Quiz 6: Research Design: an Overview


a.Exploratory versus formalized studies : Exploratory studies tend to have loose structures with the purpose of discovering future tasks, or to develop future hypotheses and questions for further research. The goal of a formal research design is generally specific: to test hypotheses or answer research questions. b.Experimental and ex post facto designs : In an experimental design the researcher seeks to study the effects of variables by controlling and manipulating them. In an ex post facto design the researcher does not influence the variables but reports on what has happened. c.Descriptive and causal studies : A descriptive study is concerned with description, that is the who, what, where, when or how much in observations, whereas in a causal study relationships between variables are sought to be identified, verified and established.

a. A relationship between variables is latent, but what is manifest are only the possible effects. A relationship itself can only be theoretically postulated. For instance, a higher income level may induce the purchase of higher priced cars, and this can be theoretically postulated. Yet the data focuses on a manifest variable (purchase) rather than the latent psychological processes. b. Inductive conclusions, unlike deductive conclusions, have no "necessary" connections between facts and conclusions. Thus the conclusion of an induction may be simply one explanation for an observed fact whereas the conclusion of a deduction is the explanation, if the deduction's requirements are met. This means that when dealing with causal relationships we require other more rigorous devices to assure ourselves that our probabilistic statements contain the least possible margin for error. Methods such as experimentation and statistical tests help to improve our confidence in ascribing cause to inductive conclusions. c. There may be a correlation in the following variable pairs found statistically at a point of time, however there is no causal relationship between the variables; such correlations are said to be spurious. Increases in productivity: Increases in stock offerings to the public Decreases in job satisfaction: Decreases in the consumer price index A classic example of spurious correlation is exemplified in the fallacious argument: All alcoholic beverages contain water; hence an excessive consumption of water leads to the cirrhosis of the liver.

a.Stimulus-response: When you are challenged to justify your position during a management meeting your pulse rate increases rapidly, and you speak out strongly in defense of your position. b.Property-disposition: You are a member of a minority ethnic group and this makes you very sensitive to ethnic type comments by others. c.Disposition-behavior: You have strong opinions about the degradation of our physical environment by some industries; as a result you are highly selective in choosing the companies with whom you interview for career opportunities. d.Property-behavior: You have grown up as a member of the upper-lower social class and now follow the typical consumption practices of that class.