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Conducting Research That Makes a Difference. William E. Sedlacek University of Maryland wsed@umd.edu www.williamsedlacek.info. Research Problems. The Quest for the Golden Label Noncognitive variables Three Musketeers All for one & one for all Bias is Bias

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conducting research that makes a difference

Conducting Research That Makes a Difference

William E. Sedlacek

University of Maryland

wsed@umd.edu

www.williamsedlacek.info

research problems
Research Problems
  • The Quest for the Golden Label
    • Noncognitive variables
  • Three Musketeers
    • All for one & one for all
  • Bias is Bias
    • Statistical bias may lead to racial/gender bias
  • Horizontal Research
    • Same studies repeated at same level
  • I’m OK; You’re Not
    • I’m the good guy
  • Multicultural Myth- We are equally sensitive to all types of discrimination-professional human beings
      • 70% of multicultural office staff would admit no biases
audience
Audience
  • Define & understand your audience
    • White students
    • Students of color
    • Faculty
    • Administrators
    • State legislators
    • Parents
types of research
Types of Research
  • Define research broadly
    • Surveys
      • Likert v. Thurstone
    • Interviews
    • Nonreactive measures
    • Qualitative designs
    • Perceptual mapping
    • Observation
focus your questions
Focus Your Questions
  • Don’t try to do too much in one study
  • Information
    • How many Muslims are terrorists?
    • What is range of majors for Asian Americans?
  • Attitudes
    • How do men feel about women?
      • Situational Attitude Scale-SAS
    • How do White students feel about diversity?
      • Universal Diverse Orientation- UDO
  • Behavior
    • What interactions work best between able-bodied students & students with disabilities?
    • What predicts student graduation?
      • Noncognitive variables-NCQ
control the turf
Control The Turf
  • Choose your topics well
    • Decide for yourself what to study
      • Research v data v public relations
  • Make others react to your data
    • Multiple methods of communication
      • Data don’t speak for themselves
        • Galileo
      • Articles
      • Books
      • Presentations
        • Multiple groups
the long term view
The Long-Term View
  • Use references
  • Incremental gains
    • Noncognitive variable research
  • Longitudinal studies
    • Maryland Longitudinal Study
  • Long-term cross-sectional studies
    • Racism over 25 years at UMD
become the source
Become The Source
  • Who do you trust?
    • Politician
    • Partisan think tank researcher
    • Pollster working for a cause
    • Pundit
    • Professor
    • Others
up the conceptual ladder
Up The Conceptual Ladder
  • Deductive
    • Test models or theories
    • Don’t always measure variables well
    • Too much too soon
  • Inductive
    • Build higher order constructs from bottom up
    • May never work up ladder
    • Don’t use data just because it’s there
stick to your principles
Stick To Your Principles
  • Do follow
    • Your goals & interests
    • Defining your interests in terms of your audience
  • Don’t follow:
    • The money
    • The latest fad
    • What will get published
    • What others want you to do
patience persistence
Patience & Persistence
  • The mosaic model
  • Internal v external motivation
  • Share ideas & interests
  • Satisfied with small gains
  • Learn from nonsignificance
  • Say hmmm at least once a day
  • Have fun
references
References
  • Sedlacek, W. E.(2004).A multicultural research program. In F. W. Hale Jr. (Ed.) What makes racial diversity work in higher education (Pp.256-271). Sterling VA :Stylus Publishing.
  • Sedlacek, W. E. (2004). Beyond the big test: Noncognitive assessment in higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Longerbeam, S. L., Sedlacek, W. E., Balón, D. G., & Alimo, C. (2005). The multicultural myth:A study of multicultural program organizations at three public research universities. Journal of College Student Development. 46 (3), 88-97.
  • Sedlacek, W. E. Conducting research that makes a difference. (2007). In C.C. Lee, & G.R. Walz (Eds.) Counseling for social justice. (Pp. 223-237). Alexandria, VA. American Counseling Association.
  • Sedlacek, W. E. (in press). Measures worth considering in diversity research and programming. Readings on Equal Education.