One hundred questions (and answers) about research methods
Understanding the research process and getting started
Why is research necessary and what are some of its benefits?
Generally, what is the process through which a research topic is identified and do I have to be an experienced researcher to select a topic of interest to me?
What is the "scientific method" and how can I apply that to my own research?
There are different types of research models that one might use : can you give me a general overview and how they might compare?
What's the best research model for my purposes?
What's the difference between basic and applied research?
What is qualitative research and what are some examples?
What are hypotheses and how do they fit into the scientific method?
What do good research hypotheses do?
Besides looking at the reputation of a journal where a study is published as one criterion for a good study, are there other things that I can look to?
I hear so much about different studies' from the newspaper, from professional bulletins and even from my boss : what am I supposed to believe and how can I judge if the results of a study are useful?
What are some of the best ways to find information online and where are some of the best places?
What role might social media play in both my efforts as a researcher as well as a consumer?
Reviewing and writing about your research question
What is a review of the literature and why is it important?
How does a review of the literature have an impact on my research question and the hypothesis i propose?
How do I know when my literature review is finished? : couldn't it go on forever?
What are the three main types of sources of information and what part does each play in creating a literature review
What steps should I take in writing my review of literature?
What are some of the best electronic resources available and how do I learn to use them?
Introductory ideas about ethics
What are some of the more general and important principles of ethical research?
What is informed consent and what does it consist of?
What special attention should I give to the ethical concerns when children or special populations are involved and what should the parents or legal guardian know?
What are some examples of the most serious ethical lapses?
What is an institutional review board or IRB and how does it work?
What are the important elements of an IRB application?
Research methods : knowing the language, knowing the ideas
Why do all these questions and answers on research methods have any relevance for me?
I have so many ideas I want to study. how can I decide on which is best?
What is the scientific method and how does it work?
What is a null hypothesis and why is it important?
What is a research hypothesis and what are the different types?
What's similar, and what's different, about a null and research hypothesis?
How can I create a good research hypothesis?
What's the "gold standard" of research methods?
Can you help me understand which method best fits which type of question being asked?
What are the different types of variables and what are they used for?
What is an independent variable and how is it used in the research process?
What is a dependent variable and what does the researcher need to be careful about when selecting and using dependent variables?
What is the relationship between independent and dependent variables?
In an experiment, how does the notion of a control and experimental group fit into the scientific method?
Sampling ideas and issues
What's the difference between a sample and a population and why are samples important?
What is the purpose of sampling and what might go wrong during the process?
What is sampling error and why is it important?
What are some of the different types of sampling?
What is random sampling and why is it so useful?
How does stratified random sampling work and when should I use it?
How can I be sure that the sample of participants, who are part of a study, accurately represent a larger group of people for whom those results would be important?
I've heard quite a bit about the importance of sample size : what's that all about?
How big a sample is big enough?
How important is big?
Describing data using descriptive techniques
What are descriptive statistics and how are they are used?
What are measures of central tendency and how are they computed?
How do I decide whether to use the mean, mode or median as a measure of central tendency?
What are the most often used measures of variability and how are they computed?
How do i use the mean and the standard deviation to describe a set of data?
What is a normal curve and what are its characteristics?
If a distribution of scores is not normal (or not bell shaped) how can the ideas that inference is based on be applied?
What does it mean when a distribution is skewed?
I'm looking for a visual way to describe data : what are some of my choices?
What is a standard score and why is it important?
What are some of the more common standard scores and how are they used?
All about testing and measuring
There's a particular outcome that i want to measure but I have no idea where I can find out whether there are existing measures or not : where do I look to find suggestions as to what dependent variable I should use?
What are the different levels of measurement and how are they used?
What is reliability?
What are some of the different types of reliability and when are they used?
How are reliability coefficients interpreted?
What are some of the different types of validity and when are they used?
What is criterion validity and how do the two types of criterion validity, concurrent and predictive, differ?
What is the difference between a norm-referenced and a criterion-referenced test?
What is construct validity and why is the especially appropriate for establishing the validity of psychological tests?
How are different types of validity established?
How do reliability and validity work together?
How can I find out if a test is reliable and valid?
What are some of the different types of tests and how are they used?
When it comes to measuring attitude, what is the difference between a likert and a thurstone scale?