09 20

What is research design in dissertation

STEP TWO

Research design

The quantitative research design that you set in your dissertation should reflect the type of research questions/hypotheses that you have set. When we talk about quantitative research designs, we are typically referring to research following either a descriptive, experimental, quasi-experimental and relationship-based research design, which we will return to shortly. However, there are also specific goals that you may want to achieve within these research designs. You may want to: (Goal A) explore whether there is a relationship between different variables; (Goal B) predict a score or a membership of a group; or (Goal C) find out the differences between groups you are interested in or treatment conditions that you want to investigate:

  • GOAL A
    Exploring the relationship between variables

    Are you trying to determine if there is a relationship between two or more variables, and what this relationship is? This kind of design is used to answer questions such as: Is there a relationship between height and basketball performance? Are males more likely to be smokers than females? Does you level of anxiety reduce your exam ability?

  • GOAL B
    Predicting a score or a membership of a group

    Are you trying to examine whether one variable's value (i.e., the dependent or outcome variable) can be predicted based on another's (i.e., the independent variable). These designs answer questions such as: Can I predict 10km run time based on an individual's aerobic capacity? Can I predict exam anxiety based on knowing the number of hours spent revising? Can I predict whether someone is classified as computer literate based on their performance in different computer tasks? Can I predict an individual's preferred transport (car/motorcycle) based on their response to a risk questionnaire?

  • GOAL C
    Testing for differences between groups or treatment conditions

    Are you trying to test for differences between groups (e.g., exam performance of males and females) or treatment conditions (e.g., employee turnover among employees (a) given a bonus and (b) not given a bonus)? This type of design aims to answer questions such as: What is the difference in jump height between males and females? Can an exercise-training programme lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels? Do stressed males and females respond differently to different stress-reduction therapies? In each of these cases, we have different groups that we are comparing (e.g., males versus females), and we may also have different treatments (e.g., the example of multiple stress-reduction therapies).

Goals A and B reflect the use of relationship-based research questions/hypotheses, whilst goal C reflects the use of comparative research questions/hypotheses. Just remember that in addition to relating and comparing (i.e., relationship-based and comparative research questions/hypotheses), quantitative research can also be used to describe the phenomena we are interested in (i.e., descriptive research questions). These three basic approaches (i.e., describing, relating and comparing) can be seen in the following example:

Let's imagine we are interested in examining Facebook usage amongst university students in the United States.

  • We could describe factors relating to the make-up of these Facebook users, quantifying how many (or what proportion) of these university students were male or female, or what their average age was. We could describe factors relating to their behaviour, such as how frequently they used Facebook each week or the reasons why they joined Facebook in the first place (e.g., to connect with friends, to store all their photos in one place, etc.).

  • We could compare some of these factors (i.e., those factors that we had just described). For example, we could compare how frequently the students used Facebook each week, looking for differences between male and female students.

  • We could relate one or more of these factors (e.g., age) to other factors we had examined (e.g., how frequently students used Facebook each week) to find out if there were any associations or relationships between them. For example, we could relate age to how frequently the students used Facebook each week. This could help us discover if there was an association or relationship between these variables (i.e., age and weekly Facebook usage), and if so, tell us something about this association or relationship (e.g., its strength, direction, and/or statistical significance).

These three approaches to examining the constructs you are interested in (i.e., describing, comparing and relating) are addressed by setting descriptive research questions, and/or comparative or relationship-based research questions/hypotheses. By this stage, you should be very clear about the type of research questions/hypotheses you are addressing, but if you are unsure, refer back to the Research Questions & Hypotheses section of the Fundamentals part of Lærd Dissertation now.

If you are exploring the relationship between variables (i.e., Goal A), you are likely to be following a relationship-based research design (i.e., a type of non-experimental research design). However, if you are predicting the score or a membership of a group (i.e., Goal B) or testing for differences between groups or treatment conditions (i.e., Goal C), you are likely to be following either an experimental or quasi-experimental research design. Unless you already understand the differences between experimental, quasi-experimental and relationship-based research designs, you should read about these different research designs in the Research Designs section of the Fundamentals part of Lærd Dissertation now. You need to do this for two main reasons:

  • You will have to state which type of research design you are using in your dissertation when writing up the Research Design section of your Chapter Three: Research Strategy.

  • The research design that you use has a significant influence on your choice of research methods, the research quality of your findings, and even aspects of research ethics that you will have to think about.

Once you are familiar with the four types of research design (i.e., descriptive, experimental, quasi-experimental and relationship-based), you need to think about the route that you are adopting, and the approach within that route in order to set the research design in your dissertation:

Route A: Duplication

If you are taking on Route A: Duplication, you would typically not be expected to make any changes to the research design used in the main journal article when setting the research design for your dissertation. After all, the purpose of the dissertation is duplication, where you are, in effect, re-testing the study in the main journal article to see if the same (or similar) findings are found. An important aspect of such re-testing is typically the use of the same research strategy applied in the main journal article. As such, if an experimental research design was used in the main journal article, with 3 groups (e.g., two treatment groups and one control group), your dissertation would also use an experimental design with the same group characteristics (i.e., 3 groups, with two treatment groups and one control group). The research design you used would also have the same goals as those in the main journal article (e.g., the goal of relating two constructs, perhaps study time and exam performance, in order to answer a relationship-based research question/hypothesis).

However, there are some instances where, from a practical standpoint, you may find that it is not possible to use the same research design, perhaps because an experimental research design was used, but you are unable to randomly selected people from the population you can get access to, forcing you to use a quasi-experimental research design. But the goal will be to use the same research design in your dissertation as the one applied in the main journal article. Again, you can learn about the differences between experimental and quasi-experimental designs in the Research Designs section of the Fundamentals part of Lærd Dissertation.

  • GOAL B
    Predicting a score or a membership of a group

    Are you trying to examine whether one variable's value (i.e., the dependent or outcome variable) can be predicted based on another's (i.e., the independent variable). These designs answer questions such as: Can I predict 10km run time based on an individual's aerobic capacity? Can I predict exam anxiety based on knowing the number of hours spent revising? Can I predict whether someone is classified as computer literate based on their performance in different computer tasks? Can I predict an individual's preferred transport (car/motorcycle) based on their response to a risk questionnaire?

  • GOAL C
    Testing for differences between groups or treatment conditions

    Are you trying to test for differences between groups (e.g., exam performance of males and females) or treatment conditions (e.

  • Can an exercise-training programme lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels? Do stressed males and females respond differently to different stress-reduction therapies? In each of these cases, we have different groups that we are comparing (e.g., males versus females), and we may also have different treatments (e.g., the example of multiple stress-reduction therapies).

    Goals A and B reflect the use of relationship-based research questions/hypotheses, whilst goal C reflects the use of comparative research questions/hypotheses. Just remember that in addition to relating and comparing (i.e., relationship-based and comparative research questions/hypotheses), quantitative research can also be used to describe the phenomena we are interested in (i.

    • We could describe factors relating to the make-up of these Facebook users, quantifying how many (or what proportion) of these university students were male or female, or what their average age was. We could describe factors relating to their behaviour, such as how frequently they used Facebook each week or the reasons why they joined Facebook in the first place (e.g., to connect with friends, to store all their photos in one place, etc.).

    • We could compare some of these factors (i.e., those factors that we had just described). For example, we could compare how frequently the students used Facebook each week, looking for differences between male and female students.

    • We could relate one or more of these factors (e.

    Comments

    1. Cocaguzobapuf

      Looks like a MA Dissertation project from an interaction design student, which is fine, just don"t expect anyone to ever make it or use one.

    2. Norujorimacove

      Dissertation students, we"ll transcribe your interviews with strict confidentiality, 20 years" experience

    3. Vazuhucux

      Phd dissertation: a speculative news report. research.

    4. Dejimoyemocube

      Must be getting dissertation fatigue. For some reason, the -V design test reminds me of the Eye of Barad-dûr.

    5. Qifuwogosin

      508 words ( 9840 total ) on a dissertation about the political design of encyclopedic knowledge

    6. Texufedukem

      PhD/dissertation students - chill Netflix while we transcribe for you.

    7. Feboniqog

      407 words ( 9332 total ) on a dissertation about the political design of encyclopedic knowledge

    8. Pajekiwofe

      I"ve decided to go back to school to finally finish my dissertation on Why I hate smart guides and bounding box . Wish me luck.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>