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Chapter 3 Presenting The Problem PowerPoint Presentation
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Chapter 3 Presenting The Problem

Chapter 3 Presenting The Problem

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Chapter 3 Presenting The Problem

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  1. Chapter 3 Presenting The Problem Research Methods in Physical Activity

  2. In a thesis or dissertation, the first section or chapter serves to introduce the problem. Indeed, it is often titled “Introduction.” Several sections in the introduction serve to convey the significance of the problem and set forth the dimensions of the particular study. Each of the following sections are frequently required in the • first part of a thesis or dissertation: • ♦Title • ♦Introduction • ♦Problem statement • ♦Hypothesis • ♦Definitions • ♦Assumptions and limitations • ♦Significance Research Methods in Physical Activity

  3. Choosing The Title • Choose a title that helps the reader to understand the problem and the purpose of the research study. • Avoid superfluous words and phrases such as “An Investigation of,” “An Analysis of,” and “A Study of.” • Re-write and shorten the title • For example, “The 12-Minute Swim as a Test for Aerobic Endurance in Swimming” (Jackson, 1978) is a good title because it tells the reader exactly what the study is about. It defines the specific purpose, which is the validation of the 12-minute swim, and it delimits the study to the assessment of aerobic endurance for swimmers. • Use the process of reduction (see document – Creating a Title) Research Methods in Physical Activity

  4. Writing The Introduction • The introductory portion of a thesis or research article is designed to create interest in the problem. You use the introduction to persuade readers of the significance of the problem, provide background information, bring out areas of needed research, and then skillfully and logically lead to the specific purpose of the study. • it should flow smoothly yet be reasonably brief. • you can assume that readers are reasonably informed about the topic • thus, do not be too technical, a forceful, simple, and direct vocabulary is more effective for purposes of communication than scientific jargon • the narrative should introduce the necessary background information quickly and explain the rationale behind the study • Write the introduction so that readers know the study’s purpose before reading the problem statement. Introductions should also create interest, provide background information, and explain the study’s rationale. Research Methods in Physical Activity

  5. Writing The Introduction (example from text, p.55) • The following example specifies some desirable features in an introduction, including a general introduction, background information, a mention of gaps in the literature and areas of needed research, and a logical progression leading to the problem statement. After you have read this introduction, see whether you can write the purpose for this study. • [General Introduction.] • (Research shows that participating in regular, vigorous physical activity is a key factor in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) (Mazzeo et al., 1998). CHD is the leading cause of death in the United States (Rosamond et al., 2007). Physical inactivity is one of the CHD risk factors that can be modified (National Cholesterol Education Program [NCEP] Expert Panel, 2002). • [Background information.] • Elevated plasma levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are associated with the development of CHD. . . . Regular physical activity can improve certain lipid levels associated with the risk of CHD. . . . • [Lead-in.] • Although the research on positive effects of regular physical activity on plasma lipids is extensive, few studies have monitored the changes in plasma lipid levels in individuals who exercise regularly for more than 10 years. Research Methods in Physical Activity

  6. Stating The Research Problem - Identifying the Variables • The problem statement follows the introduction. • The problem statement should be succinct. (Briefly and clearly expressed) • The statement should identify the different variables in the study, including the independent variable, the dependent variable, and the categorical variable (an independent variable except that it cannot be manipulated, such as age, race, or sex), if necessary, and control variables (factors that could possibly influence the results and that is kept out of the study.). • Researchers control the influence of variables by deciding which variables should be manipulated and which should be controlled. • For example, suppose a researcher is comparing stress-reduction methods on the competitive state anxiety of gymnasts before dual meets. The gymnasts’ years of competitive experience might have a bearing on their anxiety scores. The researchers have a choice. They can include this attribute as a categorical variable by requiring that half the participants have had a certain number of years of experience and that the other half have had less, or they can control the variable of experience by requiring that all participants have similar experience. Research Methods in Physical Activity

  7. Stating The Research Problem - Identifying the Variables • The decision to include or exclude some variable depends on several considerations, such as whether the variable is closely related to the theoretical model and how likely it is that an interaction will be present. • Practical considerations include: • the difficulty of making a variable a categorical variable or controlling it (such as availability of participants having a particular trait) and, • the amount of control that the researcher has over the experimental situation. • FYI - Extraneous variables are factors that could affect the relationship between the independent and dependent variables but are not included or controlled. (discussed later in Ch. 18). The possible influence of an extraneous variable is usuallypresented in the discussion section, not in the introduction Research Methods in Physical Activity

  8. Presenting The Research Hypothesis • Research hypothesis - Hypothesis deduced from theory or induced from empirical studies that is based upon logical reasoning and predicts the outcome of the study. “ The expected results of the study ”. • In contrast, the null hypothesis is used primarily in the statistical test for the reliability of the results; the null hypothesis says that there are no differences between treatments (or no relationships between variables). • Null hypothesis - Hypothesis used primarily in the statistical test for the reliability of the results that says that there are no differences among treatments (or no relationships among variables). Research Methods in Physical Activity

  9. Presenting The Research Hypothesis • Hypotheses Development (video) Questions : • Does your hypothesis explain all the facts? • Is your hypothesis in accord with generally accepted principles? • Does your hypothesis simplify the problem? Does it make things easier to understand, and not harder? • Is you hypothesis the most simplistic statement you can design? • Is your hypothesis falsifiable? Research Methods in Physical Activity

  10. Operationally Defining Your Terms • An operational definition describes an observable phenomenon, as opposed to a synonym definition or dictionary definition. • Operational definitions may vary from study to study. • Example: • Study 1 – Physical Exhaustion: When subjects have attained a RER of 1.15, and mVO2 of 110% of predicted max. • Study II – Physical Exhaustion: When subjects attain Peak VO2 and choose to terminate the exercise session. • Thus, different studies will not always agree on definitions, but at least you know how a particular term is being used Research Methods in Physical Activity

  11. Basic Assumptions, Delimitations, and Limitations • Assumptions • Every study has certain fundamental premises that it could not proceed without. In other words, you must assume that certain conditions exist and that the particular behaviors in question can be observed and measured (along with various other basic suppositions). • Example: • A study designed to assess an attitude toward exercise is based on the assumption that this attitude can be reliably demonstrated and measured. Furthermore, you can assume that the participants will respond truthfully, at least for the most part. If you cannot assume those things, you should not waste your time conducting the study. Research Methods in Physical Activity

  12. Basic Assumptions, Delimitations, and Limitations • Delimitations, and Limitations • Limitations are possible shortcomings or influences that either cannot be controlled or are the results of the restrictions imposed by the investigator. • Delimitations are limitations, usually set by the researcher, that refer to the scope of the study. Delimitations are choices the experimenter makes to define a workable research problem, such as the use of one particular personality test in the assessment of personality characteristics. • Thus, the delimitations of a study are those characteristics that limit the scope (define the boundaries) of the research. Research Methods in Physical Activity

  13. Justifying The Significance of the Problem • You will need to include a section titled “Significance of the Study” or sometimes “The Need for the Study,” “Importance of the Study,” or “Rationale for the Study.” to clarify to the reader WHY your study should be conducted. • You should have continuity of the significance section with the introduction. The significance section should focus on such things as contradictory findings of previous research, gaps in knowledge in particular areas, and the contribution that the study might make to practice. • You must convince the Skeptics ! Research Methods in Physical Activity

  14. END OF PRESENTATION Research Methods in Physical Activity