Doing Empirical Research

Doing Empirical Research
In Visual Impairment
Dr. Dixie Mercer
1 – Topic Selection
Broad area or research interest
“The impact of visual impairments on the social
development of children with visual impairments.”
Narrow or research topic
“The impact of a visual impairment on the
development of emotional bonding between mothers
and infants.”
2 – Review of the Literature
• Why do it?
– Has my topic already been done sufficiently?
– If not, what has already been done?
– What needs to be added to the body of knowledge currently
– Are there areas that need to be expanded?
– Are there areas (studies) that need to be replicated to
determine their validity?
– Are there areas that need to be examined for their relevance?
How could they practically be used as the basis for
Types of Resources
• Scholarly books
• Peer reviewed journals
• Reputable information from the web
• A LIMITED number of newsletters, personal stories, etc.
How to do a Review?
Select key words or phrases from the topic.
“The impact of a visual impairment on the development of
emotional bonding between mothers and infants.”
2. Make a list of other key words that apply to your topic.
• Blind
• Babies
• Bonding
• Social
• Families
Do the Search
• Log into MySFA, Click on MyCourses tab
• Under Academic resources click Ralph W. Steen
• Use the selections on the left to follow subject guide
to >Education>Human Services.
• Click General Services and select a resource
(Acacemic Search Complete, Expanded Academic
ASAP or Wilson Select Plus are recommended)
• Type in your key words, article names, etc.
Boolean Search Parameters
• Anything in “” is found verbatim.
Visually AND impaired AND social AND development
The development of social understanding in children with visual impairments. By: McAlpine,
Linda M.; Moore, Chris L.. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness,
Jul/Aug95 Part 1 of 2, Vol. 89 Issue 4, p349, 10p, 1 chart; Abstract: Reports on the
performance of 16 visually impaired children, aged 4-12, on tasks designed to
assess their understanding of false belief. Effect of degree of vision loss on the
development of social understanding; False belief as a central aspect of social
understanding; Theory of mind; Other issues in the development of social understanding
in visually impaired children.; (AN 9509294209)
When you find an important resource…
• Begin making a list.
• Check out the bibliography/references and see what
other resources are listed there.
2A – Reading and Note Taking
• Read the articles thoroughly.
• Make notes on what they say.
• Highlight, copy or note any passages that you may want to quote
• You know that you’re finished when:
– You’ve read everything that you can find, and/or
– Even with extensive, thorough research everything begins to say the
same thing.
3 –Write Review
• First, outline the review with major points and citations
that you intend to use.
• Write your first draft, and let it “cool.”
4 –Research Design
• State your hypothesis.
– Infants who have a visual impairment have a more difficult
time bonding with their primary caregivers than do sighted
How much vision?
How old?
MIVI or VI only?
• Children who are:
– 36 months or under
– 20/200 or 20 degrees or worse
– Single disability
• What variables do you need to measure?
– Bonding
• Smiling to voice
• Reaching for caregiver
• Distress when removed from caregiver
– Easy vs. difficult
How will you measure these?
• Survey data
• Observation and inter rater reliability
• Counting specific behaviors
5 – Data Collection
6 – Data Analysis
What results did you get back?
What did they mean?
What assumptions can you draw?
What did you learn?
7 – Write the Paper
• Write the Introduction or Statement of the Problem
• Re-read and edit the Review.
• Write the Methodology section which includes
– Population
– Definition of Variables
– Procedure
• Present the data –
– Use tables or charts wherever appropriate
• Discuss what it means in terms of your original
• References or bibliography section
– EACH reference that’s used in the paper MUST be included in
this section.
– Any other significant reference should also be included.
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