Descriptive Survey Research
Quantitative research and begins with a reserach question and a set of subquestions.
Items incldued in survey or questionnaire

1.Cover letter

a. pupose

b. confidentiality statement

c. statement of voluntary nature of study

d. contact information

2. Demographics

a. derived from literature review

b. specific purposes

c. can go at beginning or end of survey

3.Body of Survey

a. directions of each section

b. clear and concise

c. gathers data on one central idea

d. avoid using double negatives

e. have response sets that DONOT overlap

4. Select the sample

5. Piloting the survey

6. Administering the Survey

Types of Surveys

one shot survey design

Follow sample over time

annual panel survey

follow up survey

longitudinal survey study

trend survey ( selects different samples)

a. trend survey

b. cohort survey

Other types of Descriptive research

self reports

observational measures

descriptive comparative (describes differences between two groups but does not explain why)

Independent Variable
the intervention or what is done to the group

Dependent Variable

The outcome or what was changed in the group
Extraneous Variables
Variables that could influence the participant in the study which would ultimately influence the dependent variable
Steps in conducting Experimental Research

  1. Select a topic
  2. review the literature and define a question
  3. develop a reserach hypothesis
  4. select and assign participants to groups
  5. select measurement instruments
  6. define and administer experimental treatments
  7. collect and analyze data
  8. make a decision about the hypothesis
  9. formulate conclusions

Operational definition
a variable is defined in terms of how that variable will be measured, manipulated or both
Directional hypothesis

states the direction of the expected outcome

nondirectional or null

Control for Extraneous Variables

Control groups

Random Assignment of individuals


Comparing Homogeneous Subgroups

Pretesting participants

Holding extraneous variables constant

factorial designs

statistical control (ANCOVA) (analysis of covariance)

Threats to Internal Validity





statistical regression

differential selection of subjects


Threats to External Validity

Pretest treatment interaction

multiple treatment interaction

selection treatment

specificity of variables

treatment diffusion

experimenter effects

reactive arrangement

Hawthorne Effect
being part of a study affects the behavior of a person
Novelty effect
a treatment works simply because it is new and different than the old method
Causal Comparative Research is a noexperimental research
measures differnces in behaviors that can not be manipulated or experimented with
Analysis of covariance or multiple regression
Used when random assignment cannot be used to make sure that participants are similar
Causal Comparative Research vs Correlational Research — How are they different

Causal Comparative research is used to compare difference in variables that involve dichotomies and catergories. Correlational examines variables that are continuous.


Abuse, single sex versus coed schools –Causal Comparative

2 groups on one variable–Causal Comparative

Many variables –Correlational Reserach

Scatterplot–Correlational (min of 30 people)

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