& Qualitative Studies.
Purposes of Descriptive Data
General overview of a type of behavior or group of people; Generate or test exploratory hypotheses
Basic design issues:
Lecture notes are here.
Suggested background reading: "Descriptive, observation or measurement studies".
For lecture & Discussion Group:
- Murder and Medicine: interpreting longitudinal data with multiple variables (full article here).
- Click the image for an excellent example of qualitative / journalistic research on the Down Low among some African-American men.
- For an excellent example of observational animal research take a look at the article on baboon culture.
maps of the super-continent of Pangea, 250 and 135 million years
Scientific findings in fields that seem remote from each other can influence mutual theory development.
Evidence from Paleontology about the distribution of dinosaur species has been useful in determining when the super-continent of Pangea broke up to form the current continents. Recent Palentological data on a specific dinosaur species may be changing that time line. Click the image to read about it, and click here for a good Pangea web site.
(Roll over the image to see Pangea shift...)
Discussion group Assignment
Introduction and Design of your paper due this week.
For this week you will re-write and expand your week 5 & 7 assignments to finish the introduction of your paper. You will present your research ideas for feedback during discussion group; we will be pairing off again to review each other's proposal.
Turn the Worksheet from last week into several typed pages of text. We strongly encourage you to submit a longer version as a first draft of your paper. Write this as a decent draft of the introduction & methods of your paper, not just as a homework assignment. The more work you do on this now the more feedback you can get in discussion group.
In-group dyads will write notes on each other's introductions. Each student will specifically answer the questions given below for their partner's paper.
Click here for a paper version of the questions you will ask each other. Print and bring this to discussion.
- Phenomenon. What is the question?
- What larger issue needs explaining; What do we not know enough about?
- Why is it important?
- What can you assume; what does not need to be explained?
- Theory. How do you explain the phenomenon?
How do you think it works?
- What basic social, psychological or physical processes (Hypothetical Constructs) underlie the phenomenon?
- How are they related?
- Are there important mediating variables?
- Do NOT just state your hypothesis.
- Hypothesis; Write a concrete prediction that flows from and tests the theory.
- Cast the the theory-based hypothetical constructs into specific variables.
- What is the Independent Variable? Dependent Variable? How does one affect the other?
- Do not be vague or general here: I hypothesize that if I induce impulsivity in people they will be less able to resist a high risk social situation than will participants who I have not made temporarily impulsive…
- What is your sample?
- What (sub)population will you generalize to in this study?
- What are the inclusion /exclusion criteria for your sample?
- Probability / random or non-probability sample?
- How will you actually recruit / enroll them?
- Operationally define the variables in your hypothesis.
- What specific procedures will you do to manipulate your Independent variable?
- How, specifically, will you measure your Dependent variable?
- What will be your overall research design?
- Will you perform a True experiment, where you manipulate the independent variable, randomly assign participants to groups, etc?
- What would this look like?
- Or, will you conduct a Quasi-experiment, where participants are not randomly assigned to groups, are from existing groups, are not blind, or in some other way are not equivalent at baseline?
- What would this look like?
- How will you address or compensate for possible sampling or other biases in the study?
- Why would you use one rather than the other?
I will induce impulsivity by creating a computer simulation where participants are rewarded for very fast decisions; they will rewarded primarily for speed, whether they are right or wrong will make little difference. The “non-impulsivity” condition will be similar, except slower, more careful decisions will be rewarded. The outcome variable will be participants’ responses to a subsequent, hypothetical social situation, where they are given the opportunity to engage in X or Y risky behaviors….