Research Design

The reason Research Design is so important is that it ensures that the evidence collected can be used to answer the research question as “unambiguously as possible.” Science in general and social science in particular have been subjected to increasing criticism with respects to practicality, significance, application and meaning.  A strong research design can help address some of this criticism.

To that end, there are three themes that were covered in class.

  1. Background
    • This covers the scientific approach and different perspectives on the philosophy of science.
  2. Building Blocks
    •  This includes theory construction, measurement, reliability, validity, variables, and hypothesis generation.
  3. Strategies
    • This covers different strategies for doing research including laboratory studies, field experiments, surveys, and qualitative research.

These topics in combination will help inform a researcher on the major decisions when designing a plan of study.


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