Research Methods

The research methods section will consist of several short posts. In each entry, I will discuss the general ideas behind each technique. I do not intend on detailing how to perform each technique.

The general process for dealing with a dataset is as follows:

  • The first step is to understand the data:
    • Check for missing values
    • Check for normality
    • Check for outliers
    • Check for errors
  • Depending on the data, the next step is to consider transformations
  • Next is to find the distributions:
    • Look at the variance and correlations
  • It is also important to note if any of the items are reverse-coded
After getting a sense of the dataset and understanding it, the analysis follows. These are some of the techniques that were discussed in class:
  • Covariance Structure: Principal Components and Fator Analysis
    • To reduce the number of variables
  • ANOVA, MANCOVA, Chi Square, Hierarchical Regression Analysis
    • To understand differences among group means
  • Moderators and Mediators
    • To better understand relationships among variables
  • Survival Analysis
    • When the question is about success/failure
  • Structural Equations
    • For elaborate models
  • Panel Data
    • For longitudinal data

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