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Lecture 2

Fall Week 2 - Key Concepts, Reading Research Reports

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Fall Week 2 Key Concepts Reading Research ReportsOctober11101101 PM1 Gain familiarity with research terminologyWho is involvedResearcherStudy participants quantitative studyInformants key informants qualitativeWhere does the research take placeNaturalistic settings in the field fieldwork especially qualitativeLaboratory settingsMultisite studiesWhat is being studiedAbstractionsabstract rather than tangible phenomena also known as conceptsor phenomenaqualitativeConstructsimilar to a concept a mental representation of some phenomenon Abstractions that are deliberately invented constructed by the researcher for a specific purposeHow are concepts linkedTheorya systematic abstract explanation of some aspect of reality Concepts are knitted together into a system to explain some aspect of the worldQuantitativeresearchers make a hypothesis to test the theory results reject modify or support theoryQualitativetheory is a product of the researchWhat are some examples of variablesIn quantitative study concepts are referred to as variables A variable is any quality of a person group or situation that takes on different values eg Weight anxiety level temperature something that variesConstantsare things that do not vary from person to personExamples of variables weight anxiety level body temperatureVariables are often inherent characteristics of people however sometimes researchers create the variable eg In a study group half of the participants are on PCA and the other half are on IM analgesicsThe independent variable is the presumed cause of a phenomenon Researchers can manipulate the independent variableThe dependent variable is the presumed effect of a phenomenon The variable that depends on the independent variable The dependent variable is the one researchers want to understandConceptual and Operational DefinitionsConcepts in a study need to be defined and explicated and dictionary definitions are often not enoughA conceptual definition is the abstract theoretical meaning of a concept being studied Even simple straightforward terms need to be conceptually defined by researchersExample spirituality can encompass many themes Researchers need to be clear about which concept they are studyingIn qualitative studies conceptual definitions of key phenomena may be a major end product reflecting the intent to have the meaning of concepts defined by the participants themselvesAnoperational definitionspecifies the operations that researchers must perform to collect the requiredinformation on a particular conceptweight for example can be operationally defined as the amount an object weighs in kilograms to the nearest kilogram This definition specifies that weight is determined by one measuring system Kg rather than another eg lbs Data Research Page 1
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