Lecture 4--Research Questions I


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Lecture 4--Research Questions I

  1. 1. #4 Location In The Research Process Formulating Research Questions Previous Research Craft Knowledge Appropriate Design Appropriate Sampling Decisions Ensure Research Ethics Data Collection & Management Data Analysis Interpretation Dissemination Ongoing Research
  2. 2. Research Goals “What are my goals for this study?” <ul><li>Exploratory Research </li></ul><ul><li>conducted to provide a beginning familiarity with a subject, rarely provides conclusive answers </li></ul><ul><li>Nomothetic Research </li></ul><ul><li>conducted to understand general phenomena partially </li></ul><ul><li>Ideographic Research </li></ul><ul><li>conducted to achieve an in depth, understanding of very few subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive Research </li></ul><ul><li>researcher observes then carefully describes observations. Has different meaning depending on whether a quantitative vs. qualitative description </li></ul><ul><li>Correlational Research </li></ul><ul><li>conducted to add knowledge about relationships between variables </li></ul><ul><li>Explanatory Research </li></ul><ul><li>conducted to answer “why” certain phenomena is observed </li></ul>
  3. 3. Question 1 <ul><li>The local Juvenile Court Administrator wants to know if minority youth are disproportionally over represented at the detention center. </li></ul><ul><li>What type of research, descriptive, correlational, or explanatory, does this goal lead to? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the goal lead to a nomothetic or ideographic study? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Developing Research Questions <ul><li>Broad research topics need to be narrowed down into usable research questions that are useful to address a practical social work problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Guiding criteria include: </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Interest </li></ul><ul><li>Information needs of the agency </li></ul><ul><li>Feasibility </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance for guiding practice </li></ul>
  5. 5. Attributes of Research Questions <ul><li>Narrow and worded as a question (Does the “Scared Straight program lead to less recidivism among juvenile offenders?”) </li></ul><ul><li>Specific </li></ul><ul><li>Can be answered by observable evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Does it address a practical problem in social welfare (the “so what” test) </li></ul><ul><li>Must have more than one acceptable answer </li></ul>
  6. 6. Review Existing Resources <ul><li>Instrumentation innovations </li></ul><ul><li>Design innovations </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis innovations </li></ul><ul><li>Existing knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government monographs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs assessments and surveys </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Methodology <ul><li>“ How will I construct my study to appropriately answer my research question?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and define the variables </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Balance attaining the highest possible level of knowledge with the resources available </li></ul>
  8. 8. Questions vs. Hypotheses <ul><li>Research Questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define your research goals in the form of a question (narrow, specific, and can be answered by observable evidence) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clearly identify the type of research knowledge being sought </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ so what?” test </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hypotheses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the specific analyses that you will use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the form of a statement </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Question 2 <ul><li>Spokane Mental Health wants to know if youth who are diagnosed with conduct disorder had previous CPS referrals at a rate that is higher than those who are not. </li></ul><ul><li>State your research problem in the form of a research question. </li></ul><ul><li>State at least one hypothesis that can be tested to answer the research question. </li></ul>