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establishing how best to find out.docx

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McMaster University
David Young

establishing how best to find out  decide on the time dimension of the research o (1) cross-sectional studies – observations taken at one point in time o this usually views an exploratory or descriptive research o concensus on one point in time o but they can also use explanatory research – we could do a survey of attitudes about abortion o and this survey will allow us to describe how people feel about abortion and allow us to explain why they feel as they do – while we can descripe and explain how people feel about abortion is descripe and explain how these views may have changed (cross- sectional is a snapchat as oppose to a over period of time studies) o (2) longitudinal studies – involves observations taken at different points in time o This allows us to describe and explain changes  Trend studies: involve observations of changes in a general population over time  Idea is to track emerging trends in population  i.e. national survey done every five years on attitudes toward abortion  this would allow us to describe and explain changes over time  will need a different sample each time – this sample will have to be representative of the general population  cohort studies: involve observation of changes in a specific sub population over time (usually some kind of age group)  a survey is done every 5 years on people born in 1993  we want to track this cohort over time to track their change in views on things  we use a different sample each time, but it has to be a representative of the sub-population  so first a group of 20 year olds, and then another different group of 25 year olds, and then 30 and so on  this way we can track change in views of people in that particular age  panel studies: involve observation of changes in the same people over time  in this case same sample is used each time  i.e. a series of surveys every 2 weeks on the same voters in an election campaign  undertake conceptualization o process of specializing the meaning of concepts o all of the key concepts in our study will have to be defined – pick one that is most useful to the study (others may have different meaning and specify your meaning)  choose the research methods (bearing several things in mind) o this allows us to study and measure those concepts o we are going to have to make a choice between specific quantitative (survey) and qualitative (field) research
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