Chapter 2: Research Design

According to William M. K. Trochim (2006), “The research design refers to the overall strategy that you choose to integrate the different components of the study in a coherent and logical way, thereby, ensuring you will effectively address the research problem; it constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement, and analysis of data. Note that your research problem determines the type of design you can use, not the other way around.”

Following Trochim’s strategy, the book is organized into the following seven steps:
1. Understand the nature of the problem.
2. Decide what to measure and how to measure the research question.
3. Collect the data.
4. Analyze the data.
5. Conduct formal data analysis.
6. Visualize.
7. Create a final written summary.

This research process also relies on theory. A theory is the explanation of the relationship that has been observed and the attributes of the individuals or groups who are being observed.

A research problem statement consists of three parts: 1) the ideal, 2) the reality, and 3) the consequences for the reader of the feasibility report.

A hypothesis is a specific, testable prediction about what you expect to happen in your study.  A hypothesis statement is concerned with the relationship between the variables you have selected to examine.

A variable is a characteristic under study that may assume different values for different elements. For example, income, age, and weight are common variables in human research subjects. Variables can also be classified by type.

In order to back up your hypothesis results, you test them against the opposite situation, also known as the null hypothesis. This asserts that things you tested are not related and that your results are not a product of random chance events.

Next, Chapter 3, Data (Types and Collection Methods)
Previous, Chapter 1, Introduction


A Primer for Using Open Source R Software for Accessibility and Visualization