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UNIT 1.3

What is Research Design?

A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure.
Research Design Constitutes Decisions like: What, Where, When, How, How much

Need for Research Design:

It facilitates the smooth flow of various research processes. It would result in more accurate results with minimum usage of time, effort and money

Dependent variable:
variable is dependent on the result of other variable.

Independent Variable:
variable that is not dependent on any other variable.

Extraneous Variable:
are independent variable that are not directly linked, but affect the dependent variable.

Concepts: contd

devised to minimize the effects of Extraneous Variables.

Confounded Relationship:
relationship between dependent and independent variables when affected by extraneous variable.

Research Hypothesis:
Predicted statement that relates an independent and dependent variable.

Experimental Hypothesis testing research:

Research in which independent variable is manipulated.

Concepts: contd

Non-Experimental Hypothesis testing research:

Research in which independent variable is not manipulated.

Experimental Group:

when the group is exposed to some novel or special conditions.

Concepts: contd

Control Groups:
when the research group is exposed to the usual conditions.

different conditions under which experimental and control groups are put.

process of examining the truth of a statistical hypothesis , relating to some research problem.

Different Research Designs:

Exploratory Descriptive Diagnostic Experimental

Exploratory research is most commonly unstructured, informal research that is undertaken to gain background information about the general nature of the research problem. Exploratory research is usually conducted when the researcher does not know much about the problem and needs additional information or desires new or more recent information.

Exploratory Design:

Exploratory Design: Contd

Exploratory research is used in a number of situations:

To gain background information To define terms To clarify problems and hypotheses To establish research priorities

Exploratory Design: Contd

A variety of methods are available to conduct exploratory research:

Secondary Data Analysis Experience Surveys Case Analysis Focus Groups

Descriptive Design:
Descriptive research is undertaken to provide answers to questions of who, what, where, when, and how but not why. Two basic classifications:
Cross-sectional studies Longitudinal studies

Cross-sectional studies measure units from a sample of the population at only one point

Descriptive Design: Contd

in time.

Sample surveys are cross-sectional studies whose samples are drawn in such a way as to be representative of a specific population. On-line survey research is being used to collect data for cross-sectional surveys at a faster rate of speed.

Descriptive Design: Contd

Longitudinal studies repeatedly draw sample units of a population over time. One method is to draw different units from the same sampling frame. A second method is to use a panel where the same people are asked to respond periodically. On-line survey research firms recruit panel members to respond to online queries.

Diagnostic research determines the frequency with which something occurs or its association with something else. Example: studies concerned with specific prediction, with narration of facts and characteristics concerning individuals or group or situation.

Prof. R.A. Fisher agricultural research Also called Hypothesis testing Research. These are those where the researcher tests the hypothesis of causal relationships between variables.


1. Principle of Replication: Experiment should be repeated. Each treatment is applied in many experimental units instead of one. Advantage: Increases accuracy and reliability Disadvantage: difficult to compute.

Basic Principles

2. Principle of Randomization: Research should be designed so that the variations caused by extraneous factor can all be combined under the general heading of Chance

3. Principle of Local Control: The extraneous variable, the source of variability, is made to vary deliberately over a wide range. Reason: the variability it causes can be measured & eliminated from the experimental error.

Important Experimental Designs

Informal Experimental Design

Before-and-after without control design:
= level of phenomenon after the treatmentlevel of phenomenon before the treatment. After-only with control design: value of dependent variable in the test area-value of dependent variable in the controlled area.

Before-and-after with control design:

change in dependent variable in the test areachange in dependent variable in the controlled area.

Formal Experimental Designs

Completely randomized design Randomized block design Latin square design Factorial design

Assignment Questions
Q.1 Explain the meaning & significance of a research design? Q.2 Short notes on the concepts? Q.3 Research design in exploratory studies, but in descriptive studies, it must minimize bias and maximize reliability. Discuss?