Kinesiology 2032A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Scientific Control, Operational Definition, Law Of Obligations

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RDHM – Week 1 13:31
What is “research”?
Can mean many things
Collecting data from real people  questionaires, surveys, etc.
Real life observations
Working in a wet lab
Working in a library
What do all of these have in common?
Careful and systematic means of solving problems
Why should I care about research design?
1. Be an informed consumer of knowledge.
2. You are considering graduate school and/or a research career.
3. You are considering a professional career in health care
a. Better patient care / best practices
b. Legal obligation
c. You ARE a researcher
Why science?
Intuition vs. Authority vs. Science
oHumans have an innate need to know why things are the way they are
oIntuition – our own gut feel
Downside: can have bias based on past experiences
oAuthority – going to someone of authority who will give you the answer (doctor,
professor, newscaster, etc.)
Downside: can have bias or agenda
oScience – uses empiricism  “use of objective observations to answer
questions”
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Scientific Method:
1. Hypothesis
Educated guess of what you think will be true
2. Prediction
What is the answer or outcome of your hypothesis?
3. Experiment
Develop a controlled experiment / seek to find the answer
4. Analysis & Interpretation
Analyze and interpret the data from the experiment
Research continuously generates new research!
Steps
1. Develop the Problem (define and delimit it)
Based on: your curiosity, observations, previous work / gaps in the literature
How do you know what’s already been done?  read the literature thoroughly to
know what’s already been done
Questions should be specific, testable, and falsifiable
Good scientific ideas are testable  they can be supported or falsified by data
Falsifiability – capable of being shown to be false when tested using scientific
methods
Define your independent and dependent variables:
Variable – any event, situation, behaviour, or individual characteristic that
varies  must have two or more levels or values, can be numeric or
categories
Independent Variable (IV) – the variable that is manipulated to observe
its effect of the dependable variable  CAUSE
Dependent Variable (DV) – the variable that is the response to, and
dependent on, the level of the manipulated independent variable  EFFECT
or OUTCOME
2. Formulate your Hypothesis
Hypothesis – a statement that makes an assertion about what is true in a
particular situation; often, a statement asserting that two or more variables are
related to one another
Operational definition – definition of a concept that specifies the operation
used to measure or manipulate the concept
Variable is an abstract concept  operational definition is the concrete
translation of that concept
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