement • The purpose of the study is to determine the relationship between mental health stigma and help seeking behavior among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana. In addition, the study will focus on examining how they seek for help to address their mental health problems. Research Question 1. What is the correlation between mental health stigma and help seeking behavior among teens with mental health problems in a low income neighborhood in Accra, Ghana? 2. How do teens with mental health problem seek for help or mental heath services? 1. Sequential Explanatory Design 2. Sequential Exploratory Design 3. Sequential Transformative Design 4. Concurrent Triangulation Design 5. Concurrent Nested Design 6. Concurrent Transformative Design Review Examine Choose
  25. 25. Becoming Familiar with Methodology Terminologies Knowing the Common Terms used in Describing Research Method Process • Reviewing research methods textbooks • Reviewing methodology sections of peer reviewed research articles Essence 1. Clearly describe your actions in the study 2. Provide justifications
  26. 26. Additional Resources a. Getting started with your Dissertation (Webinar) i. http://www.slideshare.net /kontorphilip/getting- started-with-your- dissertation-webinar b. Delimitations and Limitations i. http://www.slideshare.net /kontorphilip/difference- between-delimitations- limitations-and- assumptions-33114428 c. Conceptual Framework i. http://www.slideshare.net/ kontorphilip/conceptual-or- theoretical-framework
  27. 27. Ncade.me@thechicagoschool.edu Philip Adu, Ph.D. Methodology Expert National Center for Academic & Dissertation Excellence (NCADE)
  28. 28. References Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches (3rd). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Creswell, J. W., Plano Clark, V. L., Gutmann, M. L., & Hanson, W. E. (2003). Advanced mixed methods research designs. In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research (pp. 209–240). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Keele, R. (2011), Nursing research and evidence-based practice. MA: Jones & Bartlett, LLC. Saldana, J. (2013). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. London: Sage Sandberg, J., & Alvesson, M. (2011). Ways of constructing research questions: Gap-spotting or problematization? Organization, 18(23), 23-44. doi:10.1177/1350508410372151 Trochim, W. M. (2006, October 20). Types of questions. Retrieved from Research methods knowledge base website: http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/qualval.php Yilmaz, K. (2013). Comparison of quantitative and qualitative research traditions: Epistemological, theoretical, and methodological differences. European Journal of Education, 48(2), 311-325.

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