& Qualitative Studies.
Purposes of Descriptive Data
General overview of a type of behavior or group of people; Generate or test exploratory hypotheses
Basic design issues:
Lecture notes are here.
Suggested background reading: "Descriptive, observaton or measurment studies".
For lecture & Discussion Group:
- Murder and Medicine: interpreting longitudinal data with multiple variables (full article here).
- Click the image for an excellent example of qualitative / journalistic research on the Down Low among some African-American men.
- For an excellent example of observational animal research take a look at the article on baboon culture.
maps of the super-continent of Pangea, 250 and 135 million years
Scientific findings in fields that seem remote from each other can influence mutual theory development.
Evidence from Paleontology about the distribution of dinosaur species has been useful in determining when the super-continent of Pangea broke up to form the current continents. Recent Palentological data on a specific dinosaur species may be changing that time line. Click the image to read about it, and click here for a good Pangea web site.
(Roll over the image to see Pangea shift...)
Discussion group Assignment
Introduction and Design of your paper due this week.
For this week you will re-write and expand your week 5 & 7 assignments to finish the introduction of your paper. Begin on the paper assignment web page to see what you need to cover. Be prepared to present your research ideas for feedback during discussion group; we will be pairing off again to review each other's proposal. Bring your assignment from last week and your worksheet from week 5.Your assignment is to write one or two typed pages, but we strongly encourage you to submit a longer version as a first draft of your paper. Write this as a decent draft of the introduction & methods of your paper, not just as a homework assignment. The more work you do on this now the more feedback you can get in discussion group.
- Phenomenon. What issue or question will your research address? Frame this in terms of a relation between two concepts or variables. You began this in Week 5, now be more specific and concrete; e.g., The effect of impulsivity on behaviors that create risk for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).....
- What theory will you use to understand your phenomenon? Expand – or rewrite – your discussion from Weeks 5 & 7, using at least one reference to a real study, e.g., Jones' (1996) personality theory describes impulsivity as a learned disposition that develops as a consequence of certain social contexts or brain structures. I plan to apply this to understanding how impulsivity may affect behaviors that..... etc.
- Your specific hypothesis; Write a concrete prediction that flows from and tests the theory. This requires that you cast the terms of your theory as specific variables. Do not be vague or general here: I hypothesize that if I induce impulsivity in people they will be less able to resist a high risk social situation than will participants who I have not made temporarily impulsive…
- How will you operationally define the variables in your hypothesis? What specific things will you do to measure or manipulate your study variables? “I will induce impulsivity in participants by creating a social situation where they are rewarded for very fast and relatively careless decision making. The “non-impulsivity” condition will be similar, except slower, more careful decisions will be rewarded. The outcome variable will be participants’ responses to a subsequent, hypothetical social situation, where they are given the opportunity to engage in X or Y risky behaviors….
- What will be your overall research design? Will you perform a True experiment, where you manipulate the independent variable, randomly assign participants to groups, etc? What would this look like? Or, will you conduct a Quasi-experiment, where participants are not randomly assigned to groups, are from existing groups, are not blind, or in some other way are not equivalent at baseline? What would this look like? Why would you use one rather than the other?