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Types of Research

Quantitative Research


          Different treatments to two or more groups and comparisons are made
          Try to control variables that might influence the dependent variable
          Groups should be similar

Quantitative Research


     Causal Comparative

     Similar to experimental but the independent
     variables are not manipulated but have already

     The groups are then compared on the independent
     variables to determine the effects on the dependent

Causal Comparative Examples

     Single parent Vs two parent homes on student

     Sighted Vs non-sighted students on gross motor

     Smokers Vs non smokers on CHD

     Discipline problem students Vs. well behaved
     students on student achievement.

Correlation Research

     Seeks to determine the relationship between two or
     more variables.


          Is there a relationship between :
          Books in the home and IQ
          Driving speed and accidents
          Activity and CHD
          Education and income

Survey Research

     Uses questionnaires and interviews to gather

     Used to summarize data about groups


          What are the attitudes of teachers related to teacher evaluation?
          What should the characteristics of the Superintendent be?

Qualitative Research

     Looks at total picture.

     Holistic approach

     How do teachers perceive inclusion?

Qualitative Research

     Ethnographic Research

          Collection of data about a situation through extensive interviews and
          observations (teacher assessment).

     Case Studies

          In depth exam of one individual

     Content Analysis

          Analysis of content of a written document

Basic Vs Applied Research

     Basic not aimed at solving problems

     Discovery of new knowledge

     Knowledge for the sake of learning

     Applied research is aimed at solving an immediate
     practical problem

     Research related to actual problems

     Sometimes difficult to tell the difference


     An abstraction from observed events.

     Word that represents similarities between objects
     or events that are otherwise different.

     Example: fish or airplane


     Cannot be identified by pointing to objects.

     More complex abstraction.

     Combine concepts and less complex constructs into
     purposeful patterns.

     Example: walking, jogging, gardening, housework
     can be combined to form the construct of physical

     Usually identified according to how they are


     Must define concepts and constructs

     Formal definitions

          Intelligence ability to think abstractly
          Attendance is the number of days school was attended


     Operational Definitions

          One that provides meaning to a concept or construct
          Specifies what operations must be performed in order to measure the variable
          Usually defined by how the variable is measured or by the steps taken by the
          researcher to produce certain expectations or conditions.

Define The Following:



     Student Achievement

     Self esteem



     Heart Disease


     Reflect some concept or construct

     Variables take on different values

          Examples: height, weight, social class, IQ, test scores, etc.

     A constant is a fixed variable

          Example: first graders, high school girls,

Types of Variables


          Put into groups;
               Sex, occupation, income


          Only two classes
               male Vs female, pass Vs fail


          Infinite number of variables within a range
               height, weight, age, test scores

Independent Vs Dependent Variables

     Independent - Active- Directly manipulated

          May have many factors
          May be independent in one study and dependent in another

     Independent -Attribute-Cannot be manipulated-
     Sometimes called assigned variables
     (characteristics-sex, age, race,etc.)


     Related to outcome

          The study of the relationship between motivation and achievement
          If you want to know how motivation is related to achievement
               Achievement is the dependent variable and motivation is the independent

Questions: Identify the Independent and
Dependent Variables

     The effect of a new teaching method on student

     The relationship between blood pressure, stress,
     and activity on coronary heart disease.

     Year round school Vs. 9 month school on student

Limitations of the Scientific Approach In
Education and Social Sciences

     Interaction between observer and subjects
     (Hawthorne Effect)

     John Henry Effect

     Halo Effect

     Extraneous Variables

     Problems with measurement