RESEARCH METHODS
Introduction to Research
http://www.management.usm.my/daing
What is Research?
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Definition: An organised, systematic, databased critical scientific inquiry or
investigation into a specific problem,
undertaken with the objective of finding
answers or solutions to it.
Outcome: Information that enables
managers to make decisions to rectify
problems.
Data : Primary (first-hand) or Secondary
(readily available); Quantitative or
Qualitative
What is Research?
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Research. a. the systematic
investigation into and study of materials,
sources, etc, in order to establish facts
and reach new conclusions.
b. an endeavour to discover new or
collate old facts etc by the scientific
study of a subject or by a course of
critical investigation. [Oxford Concise
Dictionary]
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What is Research?
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Research is what we do when we have a
question or a problem we want to
resolve
We may already think we know the
answer to our question
We may think the answer is obvious,
common sense even
But until we have subjected our problem
to rigorous scientific scrutiny, our
'knowledge' remains little more than
guesswork or at best, intuition.
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What is research?
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First priority is to formulate your
question
Then figure out how you are going
to answer it
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How have others answered it?
How does your proposal fit in with what
others have done?
How will you know when you have
answered it?
Then you can present your answer
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Research Workflow
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Defines the step by step flow for your
research
Keeps you organized
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Research Workflow
OBSERVATION
Broad area of
research interest
identified
PROBLEM
DEFINITION
THEORETICAL
FRAMEWORK
Research
problem
delineated
Variables clearly
identified and
labeled
HYPOTHESES
GENERATION
SCIENTIFIC
RESEARCH
DESIGN
PRELIMINARY
DATA
GATHERING
Interviewing &
Literature Survey
DEDUCTION
Hypotheses
substantiated?
Research questions
answered
DATA COLLECTION,
ANALYSIS AND
INTERPRETATION
Finding Research Problem –
(Where and How)
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Literature review
Library websites
Class discussions
Discussion with your professors and
peers
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Defining Problem Statement
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Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) presents a
methodology for traffic analysis on urban streets
Weaknesses of HCM methodology for urban
street;
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Default values for basic speeds not well substantiated by
data.
Does not consider traffic flow influencing running speeds
of vehicles.
HCM underestimates travel speed.
A number of studies have been performed for
traffic delays at intersection along urban streets.
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Formulating Hypothesis
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Running Speeds of vehicles are
affected by traffic volume
Roundabouts can be used as an
effective tool for traffic calming
Vehicle speeds are positively
correlated with speed limit
Both the bodies and brains of men
and women differ in many aspects
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What is Hypotheses?
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A HYPOTHESIS is a prediction of a relationship
between one or more factors and the problem
under study that can be tested.
Hypotheses can take various forms, depending
on the question being asked and the type of
study being conducted.
A key feature of all hypotheses is that each
must make a prediction.
These predictions are then tested by gathering
and analyzing data, and the hypotheses can
either be supported or refuted on the basis of
the data.
Characteristics of hypotheses
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Declarative statement that identifies
the predicted relationship between
2 or more variables
Testability
Based on sound scientific
theory/rationale
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Two types of hypotheses with which you should
be familiar are
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the null hypothesis
and the alternate (or experimental) hypothesis.
The null hypothesis always predicts that there
will be no differences between the groups being
studied.
By contrast, the alternate hypothesis predicts
that there will be a difference between the
groups.
For example,
 the null hypothesis would predict that the exercise
group and the no-exercise group will not differ
significantly on levels of cholesterol.
 The alternate hypothesis would predict that the two
groups will differ significantly on cholesterol levels.
Directional vs. Non-Directional
Hypotheses
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Directional hypothesis
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Specifies the direction of the
relationship between independent and
dependent variables
Non-directional hypothesis
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Shows the existence of a relationship
between variables but no direction is
specified
Examples
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Directional hypothesis
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Cardiac patients who receive support
from former patients have less anxiety
and higher self-efficacy than other
patients
Non-directional hypothesis
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There is a difference in anxiety and
self-efficacy between cardiac patients
who receive support from former
patients and those who do not
Research vs. Statistical
Hypotheses
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Research hypothesis = scientific
hypothesis
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Statement about the expected
relationship of the variables
Can be directional or nondirectional
Statistical hypothesis = null
hypothesis
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States there is no relationship between
the variables
Example: Statistical Hypothesis
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Oxygen inhalation by nasal cannula
of up to 6L/min does not affect oral
temperature measurement taken
with an electronic thermometer.
Research Objectives
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What do you want to achieve from
your research
State your objectives in clear and
concise manner.
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Research Objectives
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Determine the factors affecting running
speed of vehicles on urban streets.
Analyze the impacts of those factors.
Model the influence of the factors
affecting running speed.
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TYPES
1.
2.
General objective: states what researchers
expect to achieve by the study in general
terms.
Specific objectives: smaller, logically
connected parts of general objective. They
are the specific aspects of the topic that we
want to study within the framework of our
study
Specific objectives should systematically
address the various aspects of the problem.
They should specify what we will do in our
study, where and for what purpose.
Example
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To explore to what extent community
home-based care (CHBC) projects
provide adequate, affordable and
sustainable care of good quality to
people with HIV/AIDS, and to identify
ways in which these services can be
improved.
It was split up in the following specific objectives:
1.
To identify the full range of economic, psychosocial,
health/nursing care and other needs of patients and their
families affected by AIDS.
2.
To determine the extent to which formal and informal
support systems address these needs from the viewpoint
of service providers as well as patients.
3.
To determine the economic costs of CHBC to the patient
and family as well as to the formal CHBC programmes
themselves.
4.
To determine how improved CHBC and informal support
networks can contribute to the needs of persons with AIDS
and other chronically and terminally ill patients.
5.
To use the findings to make recommendations on the
improvement of CHBC to home care providers, donors and
other concerned organizations, including government.
Why should research objectives be
developed?
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To Focus the study (narrowing it down to
essentials);
To Avoid the collection of data which are not
strictly necessary for understanding and
solving the problem we have identified; and
To Organize the study in clearly defined
parts or phases.
Properly formulated, specific objectives will
facilitate the development of our research
methodology and will help to orient the
collection, analysis, interpretation and
utilization of data.
Take care that the objectives of
your study:
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Cover the different aspects of the problem and
its contributing factors in a coherent way and in
a logical sequence;
Are clearly phrased in operational terms,
specifying exactly what you are going to do,
where, and for what purpose;
Are realistic considering local conditions; and
Use action verbs that are specific enough to be
evaluated.
Examples of action verbs are: to determine,
to compare, to verify, to calculate, to describe,
and to establish. Avoid the use of vague nonaction verbs such as: to appreciate, to
understand, or to study.
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Research Methods: The ways in which
research studies are designed and the
procedures by which data are
analysed
Survey Methodology: Research
conducted by collecting data and
analysing them to come up with
answers to various issues of interest
to us.
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https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=
v&pid=sites&srcid=YWFnLm9yZ3xte
WNvZS1zZXJ2aXJnbG9iYWx8Z3g6O
DBmYmY0NTYzMzVmMTEw
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2012 Application Form.doc
http://www.writing.engr.psu.edu/w
orkbooks/proposal.samples.html
References
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http://www.shoreline.edu/eng102/sampt
hesis.htm
www.newagepublishers.com/samplechap
ter/000896.pdf (Research Methodology An Introduction)
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialscie
nces/2011/06/20/essential-guidewriting-good-abstracts/
Ranjit Kumar (Research Methodology- A
Step by Step guide for Beginners)
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