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6030 - Introduction to Educational Research > Chapter 7 > Flashcards

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Non-experimental research

describes participants, traits, scores, and other characteristics without direct or active intervention.

Does not assess causal relationships, though it may suggest them in some designs (e.g., causal-comparative)


Characteristics of Descriptive Studies

Describes a phenomenon

Useful when an area is first being investigated

Many studies, descriptive included, have more than one design type incorporated (so only parts of the study may be truly descriptive)


Criteria for Evaluating Descriptive Studies

Conclusions about relationships should be made with caution

Subjects and instrumentation should be well described


Relationship (Association)

The finding that one variable varies systematically with another variable


Relationship are important because:

They identify potential causes of relationships

They identify variables that can be investigated in true experiments

They allow the prediction of one variable from another


Characteristics of Comparative Studies

Investigates the relationship of one variable to another by comparing values of the DV among differing groups (which serve as the IV)

Does not assess causation, because individuals have not been randomly assigned to an intervention

Does allow prediction of the DV as a function of group membership


Criteria for Evaluating Comparative Studies

Subjects, instrumentation, and procedures should be well defined

Identify the criteria for establishing different groups

Do not infer causation from comparative research designs

Graphic presentations should not distort the results


Characteristics of Correlational Studies

Involves two (or more) variables

A scatterplot is constructed for each set of two variables

Pairs of variables are related using correlation coefficients

The size of correlations is limited by the reliability of the variables

Both the x and y variables need to be sampled over a wide range

If large numbers of variables are correlated, some correlations will show up as significant due to chance alone

Large samples may yield significant correlations that have very small effect sizes


Prediction Studies

A correlation between two variables means that one variable can predict the other variable through a procedure known as regression


Prediction in a new sample of subjects is always ________________ than in the sample that was used to derive the original prediction equation



Factors That Can Limit Prediction

Reliability of the scores

Length of time between criterion and predictor

Complexity of the criterion variable


Multiple Regression Analysis

Uses multiple predictors to predict a single criterion

Yields a multiple correlation coefficient, R
Best when the multiple IVs have only low to moderate correlations with each other


Logistic Regression

Used when the criterion variable (DV) is dichotomous


Criteria for Evaluating Correlational Studies

Causation should rarely be inferred from correlation

The reported correlation should not be higher or lower than the actual relationship
Practical significance should not be confused with statistical significance

The size of the correlation should be sufficient for the use of the results

Prediction studies should report accuracy of prediction for new subjects

Procedures for collecting data should be indicated clearly

Correlational studies that claim explanations should be examined for other influential factors


Causal-Comparative Designs

These designs compare groups of pre-existing groups

The experimenter cannot assign participants to conditions in these studies

Because random assignment is not possible, these designs are essentially correlational, and not experimental


Ex Post Facto Studies

The experimenter takes advantage of a situation that happened in the past

Subjects who experienced different conditions are then compared on one or more DVs

Because random assignment of subjects to conditions does not occur, causation cannot be determined (it is a correlational design)
Subject matching helps reduce subject characteristic threats to validity


Criteria for Evaluating Causal-Comparative and Ex Post Facto Studies

The primary purpose of the research should be to investigate causal relationships when an experiment is not possible

The presumed causal condition should have already occurred in an ex post facto study

Potential extraneous variables should be recognized and considered

Differences between groups being compared should be controlled

Causal conclusions should be made with caution


survey methods

Paper-based, mailed surveys
Web-based, Internet surveys
Telephone-based interviews


Steps in Designing a Survey

Define the purpose and objectives
Identify resources needed and target population

Choose an appropriate survey method
Word questions carefully

Design the survey (how the survey will appear to the respondent)

Develop directions (should accompany the survey proper)

Develop a letter of transmittal (cover letter)
Pilot test!!!


Cross-Sectional Survey Research

Information is collected from one or more samples or populations at one point in time


Cohort Effects

Subjects at different ages may be qualitatively different from one another or in terms of their experiences, and therefore their responses may not be directly comparable


While differences in responses from different age groups are consistent with developmental differences, only ______________________ can truly establish developmental trends over time

longitudinal survey data


Trend Study

A general population (that may change over time) is studied over time, and different samples of subjects from the population are used at each data collection point


Cohort Study

A specific population (that does not change over time) is studied over time, and different samples of subjects from the population are used at each data collection point


Panel Study

A specific population (that does not change over time) is studied over time, and the same sample of subjects is used at each data collection point


Longitudinal Survey Research

Information is collected from the same group of subjects over a specified length of time


Longitudinal Survey Research Types

Trend Study
Cohort Study
Panel Study


Odds Ratio

An indication of the power of the IV as an increase or decrease in the odds of the DV occurring


E-mail Survey:

Subject is sent an e-mail with the survey as an attachment


Web-based Survey

An e-mail directs the subject to a web site that contains the survey