100 questions (and answers) about research methods /

Overview: How do I create a good research hypothesis? How do I know when my literature review is finished? What is the difference between a sample and a population? What is power and why is it important? In an increasingly data-driven world, it is more important than ever for students as well as pro...

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Thousand Oaks, CA. : SAGE, ©2012.
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Table of Contents:
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the author
  • Part 1: Understanding The Research Process And Getting Started:
  • 1: Why is research necessary, and what are some of its benefits?
  • 2: Generally, what is the process through which a research topic is identified, and do I have to be an experienced researcher to select a topic of interest to me?
  • 3: What is the "scientific method," and how can I apply that to my own research?
  • 4: There are different types of research models that one might use; can you give me a general overview and how they might compare?
  • 5: What is the best research model for my purposes?
  • 6: What is the difference between basic and applied research?
  • 7: What is qualitative research, and what are some examples?
  • 8: What are hypotheses, and how do they fit into the scientific method?
  • 9: What do good research hypotheses do?
  • 10: Besides looking at the reputation of a journal where a study is published as one criterion for a good study, are there other things that I can look to?
  • 11: I hear so much about different studies-from the newspaper, from professional bulletins, and even from my boss; what am I supposed to believe, and how can I judge if the results of a study are useful?
  • 12: What are some of the best ways to find information online, and where are some of the best places?
  • 13: What role might social media play in my efforts as both a researcher and a consumer?
  • Part 2: Reviewing And Writing About Your Research Question:
  • 14: What is a review of the literature, and why is it important?
  • 15: How does a review of the literature have an impact on my research question and the hypothesis I propose?
  • 16: How do I know when my literature review is finished? Couldn't it go on forever?
  • 17: What are the three main sources of information, and what part does each play in creating a literature review?
  • 18: What steps should I take in writing my review of literature?
  • 19: What are some of the best electronic resources available, and how do I learn to use them?
  • Part 3: Introductory Ideas About Ethics:
  • 20: What are some of the more general and important principles of ethical research?
  • 21: What is informed consent, and what does it consist of?
  • 22: What special attention should I give to ethical concerns when children or special populations are involved, and what should the parents or legal guardian know?
  • 23: What are some examples of the most serious ethical lapses?
  • 24: What is an institutional review board or IRB, and how does it work?
  • 25: What are the important elements of an IRB application?
  • Part 4: Research Methods: Knowing The Language, Knowing The Ideas:
  • 26: Why do all these questions and answers on research methods have any relevance for me?
  • 27: I have so many ideas I want to study; how can I decide which one is best?
  • 28: In beginning my research work, can I focus just on one tiny, little, narrow topic or reach for the stars and be broad and general? And, I know the library is a terrific place to start my research work, but do I have to visit the bricks-and mortar buildings on campus or can I just work remotely?
  • 29: What is a null hypothesis, and why is it important?
  • 30: What is a research hypothesis, and what are the different types?
  • 31: What is similar, and what is different, about a null and a research hypothesis?
  • 32: How can I create a good research hypothesis?
  • 33: What is the "gold standard" of research methods?
  • 34: Can you help me understand which method best fits which type of question being asked?
  • 35: What are the different types of variables, and what are they used for?
  • 36: What is an independent variable, and how is it used in the research process?
  • 37: What is a dependent variable, and what does the researcher need to be careful about when selecting and using dependent variables?
  • 38: What is the relationship between independent and dependent variables?
  • 39: In an experiment, how does the notion of a control and an experimental group fit into the scientific method?
  • Part 5: Sampling Ideas And Issues:
  • 40: What is the difference between a sample and a population, and why are samples important?
  • 41: What is the purpose of sampling, and what might go wrong during the process?
  • 42: What is sampling error, and why is it important?
  • 43: What are some of the different types of sampling?
  • 44: What is random sampling, and why is it so useful?
  • 45: How does stratified random sampling work, and when should I use it?
  • 46: How can I be sure that the sample of participants, which is part of a study, accurately represents a larger group of people for whom those results would be important?
  • 47: I've heard quite a bit about the importance of sample size, what's that all about?
  • 48: How big of a sample is big enough?
  • 49: How important is big?
  • Part 6: Describing Data Using Descriptive Techniques:
  • 50: What are descriptive statistics, and how are they used?
  • 51: What are measures of central tendency, and how are they computed?
  • 52: How do I decide whether to use the mean, mode, or median as a measure of central tendency?
  • 53: What are the most often used measures of variability, and how are they computed?
  • 54: How do I use the mean and the standard deviation to describe a set of data?
  • 55: What is a normal curve, and what are its characteristics?
  • 56: If a distribution of scores is not normal (or not bell shaped), how can the ideas on which inference is based be applied?
  • 57: What does it mean when a distribution is skewed?
  • 58: I'm looking for a visual way to describe data; What are some of my choices?
  • 59: What is a standard score, and why is it important?
  • 60: What are some of the more common standard scores, and how are they used?
  • Part 7: All About Testing And Measuring:
  • 61: There is a particular outcome that I want to measure, but I have no idea where I can find out whether or not there are existing measures; Where do I look to find suggestions as to what dependent variable I should use?
  • 62: What are the different levels of measurement, and how are they used?
  • 63: What is reliability?
  • 64: What are some of the different types of reliability, and when are they used?
  • 65: How are reliability coefficients interpreted?
  • 66: What are some of the different types of validity, and when are they used?
  • 67: What is criterion validity, and how do the two types of criterion validity, concurrent and predictive, differ?
  • 68: What is the difference between a norm-referenced and a criterion-referenced test?
  • 69: What is construct validity, and why is it especially appropriate for establishing the validity of psychological tests?
  • 70: How are different types of validity established?
  • 71: How do reliability and validity work together?
  • 72: How can I find out if a test is reliable and valid?
  • 73: What are some of the different types of tests, and how are they used?
  • 74: When it comes to measuring attitude, what is the difference between a Likert and a Thurstone scale?
  • 75: What is item analysis, and how is it used in evaluating achievement tests?
  • 76: What is a percentile or a percentile rank?
  • 77: What is adaptive testing?
  • 78: What is the FairTest movement, and what are its basic goals?
  • 79: Where do I find a collection of tests from which to choose? And, how do I go about selecting one?
  • Part 8: Understanding Different Research Methods:
  • 80: What is an experimental design, and what is the difference between the major types of experimental designs?
  • 81: What is a one-shot case study, and what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using this design?
  • 82: I know what correlational research methods are; when and how are they used?
  • 83: I know that correlations reflect the association between two variables, but how do I interpret them?
  • 84: What is an example of a quasi-experimental design, and when is it appropriate to use it?
  • 85: What is internal validity, and why is it important in experimental design?
  • 86: What is external validity, and why is it important in experimental design?
  • 87: What is the trade-off between internal and external validity?
  • Part 9: All About Inference And Significance:
  • 88: What is statistical significance, and why is it important?
  • 89: In research reports, I often see entries such as p = _042 and df (22); what do they mean?
  • 90: How do statistical programs such as SPSS display significance levels?
  • 91: What other types of errors should be considered as part of the research process?
  • 92: What is power, and why is it important?
  • 93: What are some of the other popular statistical tests, and when are they used?
  • 94: What is regression, and how is it used?
  • 95: What is the difference between a parametric and a nonparametric test?
  • 96: I often see the term "statistical significance" being used in journal articles; what is it, and why is it important?
  • 97: How can I tell if an outcome is statistically significant?
  • 98: What is effect size?
  • 99: What is the difference between statistical significance and meaningfulness?
  • 100: Why are the values of _01 and _05 used as conventional levels of statistical significance?
  • Index.