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Chapter Two: Research Ideas and Hypotheses

Chapter Two: Research Ideas and Hypotheses

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Chapter Two: Research Ideas and Hypotheses

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  1. Chapter Two: Research Ideas and Hypotheses

  2. The Research Idea • You find a research idea when you find a gap in the current knowledge or an unanswered question that interests you.

  3. Characteristics of Good Research Ideas • The most important characteristic of a good research idea is that it is testable.

  4. Characteristics of Good Research Ideas • A second characteristic of the good research idea is that your chances for success are increased when your view of nature approximates reality as closely as possible. When reality is approximated there is a good likelihood of success.

  5. Sources of Research Ideas • Nonsystematic Sources

  6. Sources of Research Ideas • Nonsystematic Sources • Include those occurrences that give us the illusion that a research idea has dropped out of the sky.

  7. Sources of Research Ideas • Nonsystematic Sources • Inspiration

  8. Sources of Research Ideas • Nonsystematic Sources • Inspiration • Ideas that pop into one’s mind from (seemingly) nowhere. Inspiration usually comes more easily after one has been working on a particular problem for some time.

  9. Sources of Research Ideas • Nonsystematic Sources • Serendipity

  10. Sources of Research Ideas • Nonsystematic Sources • Serendipity • Refers to those situations where we look for one phenomenon but find another.

  11. Sources of Research Ideas • Nonsystematic Sources • Everyday Occurrences

  12. Sources of Research Ideas • Nonsystematic Sources • Everyday Occurrences • The people and/or situations one encounters daily provide some of the best possibilities for research.

  13. Sources of Research Ideas • Nonsystematic Sources (recap) • Inspiration • Serendipity • Everyday Occurrences

  14. Sources of Research Ideas • Systematic Sources

  15. Sources of Research Ideas • Systematic Sources • Research ideas from systematic sources are carefully organized and logically thought out.

  16. Sources of Research Ideas • Systematic Sources • Past Research

  17. Sources of Research Ideas • Systematic Sources • Past Research • A careful survey of the research done in a specific area will highlight any knowledge gaps or unanswered questions in that area.

  18. Sources of Research Ideas • Systematic Sources • Past Research • A careful survey of the research done in a specific area will highlight any knowledge gaps or unanswered questions in that area. • A failure to replicate a previous finding raises additional questions that only continued research will be able to answer.

  19. Sources of Research Ideas • Systematic Sources • Theory

  20. Sources of Research Ideas • Systematic Sources • Theory • The guidance function of a theory provides an endless panorama of projects for researchers who take the time and trouble to master the theory and understand its implications.

  21. Sources of Research Ideas • Systematic Sources • Classroom Lectures

  22. Sources of Research Ideas • Systematic Sources • Classroom Lectures • Lectures often include a systematic review of the relevant literature on a particular topic and as such are a good source of research ideas.

  23. Developing a Research Question

  24. Developing a Research Question • Regardless of the source of your research idea, your first goal should be to turn it into a question.

  25. Surveying the Psychological Literature

  26. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Selection of Index terms

  27. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Selection of Index terms • Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms

  28. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Selection of Index terms • Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms • Is a collection of index terms taken from abstracts of all published psychological research.

  29. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Computerized Searches of the Literature

  30. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Computerized Searches of the Literature • Your next step is to familiarize yourself with the computerized research databases (such as PsycINFO) available at your school. Enter your index terms into the search box of the database.

  31. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Manual Searches of the Literature

  32. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Manual Searches of the Literature • If your school does not subscribe to any electronic research databases you will have to do a manual literature search.

  33. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Manual Searches of the Literature • If your school does not subscribe to any electronic research databases you will have to do a manual literature search. • Psychological Abstracts

  34. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Manual Searches of the Literature • If your school does not subscribe to any electronic research databases you will have to do a manual literature search. • Psychological Abstracts • Is a monthly journal that provides essentially the same information that a PsycINFO search. Write down the relevant article references and locate the journal(s) in the library.

  35. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Obtaining the Relevant Publications

  36. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Obtaining the Relevant Publications • You need to assemble all of your original source materials in one place.

  37. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Obtaining the Relevant Publications • You need to assemble all of your original source materials in one place. • Interlibrary loan

  38. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Obtaining the Relevant Publications • You need to assemble all of your original source materials in one place. • Interlibrary loan • If your library does not have the relevant journals or books, you can request them through interlibrary loan. There is sometimes a small fee for this service and the amount of time it takes to get your materials will vary.

  39. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Obtaining the Relevant Publications • You need to assemble all of your original source materials in one place. • Requests for reprints

  40. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Obtaining the Relevant Publications • You need to assemble all of your original source materials in one place. • Requests for reprints • You can write or e-mail the author of a journal article directly and ask for a copy of the article (reprint). Many colleges and universities have searchable faculty e-mail databases. This makes it very easy to e-mail the author and ask for a reprint.

  41. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Integrating the results of the Literature Search

  42. Surveying the Psychological Literature • Integrating the results of the Literature Search • This is the process of making sense of the materials you have assembled.

  43. Formulating the Research Hypothesis

  44. Formulating the Research Hypothesis • A research hypothesis is simply a formal statement of your research question, taking into account what you learned from searching the literature.

  45. Formulating the Research Hypothesis • A research hypothesis is simply a formal statement of your research question, taking into account what you learned from searching the literature. • The research or experimental hypothesis is our prediction about the relation that exists between the independent variable that we are going to manipulate and the dependent variable that we will record.

  46. Characteristics of the Research Hypothesis

  47. Characteristics of the Research Hypothesis • Types of Statements

  48. Characteristics of the Research Hypothesis • Types of Statements • Synthetic Statements

  49. Characteristics of the Research Hypothesis • Types of Statements • Synthetic Statements • Are those statements that can be either true of false (e.g. “Abused children have lower self-esteem”).

  50. Characteristics of the Research Hypothesis • Types of Statements • Analytic Statements • Are those statements that are always true (e.g. I am making an “A” or I am not making an “A”).