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Research Design and Validity

1. The Dean is hanging his head in shame. He realizes his failings in designing an adequate research design to assess the effects of the move on majors and has revised the proposal. Unfortunately, the word processor used (WordImperfect) has scrambled the text and he needs help in correcting the text. In the paragraphs below, he has summarized his proposal and has identified pairs of concepts through which he wants to defend it. When you come to a concept pair (they are numbered and bolded in the text below), select the correct one of the two and enter the answer on the answer form below (20 points).

My research proposal is to look at the effects of the recent move from the Chestnut building to the new, spacious, and grandiose renovated building. My concern is limited to Communication major since I consider them my "clients" and am not concerned with generalizing my findings to other students. This demonstrates that (1) construct validity/external validity is not a high priority in this case.

I want to be able to assert that the physical environment of the faculty and staff plays a role in determining satisfaction levels of majors. To avoid (2) mono-operation bias/Z scores I am going to use three survey questions to look at satisfaction with (a) faculty accessibility (b) staff accessibility and (c) student interaction before and after the move. These three questions will act as (3) sample spaces/indicators of my variable of interest. This definition of the dependent variable highlights the importance of (4) multiple measures/subjective meaning in terms of practical measurement.

As a proposed design, I am going to compare survey responses from four groups of students: majors in January of 1995 and again in January of 2000. As a (5) comparison group/treatment group, I intend to look at the same questionnaire to a randomly selected group of Communication majors at Temple University done the same years. My concern with administering both questionnaires at the same time is that I want the two groups to have a (6) specific sameness/generalized sameness in terms of (7) biography/history. In addition, since I will use the same questionnaire, there can be no threat to validity due to (8) instrumentation/social contamination. Of course, since I cannot randomly (9) assign/sample students to different move statuses, a (10) true experiment/quasi experiment is out of the question. Thus, it may be impossible to have two groups that reflect (11) generalized sameness/specific sameness.

When I analyze my data, I will look for differences in satisfaction using my measures, hoping to find larger changes in the Communication group at Penn than for Temple students, changes that are not due to chance. If I find this, I will be confident that the data are high in (12) construct validity/statistical conclusion validity, and then I can further explore the data for (13) modifiability/causal relations. Ultimately, I want to predict satisfaction levels of incoming majors on the basis of their scores on the predictors. Naturally, there will be some error in these predictions, but the (14) signal-noise ratio/residuals can be kept small with careful analysis. Then my analysis will estimate the unobserved (15) components/parameters of satisfaction with low (16) errors/spuriousness.

I expect some skepticism from my colleagues (especially Hennessy). Although I assert that the move is the causal agent, and I have proposed a design that is high in (17) internal validity/multiple measures exactly to investigate the effects of the move, critics might offer other reasons why satisfaction changed more for students at Penn than for Temple students. But these (18) counterfactuals/alternative explanations are just too implausible for me to believe. For example, even if Penn did change its student selection procedures since 1995, I don't see how this possible (19) causal agent/hyper-effect can have any effect on satisfaction. It's just too inconsistent with my (20) statistical inferences/prior beliefs. I mean, it's really hard to change the attitudes of Communication majors. After all, I've been trying for years without success.

Solution Preview

Please see response attached for highlighted correct answers (which is also presented below). I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

Hi, Let's take a look at these questions. I trust that they are not a part of take home exam or assignment. I highlighted the best answer in red and also provided a link for further understanding:

1. The Dean is hanging his head in shame. He realizes his failings in designing an adequate research design to assess the effects of the move on majors and has revised the proposal. Unfortunately, the word processor used (WordImperfect) has scrambled the text and he needs help in correcting the text. In the paragraphs below, he has summarized his proposal and has identified pairs of concepts through which he wants to defend it. When you come to a concept pair (they are numbered and bolded in the text below), select the correct one of the two and enter the answer on the answer form below (20 points).

My research proposal is to look at the effects of the recent move from the Chestnut building to the new, spacious, and grandiose renovated building. My concern is limited to Communication major since I consider them my "clients" and am not concerned with generalizing my findings to other students. This demonstrates that (1) construct validity/external validity (http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&lr=&oi=defmore&defl=en&q=define:External+Validity) is not a high priority in this case. ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides the correct answers for multiple choice questions embedded within the research design scenario presented.

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