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When we talk about quantitative research designs, we are typically referring to research following either a descriptive, experimental, quasi-experimental and relationship-based research design, which we will return to shortly.
However, there are also specific goals that you may want to achieve within these research designs. You may want to: Goal A explore whether there is a relationship between different variables; Goal B predict a score or a membership of a group; or Goal C find out the differences between groups you are interested in or treatment conditions that you want to investigate: GOAL A Exploring the relationship between variables Are you trying to determine if there is a relationship between two or more variables, and what this relationship is?
This kind of design is used to answer questions such as: Is there a relationship between height and basketball performance?
Are males more likely to be smokers than females?
Does you level of anxiety reduce your exam ability? These designs answer questions such as: Can I predict 10km run time based on an individual's aerobic capacity?
Can I predict exam anxiety based on knowing the number of hours spent revising? Can I predict whether someone is classified as computer literate based on their performance in different computer tasks? GOAL C Testing for differences between groups or treatment conditions Are you trying to test for differences between groups e.
This type of design aims to answer questions such as: What is the difference in jump height between males and females? Can an exercise-training programme lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels? Do stressed males and females respond differently to different stress-reduction therapies?
In each of these cases, we have different groups that we are comparing e. Just remember that in addition to relating and comparing i.
These three basic approaches i. Let's imagine we are interested in examining Facebook usage amongst university students in the United States. We could describe factors relating to the make-up of these Facebook users, quantifying how many or what proportion of these university students were male or female, or what their average age was.
We could describe factors relating to their behaviour, such as how frequently they used Facebook each week or the reasons why they joined Facebook in the first place e. We could compare some of these factors i.
For example, we could compare how frequently the students used Facebook each week, looking for differences between male and female students. We could relate one or more of these factors e.
For example, we could relate age to how frequently the students used Facebook each week. This could help us discover if there was an association or relationship between these variables i.
These three approaches to examining the constructs you are interested in i. If you are exploring the relationship between variables i.
However, if you are predicting the score or a membership of a group i. You need to do this for two main reasons: You will have to state which type of research design you are using in your dissertation when writing up the Research Design section of your Chapter Three: The research design that you use has a significant influence on your choice of research methods, the research quality of your findings, and even aspects of research ethics that you will have to think about.
Once you are familiar with the four types of research design i.institution for which the research proposal or dissertation is written.
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th edition () in the null form) are stated when the research design is experimental or quasi-experimental in nature.
Survey research and non-experimental research are. "The best statistics cannot save an inferior design! This is the foundation of a good dissertation.
"Research design and dissertation methodology are plans that promote systematic management of statistical data collection. Choosing a Research Design Diving Deeper into Limitations and Delimitations If you are working on a thesis, dissertation, or other formal research project, chances are your advisor or committee will ask you to address the delimitations of your study.
In the Social Sciences, the dissertation proposal generally consists of the first three chapters (in a five-chapter format) or the first two chapters (in a four-chapter format).
Dissertation Outline Here is a generic outline for a five-chapter dissertation. In your dissertation you can define research design as a general plan about what you will do to answer the research question. Important elements of research design include research strategies and methods related to data collection and analysis.
STEP TWO Research design. The quantitative research design that you set in your dissertation should reflect the type of research questions/hypotheses that you have set. When we talk about quantitative research designs, we are typically referring to research following either a descriptive, experimental, quasi-experimental and relationship-based research design, which we will return to shortly.