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3: Literature Reviews and Hypotheses. Literature Review. A literature review is a comprehensive examination of available information that is related to your research topic. Reasons for conducting a literature review. Clarify the research problem and questions Uncover existing studies

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3: Literature Reviews and Hypotheses

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3: Literature Reviews and Hypotheses

Literature Review

Aliterature review is a comprehensive

examination of available information

that is related to your research topic.

Reasons for conducting a literature review

  • Clarify the research problem and questions

  • Uncover existing studies

  • Suggest research hypotheses

  • Identify available scales, measures variables and methods

  • Avoid duplication of effort

Lexus Nexus

Google Scholar

Key terms

  • Variables

    • Gender, Age, Preference, Purchase Likelihood

  • Constructs

    • Satisfaction, Brand Loyalty, Intelligence

  • Hypothesis (-es)

    • “Good moods lead to more purchases.”

  • Conceptualization

    Conceptualization refers to the

    development of a model

    that shows variables

    and the hypothesized

    relationships between those variables.

    Relationships and variables





    Relationships and variables

    Control Variables

    Confounding Variables

    Process of Conceptualization

    • Identify Independent and Dependent variables

    • Specify relationships between the variables

    • Develop theory that justifies those relationships

    • Specify “boundary conditions” for relationships, if any

    • Identify any control or confounding variables

    A Model of New Technology Adoption









    Openness to learning


    Technology discomfort


    A hypothesis is an empirically

    testable though yet unproven statement

    developed in order to explain


    Types of Hypotheses

    • Null

    • Alternate

      • Non-directional vs. Directional

      • Direct (positive) vs. Indirect (negative) relationships

    Examples - Null Hypotheses

    • There is no significant difference between the preferences toward specific banking method exhibited by white-collar customers and blue-collar customers.

    • No significant differences exist in requests for specific medical treatments from emergency walk-in clinics between users and nonusers of annual preventive maintenance health care programs.

    Examples – Alternate Hypotheses, Non-directional

    • There is a significant difference in satisfaction levels reported by Safeway and Lucky shoppers.

    • Significant differences exist between males and females in the number of hours spent online.

    Examples – Alternate Hypotheses, Directional

    • We expect higher satisfaction levels to be reported by Safeway shoppers thanLucky shoppers.

    • We expect to find that males spend significantly more hours online than females.

    Examples – Alternate Hypotheses, Direct (positive)

    • More studying is related to higher GPAs.

    • Friendlier salespeople generate higher sales revenues.

    • Increases in advertising lead to higher sales.

    Examples – Alternate Hypotheses, Indirect (negative)

    • Students with high GPAs consume less alcohol than those with lower GPAs.

    • The more pressure to close sales perceived by salespeople, the fewer follow up, “relationship-building” sales calls made.

    ACTIVITY: Formulating Research Objectives and Hypotheses

    • Develop a simple research objective.

    • Formulate a simple hypothesis for your research objective. Specify the following:

      • Positive / Inverse relationship

      • Theory behind the relationships

      • Any boundary conditions for the model

      • Any control or confounding variables/factors

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