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Quantitative Research Designs. V. Darleen Opfer. Conditions for Establishing Cause-Effect Relationships:. Covariation Temporal Precedence No Plausible Alternative Explanations. History Testing Instrumentation Regression Mortality Maturation Selection

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conditions for establishing cause effect relationships
Conditions for Establishing Cause-Effect Relationships:
  • Covariation
  • Temporal Precedence
  • No Plausible Alternative Explanations
types of alternative explanations
History

Testing

Instrumentation

Regression

Mortality

Maturation

Selection

Selection by maturation interaction

Ambiguity about causal direction

Diffusion of treatments

Compensatory equalization of treatments

Compensatory rivalry

Types of Alternative Explanations
ways to minimize threats to validity
Ways to Minimize Threats to Validity:
  • By argument
  • By measurement or observation
  • By analysis
  • By preventive action
  • By design
slide5

Individual/Agential Variables

Values

Psychological Mechanisms

Political Interest

Personal Knowledge/

Experience

Newspaper Coverage

Newspaper Impacts

Norms of Journalists

Newspaper “Market Forces”

Class, education, gender, ethnicity, age, etc..

Social Networks

Trust in Media & Government (i.e., Public Schools)

Structural/ Social Variables

Causal relations

Intervening variables

basic design elements
Basic Design Elements
  • Time
  • Program(s) or Treatment (s) = X
  • Observation(s) or Measure(s) = O
  • Groups or Individuals =

R = Randomly assigned groups

expanding a design x o
Expanding a Design:X O
  • Expanding across time

O O X O

O X O O X O

  • Expanding across programs

O X1 O

O X2 O

  • Expanding across observations

O1O2 X O1O2

  • Expanding across groups

R O X O

R O O

N O O

______________________________

R O X O

R O O

N O O

a strategy for design construction
A Strategy for Design Construction
  • Depict the hypothesized causal relationship
  • Identify the possible alternative explanation threats
  • Over-expand the basic design by expanding across time, program observations, and groups accounting for as many alternative explanations as possible
  • Scale back the design to a manageable plan by considering the effect of eliminating each design component
the nature of good design
The Nature of Good Design
  • Theory-Grounded
  • Situational
  • Feasible
  • Redundant
  • Efficient
design task

Design Task

A principal/head teacher wants to know whether the provision of professional development will improve the instructional practices of teachers.

Design a study for answering her question.

Address the following questions:

What are your variables? (What are will you be measuring?)

What are potential validity/alternative explanation issues with this study?

What are the validity issues accounted for in your approach? And how would you minimize those not accounted for in the design?