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The Nature and Purpose of Research

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What is the research question? ... Example: theory of obesity ... Naturalistic paradigm (rely on extensive observations and natural settings) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Nature and Purpose of Research


1
The Nature and Purpose of Research
2
  • Statement
  • HNU professionals greatly influenced by
    research.
  • Difference between profession versus research?

3
Profession
  • The pursuit of knowledge and its dissemination
    is a unique characteristic of a profession.
  • …whereas…

4
Research
  • Basis for advancing the body of knowledge of a
    profession.
  • Systematic attempt to provide answers to
    questions.
  • Systematic and objective analysis and recording
    of controlled observations… may lead to
    generalizations, principles, or theories.
  • Systematic way of asking questions

5
Research
  • Research is a careful inquiry or examination to
    discover new information or relationships and to
    expand and verify existing knowledge.
  • The search for truth!

6
Deductive Reasoning
  • Uses logic that moves from general to specific
  • Enables the researcher to
  • organize and synthesize available information
  • theorize about the problem
  • deduce hypotheses to be tested by the research.

7
Example
  • All prime ministers are mortal. Stephen Harper
    is a prime minister. Therefore, Stephen Harper
    is mortal…
  • In other words, two ideas form the basis for the
    conclusion…if the relationship between the two is
    true, then the conclusion is true. But, if
    either is false…the conclusion is also false.

8
  • Problem… we have to accept the information
    contained in the premises as being true without
    really knowing that it is true.
  • Example
  • All heavy cigarette smokers die from cancer.
    John smokes six packages of cigarettes a day.
    Therefore, John will die of cancer.
  • ???

9
Inductive Reasoning
  • Uses logic that moves from the specific to
    general
  • Fundamental principle of scientific method, based
    upon observations of a small group,
    generalizations are made to a larger population.
  • Basic principle of scientific inquiry based on
    seeking facts.

10
Strong and weak induction
  • Strong induction
  • All observed crows are black. Therefore, all
    crows are black.
  • Weak inductions
  • I always hang pictures on nails. Therefore, all
    pictures hang from nails.
  • Teenagers are given many speeding tickets.
    Therefore, all teenagers speed.

11
  • Deductive Every mammal has lungs. All rabbits
    are mammals. Therefore, every rabbit has lungs.
  • Inductive Every rabbit that has been observed
    has lungs. Therefore, every rabbit has lungs.

12
The Scientific Method
  • Definition a way of solving problems and
    acquiring knowledge that involves both deductive
    and inductive reasoning in a systematic approach
    to obtaining data.

13
Stages of the Scientific Method
Question Identified
Hypothesis Formed
Research Plan
Data Collected
Results Analyzed
New Questions Arise
Conclusions
14
Identifying the question
  • What is the research question?
  • admitting a question needs to be answered
    insufficient knowledge.
  • research question becomes the central focus of
    the research effort.

15
Formulating a hypothesis
  • Hypothesis a belief, hunch, or prediction of the
    eventual outcome of the research.

16
Developing a research plan
  • Gathering and analyzing the information that is
    required to test the hypothesis.
  • - researcher will design a plan to test,
    measure, weigh, experiment, or observe the
    phenomena of interest to be able the answer the
    research question.

17
Collecting and analyzing data
  • Research is implemented and data collected.
  • - could be testing, observing, conducting an
    interview…whatever is required when you planned
    the experiment.
  • - analyzed the data either analyzed
    statistically (quantitative) or coding and
    categorization the data (qualitative).

18
Interpreting results and forming conclusions
  • Researcher attempts to interpret and make
    meaningful conclusions.
  • - accept or reject the hypothesis?
  • - what does it all mean???
  • - conclusions attempts to provide an explanation
    of the result.

19
Science, Theory, and Research
20
Theory
  • Integration of many facts into the explanation of
    a phenomenon
  • Example theory of obesity

21
  • A theory establishes a cause and effect
    relationship between variables for the purpose of
    explaining and predicting phenomena (Best Kahn,
    1998)

22
Types of Research
  • Basic vs. Applied
  • Field vs. Lab
  • Quantitative vs. Qualitative
  • Experimental Research vs. Nonexperimental
    Research

23
Basic Research
  • Purpose is to discover new or fundamental
    knowledge.
  • Practical application is NOT a goal.
  • Usually in highly controlled laboratory settings.
  • Example physics researcher, subatomic particles

24
Applied Research
  • Purpose is to find answers to practical problems.
  • Practical in nature . . . common in Human
    Nutrition.
  • Inferences or generalizations are made to the
    intended population.

25
Location of research
  • Field research is done outside the tightly
    controlled environment of the laboratory.
    Location school, classroom, gymnasium, park,
    hospital, or any location in the real world.
  • Laboratory research is conducted under more
    sterile conditions, which allow researchers to
    exert tighter control over an experiment.

26
Quantitative Research
  • Designed for the collection and analysis of
    numerical data
  • Traditional model of research
  • Hypothesis directed
  • Research procedures
  • Controlling extraneous factors
  • Large sample size
  • Analyzed statistically
  • Seeking generalizations

27
Qualitative Research
  • Naturalistic paradigm (rely on extensive
    observations and natural settings)
  • Reliance on qualitative, non-numerical data
  • More subjective approach
  • Variety of methodologies
  • in depth interviews
  • direct observation
  • Situational specific, little generalizability

28
Experimental Research Vs. Nonexperimental
Research
29
Experimental Research
  • The purpose of experimental research is to
    investigate cause-and-effect relationships by
    manipulating certain variables to determine their
    effect on another variable attempts to
    establish causality.

30
Examples of causality
  • The presence of heat causes water to boil.
  • A good blow to the arm causes a bruise.
  • My pushing of the accelerator caused the car to
    go faster.

31
…Experimental Research
  • manipulation of independent variable
  • control of extraneous variables is vital
  • often uses a control group
  • often uses randomization procedures
  • major limitation is often unnatural environment,
    thus limiting generalizability

32
Non-Experimental Research
  • Tends to observe, analyze, and describe what
    exists rather than manipulating the variable
    under study
  • Lack of control is often cited as a limitation
  • Various types of non-experimental research (1)
    Causal-comparative, (2) Descriptive, (3)
    Correlational, (4) Historical

33
Casual-Comparative Research
  • Seeks to investigate cause-and-effect
    relationships similar to experimental research
  • However, researcher cannot manipulate the
    independent variable because it is something the
    subject already has
  • Example Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Medical condition

34
Descriptive Research
  • Seeks to describe specific phenomena or
    characteristics of a particular group of subjects
  • Answers the question what is
  • No manipulation of an independent variable

35
  • Wide range of methodologies
  • Surveys
  • Direct measurement
  • Observation
  • Interviews

36
Correlational Research
  • Seeks to determine whether, and to what extent, a
    relationship exists between two or more variables
  • No manipulation of an independent variable
  • May be descriptive or predictive in nature
  • Cannot establish causality

37
Historical Research
  • Seeks to explore events and information from the
    past in order to provide a better understanding
    of the present with implications for the future
  • Answers the question what was
  • Limited to synthesis and interpretation of data
    that already exists

38
The Significance of Research in Nutrition
39
Research is just another way of looking at the
problems.
  • Can help broaden the knowledge and improve the
    practice a tool that nutrition cant do without.
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