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Knowledge Claims, Use of Theory, Questions and Hypotheses, Survey, Sampling & Statistical Treatment

Prepared by John N. Abletis, PUP Department of

Research design process

Elements of inquiry
Alternative Knowledge Claims [Paradigms] Strategies of inquiry

Approaches to Research
Qualitative Quantitative Mixed Methods
Conceptualized by the researcher

Design Process of Research

Questions Theoretical lens Data collection Data analysis Write-up Validation


Translated into practice

Figure 1.1 Knowledge Claims, Strategies of Inquiry, and Methods Leading to Approaches and the Design Process (adapted from Creswell, 2003, p. 5) pre v


Focus the topic by describing it succinctly, drafting a working title.

Good, sound research projects begin with straightforward, uncomplicated thoughts, easily read and understood. Consider also whether the topic is


Source: Creswell, 1994, p.

Is the topic researchable?

Is the topic researchable, given time, resources, and availability of data? Is there a personal interest in the topic in order to sustain attention? Will results from the study be of interest to others (e.g., in the state, region, nation)? Is the topic likely to be publishable in a scholarly journal? Does the study (a) fill a void, (b) replicate, (c) extend, or (d) develop new ideas in the scholarly literature? Will the project contribute to career Source: Creswell, 1994, p. goals?


Select an overall paradigm (knowledge claims, approaches) for the study. Quantitative paradigm Qualitative paradigm Mixed-method

Identify a single research paradigm for the overall design of the study [because] using both paradigms can 1 be expensive, time-consuming, and
Source: Creswell, 1994, pp.

Paradigm (Knowledge claims)

Advances assumptions about the social world, how science should be conducted, and what constitutes legitimate problems, solutions, and criteria of proof As such, paradigms encompass both theories and methods.

Source: Creswell, 1994, p.

Quantitative and Qualitative Paradigm Assumptions

Ontological Assumption

is the nature of reality?

(Realism) (Constructivism)

Quantitative Qualitative

Reality is objective and singular, apart from the researcher.

Reality is subjective and multiple as seen by participants in a study

Epistemological Assumption

is the relationship of the researcher to that researched?



Researcher is independent from that being researched.



Researcher interacts with that being researched. Source: Creswell, 1994, p.

Quantitative and Qualitative Paradigm Assumptions

Axiological Assumption

is the role of values in research?


Value-free and unbiased.


Value-laden and biased.

Rhetorical Assumption

is the language of research?


Formal; based on set definitions; impersonal voice; use of accepted quantitative words Informal; evolving decisions [concepts, and definitions]; personal voice; accepted qualitative words Source: Creswell, 1994, p.


Quantitative and Qualitative Paradigm Assumptions

Methodological Assumption

is the process of research?


Deductive process; cause and effect; static design categories isolated before study; context-free; generalizations leading to prediction, explanation, and understanding; accurate and reliable through validity and reliability Inductive process; mutual simultaneous shaping of factors [dialectic, relational]; emerging designcategories identified during research process; context-bound; patterns, theories developed for understanding; accurate and reliable through verification
Source: Creswell, 1994, p.


The Wheel of Science

Theori es

Empirical Hypothes generalization es s Observation s

Source: Adapted from Walter Wallace. The Logic of Science in Sociology (Chicago: Aldine-Atherton, 1971). In Babbie, 1995, p. 55


How to choose a paradigm?

What composes your worldview? What knowledge claims are you comfortable with? How are you trained as a researcher? What are your experiences in research? Consider some psychological attributes in conducting research. What is the nature of the problem? Who will read your research? (Audience)
(Source: Creswell, 1994, pp. 8-10; Creswell, 2003, p. 21-23)

What purpose will be served and what will be accomplished by carrying out this study?

Alternative Knowledge Claim Positions

Determination Reductionism Empirical observation and measurement Theory verification Understanding Multiple participant meanings Social and historical construction Theory generation

Political Empowerment issue-oriented Collaborative Change-oriented

Consequences of actions Problem-centered Pluralistic Real-world practice oriented
Source: Creswell, 2003, p.

Methodological Positions in Sociology and Postmodern struggles around truth and knowledge
POSITIVIST Ontological Orientation OBJECTIVISMExternal World INTERPRETIV E



Epistemologi cal Orientation

EMPIRICISM ; Explanation is to prediction

Qualified Empiricism; interpretation over meanings

Rationalism; Explanation not equal to prediction; reality underlying world of appearance


Introspective/Int uitive construction; Intertextuality; Explanation impossible

Ethical Orientation

Value-freedom; Instrumentalist knowledge for technocratic

Demystification of knowledge claims and power positions Source: Handout of Cynthia B. Bautista for Socio 281, 1st sem,

Qualified valuefreedom

Key assumptions of Postpositivism

Knowledge is conjectural (and antifoundational)-absolute truth can never be found. Thus, evidence established in research is always imperfect and fallible. It is for these reason that researchers do not prove hypotheses and instead indicate a failure to reject. Research is the process of making claims and then refining or abandoning some of them for other claims more strongly warranted. Data, evidence, andPhilip & Burbules (2000) cited in Creswell, rational considerations Source:

Key assumptions in Postpositivism

Research seeks to develop relevant true statements, ones that can serve to explain the situation that is of concern or that describes the causal relationships of interest. Being objective is an essential aspect of competent inquiry researchers must examine methods and conclusions for bias standards of validity and reliability are important in quantitative research

Source: Philip & Burbules (2000) cited in Creswell, 2003,

Youre helping to clarify a largely undefined area.

You wish to measure and report some of the characteristics of a population or phenomena under consideration.

You wish to test hypotheses or make associations to answer the question why.

EXPLORATOR Y Qualitative

Quantitative/ Qualitative

EXPLANATOR Y Quantitative

Source: Bautista, 2010. Modified by J. Abletis to include research

Reasons for the Study


Select a strategy of inquiry within the paradigm selected.


Experiments Quasiexperiments
Correlational studies


MIXED METHODS Narratives Sequential Phenomenologie Concurrent s Transformative Ehtnographies Grounded Theory 2 Case Studies Source: Creswell, 2003, p.


Choose a method based on its degree of [specifying the type of information to be collected (in advance of the study or to allow it to emerge from participants in the project)], its use of closed-ended versus open-ended questioning, and its focus for numeric versus non-numerical data analysis.

3 Source: Creswell, 2003, p.

Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods Procedures

QUANTITATIVE Research Methods QUALITATIVE Research Methods MIXED METHODS Research Methods

Source: Creswell, 2003, p.

Predetermined Emerging methods Both Instrument based Open-ended predetermined questions questions and emerging Performance data, Interview data, methods attitude data, observation data, Both open-and observational document data, closed-ended data, and audiovisual questions and census data data Multiple forms of Statistical analysis Text and image data drawing on analysis all possibilities

In quantitative-postpositivist research, we usually begin our research journey with the help of a predetermined theory (created by someone else, or created by us as a product of our extensive review of related literatures). Our purpose is to test theories so that we reject them (or portions of them) if they fall short against our rigorous empirical and statistical standards, or fail to reject them yet do not accept them.

Theory defined

What is a theory?
A theory is a set of interrelated constructs (variables), definitions, and propositions [hypotheses] that presents a systematic view of phenomena by specifying relations among variables, with the purpose of explaining natural phenomena. (Kerlinger (1979) in Creswell, 2003, p. 120) A theory is a proposed explanation for a set of coordinated occurrences or relationships. Theories are logical arguments that try to make sense of empirical data. Theories are not fixed; they are probable explanations which we formulate and reformulate. The aim of science is to establish theories and then Source: Handout of C. Bautista, 2011, for Socio

Forms of theory presentation in Quantitative Research

Theories presented in the form of interconnected hypotheses. E.g. Hopkins (1964, p. 51)


3. 4.

5. 6.

The higher her rank, the greater her centrality. The greater his centrality, the greater his observability. The higher her rank, the greater her observability. The greater his centrality, the greater his conformity. The higher her rank, the greater her conformity. The greater his observability, the greater his

Source: Creswell, 2003, pp. 121-

Forms of theory presentation in Quantitative Research

Theories presented as a series of if then statements. E.g. Homans (1950, pp. 112, 118, 120)

the frequency of interaction between two or more persons increases, the degree of their liking for one another will increase, and vice versa persons who feel sentiments of liking for one another will express those sentiments in activities over and above the activities of the external system, and these activities may further strengthen the sentiments of liking. The more frequently persons interact with one another, the more alike in some respects both their activities

Source: Creswell, 2003, p. 122

Forms of theory presentation in Quantitative Research

Theory presented as a visual model. E.g.

X1 X2 X3

+ +

Y1 + Y2 + Z1
Dependent variables

Intervening variables

Independent variables

Source: Creswell, 2003, p. 122

The Use of Theory in Quantitative Research


Researcher Tests or Verifies a Theory

Researcher Tests Hypotheses or Research Questions from the Theory

Researcher Defines and Operationalizes Variables Derived from the Theory

Researcher Measures or Observes Variables Using an Instrument to Obtain Scores

Hypothesis Construction

Theoretical proposition is an empirically falsifiable, abstract statement about reality.

The greater the self actualization the greater the life satisfaction.

Hypothesis is a falsifiable, specific statement about reality that follows from a theoretical proposition.

The greater the self-esteem, the greater the marital satisfaction.

One can test just two variables at a time.

An apparent exception to this rule is a hypothesis of the form, The theory fits the data. This form is common to advance data analysis such as multiple regression or structural equation modeling. (source: Bautista, 2011)

Hypotheses are predictions the researcher holds

Null and Research Hypotheses

Null (H0)

null hypothesis is the one tested.


null is tested in recognition that no claim about reality can be tested directly. One can only falsify the null to lend support to the research hypothesis.

Research (Alternative, Ha)


research hypothesis is the statement about reality to be assessed through analysis of quantitative or qualitative data. This is the claim made by the theory.
(source: Bautista, 2011)

Formatting Hypotheses

Quantitative and Qualitative Data


suggestions offered here generally imply the use of quantitative data, either collected as such or derived from qualitative data. Certainly, hypotheses can be tested using qualitative data.

example, a researcher might claim, after conducting many in-depth interviews with married persons, I conclude that the greater the selfesteem the greater the marital satisfaction, wherein both variables were measured as qualitative impressions.

(Source: Bautista, 2011

Formatting Hypotheses

Both X and Y are Continuous Level Data


greater the x, the greater the y. The greater the x, the less the y. Among x, the less the x, the greater the y.

The continuous level of measurement for both variables is implied by the terms greater and less. Null: There is no relationship between x and y.

(Source: Bautista, 2011

Formatting Hypotheses

One Categorical and One Continuous Variable.


x1 will have a higher/lower score on y than category x2. Males will score higher on self-esteem than will females.

Null: There is no relationship between x and y.

(Source: Bautista,

Formatting Hypotheses

Both X and Y are Categorical-Level Data


x1 will be more likely to have characteristic y1 than will category x2.

are more likely to be satisfied in marriage than are females. Y has two categories: satisfied and not satisfied.

Null: There is no relationship between x and y.

(Source: Bautista,

Statistical Hypotheses

hypotheses = no relationship, no association, 0 change


H0 = 12=0 ; 1=2 ; 12=0 ; 1=2 ; = 0; = 0; = 0 H0 = independent (for 2)


hypotheses = statistical relationship/ difference is significant

Hypotheses H1 = 12 0 ; 1 2; 12 0; 1 2 ; 0 ; 0; 0 H1 = associated (for 2) Directional Hypotheses H1 = 12 > 0 ; 1> 2 ; 1< 2; > 0; < 0; > 0; < 0
pre v

Five elements of a Statistical Significance Test


Type of data, form of population, method of sampling, sample size

Null Hypothesis Alternative Hypothesis Researcher set the level of significance () Compares point estimate to null hypothesized parameter value Weight of evidence about H0; smaller P is more contradictory to H0


Test Statistic (z for means and proportions, y, r etc.)



Source: Agresti & Finlay, 1997, p. 15

Type I and Type II Error in Hypothesis Testing

Decision Reject H0 Condition of H0 H0 true H0 false Type 1 error Correct decision Do not reject H0 Correct decision Type 2 error

The probability of Type 1error and the probability of Type 2 error are inversely related. The smaller the -level and hence the probability of Type 1error, the larger the probability of Type 2 error. For a fixed probability of Type 1 error, we can decrease the probability of Type 2 error by selecting a large sample [because by doing so, the spread of the sampling distribution of H0 will become slim] To keep both the probabilities of Type 1 and Type 2 errors at low levels, it may be necessary to use a very large sample size.

Source: Agresti & Finlay, 1997, pp. 175-17

Introduction to Multivariate Relationships

A relationship must satisfy three criteria to be considered a causal one. Association between the variables

(chi-square, phi-value, Cramers-V,

lambda) Ordinal (gamma) Interval (pearsons correlation) Ratio (pearsons correlation)


appropriate time order X Y The elimination of alternative explanations

Source: Agresti & Finlay, 1997, p. 357

Measures of Association and Levels of Measurement

Independent Variable Nominal Ordinal Interval/Rati o Crosstabs Crosstabs Chi-square Chi-square Lambda Lambda Crosstabs Crosstabs Chi-square Chi-square Lambda Lambda Gamma Kendalls tau Sommers d Means Means Correlate t- test t-test Pearson r ANOVA (F) ANOVA (F) Regression Source: Peter Nardi in Babbie, 2001, p. (R)


Dependen t Variable


Interval/ Ratio

Alternative Explanations

Spurious Associations

Variables X1 and Y are dependent on a third variable X2. Hence, association between X1 and Y is not true (spurious) since they are only related because of the effect of X2. Their association disappears when X2 is controlled. X1 X2

Chain Relationships

between X1 and Y disappears when we control for X2 because the latter intervenes in the previously hypothesized relationship. X1 X2 Y

Source: Agresti & Finlay, 199

Alternative Explanations

Multiple causation

between X1 and Y does not change with the introduction of a third variable, X2.

X1 Y

X1 Y X2

X2 Statistical Interaction

Both direct and indirect effects ofX1on Y. Association between X1 and Y changes, but does not disappear.

between X1 and Y changes with the introduction of a third variable, X2.



Source: Agresti & Finlay, 1997


Characteristics or attribute of an individual or an organization that can be measured or observed and that varies among the people or organization being studied.
variable (x)X Z Dependent variable (y) Intervening or mediating variable (z) Control variable Confounding or spurious variable Suppressor variable

Source: Creswell, 2003, pp. 93-9


Level of measurement of variables Nominal (qualitative, categorical, discrete) Ordinal (qualitative, categorical, discrete) Interval-Ratio (quantitative, continuous, discrete)
The types of variables involved in a hypothesis will determine what kind of statistical treatment we will use in testing the said hypothesis.


We will now turn to the process of constructing your instrument (questionnaire) How will you measure your variables?

Socioeconomic Status (SES) E.g. Sex

What are your indicators?


Family monthly income, type of housing, savings, properties, etc. E.g. Male, female

Index and Scale construction (and Question wording)

The Sampling Design

Get data from your respondents (sample). Criteria in Selecting a Sample


be representative of the population Should provide precise estimates of the population characteristics The cost should be small The results should be available as fast as possible

(Source: Bautista,

Probability Sampling Design

Simple Random Sampling Systematic Random Sampling Stratified Sampling (to homogenize samples through

Cluster Sampling (done when a frame is not available,

should be heterogeneous)

Multi-stage sampling (two-stage and three-stage



Agresti, A. & Finlay, B. (1997). Statistics for the Social Sciences, 3rd ed., NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. Babbie, E., Halley, F. & Zaino, J. (2007). Adventure in Social Research: Data Analysis Using SPSS 14.0 & 15.0 for Windows, 6th ed., CA: Pine Forge Press Babbie, E. (2001). The Practice of Social Research, 9th ed., Stanford: Wadsworth Thompson Learning, Inc. Babbie, E. (1995). The Practice of Social Research, 7th ed., CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company Bautista, C. (2010). Handouts for Socio 281, 1st sem, SY 20102011, Diliman, QC: University of the Philippines (unpublished materials) Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, 2nd ed., CA: Sage Publications Inc. Creswell, J. (1994). Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative ApproachesI, CA: Sage Publications Inc.