Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Research Design

Research design includes the various options and choices to become made when conducting empirical research. Research comprises a sequence of choices, which all influence the validity and plausibility from the research. Among items to consider are research questions and objectives, operationalization of variables, reliability and validity, and data-gathering methods. Some of those areas will certainly be covered inside the further sections. Here, we‘ll briefly have a bold separation between two common research designs in social and communication research-experimental and non-experimental designs – and briefly discuss validity and reliability.

 Experimental design is with different well-prepared and framed experiment during which some particular causal relationship is tested under controlled conditions. In experiments individuals are usually randomly divided into separate groups thus controlling the possible bias caused from the variables that aren‘t studied. Probably the interesting variable is manipulated and also the possible effect is observed and measured. Good experimental studies test real causal mechanisms.

 Non-experimental research design refers to observational studies, say for example a survey or perhaps a content analysis. In observational studies a researcher collects observations employing a research instrument, say for example a questionnaire in surveys, after which performs statistical tests upon the data. Good sampling techniques tend to make observational studies reliable and generalizable towards the population within certain limits. No causal mechanisms can, however, be tested as reliably as in controlled trials.

There will be two important criteria that ought to always be considered with respect to some given research design. The very first the strategies is validity – is that the study really measuring actually claims to become measuring? For instance, when the study design is really a survey that intends to measure people’s attitude towards social media, we will evaluate how well the theoretical constructs are operationalized into survey questions and just how well the products used describe attitudes towards social media. Validity will ultimately determine how well the study can predict the behaviors or attitudes it measures.

 Reliability is that the other criteria, which could possibly be called “repeatability”. It describes how accurate the measurement is, i. e. if a similar study were conducted again, would similar results be drawn? It‘s useful to start out considering reliability by asking how consistent the measurable constructs could be in one sample to a different. There are a lot of methods to test reliability, for example test-retest (just simply the amount two different samples correlate together to the tested questions ) or reliability estimates, for example Cronbach’s alpha.

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