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Chapter 5

Chapter Five Summary.docx

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Roger Buehler

Research in Methods Chapter Five Summary Descriptive Research Descriptive research is to describe the characteristics or behaviours of a given population in a systematic and accurate fashion. It is not designed to test hypotheses but rather is conducted to provide information about the physical, social, behavioural, economic or psychological characteristics of some group of people. Types of Descriptive Research  Surveys – used in virtually every area of social and behavioural science  The goal is to provide a description of people’s behaviours, thoughts or feelings.  Are types or descriptive research that may utilize either questionnaire or interviews to collect data  Panel survey design – a single group of respondents is questioned more than once  Problems arise when the same respondents cannot be reached for follow up sessions  Internet surveys – on a positive side they are less expensive; you do not have to print them and mail them out, etc. The data will not be inputted improperly by the researcher because the participants do it directly  On a negative side to internet surveys, the research has little control over the selection  It is difficult to identify who participated  Demographic Research – is concerned with describing patterns of basic life events and experiences such as birth, marriage, divorce, employment, migration and death  Epidemiological Research –is used to study the occurrence of disease in different groups of people  Survey, demographic and epidemiological research provides a picture of how larger groups of people tend to think, feel, behave. Sampling  Is the process by which a researcher selects a sample of participants for a study from the population of interest Probability Samples  A representative sample is one from which we can draw accurate, unbiased estimates of the characteristics of the larger population. We can draw accurate inferences about the population from data obtained from a sample only if it is representative  The Error of Estimation - sampling error causes results obtained from the sample to differ from what would have been obtained had the entire population been studied - the error of estimation indicates the degree to which the data obtained from the sample are expected to deviate from the population as a whole - by allowing researchers to estimate the sampling error in their data, probability samples permit them to specify how confident they are that the results obtained on the sample permit them to specify how confident they are that the results obtained on a sample accurately reflect the behaviour of the population - the smaller the error of estimation, the more closely the results from the sample estimate the behaviour of the larger population - error of estimation is a function of three things: (1) sample size (2) population size and (3) variance of data - the larger the probability sample the more similar to the population the sample tends to be and more accurate - economic sample – one that provides a reasonably accurate estimate of the population at reasonable effort and cost. - population size affects error estimation by how big it differs between two samples. For example having one sample of 400 to another of 10 million….the error of estimation will be lower when the population contains 400 cases than 10 million - the greater the variability in data the more difficult it is to estimate accurately the population values. - probability sample a sample for which the researcher know the mathematical probability that any individual in the population is included in the sample -ESPEM stands for equal probability selection method  Simple Random Sampling - when a sample is chosen in such a way that every possible sample of the desired size has the same chance of being selected from the population - sampling frame is a list of the population from which the sample will be drawn - table of random numbers  Stratified Random Sampling - is a variation of simple random sampling; rather than selecting cases directly from the population, we divide the population into two or more strata - a statrum is a subset from the population that shares a particular characteristic - stratification ensures that researchers have adequate numbers of participants from each stratum so that they can examine differences in responses among the various strata - researchers use a proportionate sampling method in which cases are sampled from each stratum in proportion to their prevalence in the population  Cluster Sampling - to obtain this sampling researchers first samples not participants but rather groupings or clusters of participants - then after selecting the groups we could get lists of participants and obtain random sample of students… - sometimes involves multistage sampling which is
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