In scientific research, scientists, technicians and researchers utilize a variety of methods and variables when conducting their experiments.
In simple terms, a variable represents a measurable attribute that changes or varies across the experiment whether comparing results between multiple groups, multiple people or even when using a single person in an experiment conducted over time. In all, there are six common variable types. Variables represents the measurable traits that can change over the course of a scientific experiment.
In all there are six basic drug bust in atlanta 2018 types: dependent, independent, intervening, moderator, controlled and extraneous variables. In general, experiments purposefully change one variable, which is the independent variable. But a variable that changes in direct response to the independent variable is the dependent variable. The change in an ice cube's position represents the independent variable.
The result of whether the ice cube melts or not is the dependent variable. Intervening variables link the independent and dependent variables, but as abstract processes, they are not directly observable during the experiment. For example, if studying the use of a specific teaching technique for its effectiveness, the technique represents the independent variable, while the completion of the technique's objectives by the study participants represents the dependent variable, while the actual processes used internally by the students to learn the subject matter represents the intervening variables.
By modifying the effect of the intervening variables -- the unseen processes -- moderator variables influence the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Researchers measure moderator variables and take them into consideration during the experiment.
Sometimes certain characteristics of the objects under scrutiny are deliberately left unchanged. These are known as constant or controlled variables. In the ice cube experiment, one constant or controllable variable could be the size and shape of the cube.
By keeping the ice cubes' sizes and shapes the same, it's easier to measure the differences between the cubes as they melt after shifting their positions, as they all started out as the same size.
A well-designed experiment eliminates as many unmeasured extraneous variables as possible. This makes it easier to observe the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. These extraneous variables, also known as unforeseen factors, can affect the interpretation of experimental results.
Lurking variables, as a subset of extraneous variables represent the unforeseen factors in the experiment. Another type of lurking variable includes the confounding variable, which can render the results of the experiment useless or invalid. Sometimes a confounding variable could be a variable not previously considered. For example, say the surface chosen to conduct the ice-cube experiment was on a salted road, but the experimenters did not realize the salt was there and sprinkled unevenly, causing some ice cubes to melt faster.
2.1 Basic Concepts
Because the salt affected the experiment's results, it's both a lurking variable and a confounding variable. Mariecor Agravante earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Gonzaga University and has completed graduate work in Organizational Leadership.
About the Author. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd.Before we address where research questions in psychology come from—and what makes them more or less interesting—it is important to understand the kinds of questions that researchers in psychology typically ask. This requires a quick introduction to several basic concepts, many of which we will return to in more detail later in the book.
Research questions in psychology are about variables. A variable is a quantity or quality that varies across people or situations. For example, the height of the students in a psychology class is a variable because it varies from student to student. The sex of the students is also a variable as long as there are both male and female students in the class.
A quantitative variable is a quantity, such as height, that is typically measured by assigning a number to each individual. A categorical variable is a quality, such as sex, and is typically measured by assigning a category label to each individual.
Researchers in psychology are usually interested in drawing conclusions about some very large group of people. This is called the population. It could be American teenagers, children with autism, professional athletes, or even just human beings—depending on the interests and goals of the researcher. But they usually study only a small subset or sample of the population.
For example, a researcher might measure the talkativeness of a few hundred college students with the intention of drawing conclusions about the talkativeness of men and women in general. It is important, therefore, for researchers to use a representative sample—one that is similar to the population in important respects. One method of obtaining a sample is simple random sampling, in which every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected for the sample.
For example, a pollster could start with a list of all the registered voters in a city the populationrandomly select of them from the list the sampleand ask those whom they intended to vote for. Unfortunately, random sampling is difficult or impossible in most psychological research because the populations are less clearly defined than the registered voters in a city. How could a researcher give all American teenagers or all children with autism an equal chance of being selected for a sample?
The most common alternative to random sampling is convenience sampling, in which the sample consists of individuals who happen to be nearby and willing to participate such as introductory psychology students.
The obvious problem with convenience sampling is that the sample might not be representative of the population. Once the sample is selected, researchers need to measure the variables they are interested in.
This requires an operational definition —a definition of the variable in terms of precisely how it is to be measured. Most variables can be operationally defined in many different ways. When a variable has been measured for a particular individual, the result is called a score, and a set of scores is called data.
Some research questions in psychology are about one variable. How talkative are American college students? How common is it for people to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder?
Answering such questions requires operationally defining the variable, measuring it for a sample, analyzing the results, and drawing conclusions about the population. For a quantitative variable, this would typically involve computing the mean and standard deviation of the scores.
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For a categorical variable, it would typically involve computing the percentage of scores at each level of the variable. However, research questions in psychology are more likely to be about statistical relationships between variables. There is a statistical relationship between two variables when the average score on one differs systematically across the levels of the other.High quality quantitative dissertations are able to clearly bring together theoryconstructs and variables.
Broadly speaking, constructs are the building blocks of theorieshelping to explain how and why certain phenomena behave the way that they do. During the dissertation process you will need to clearly and precisely explain the theories, constructs, and variables that you are interested in, as well as explain the relationship between them.
In this article, we focus on constructs. We explain a what constructs are, b the use of theoretical or nominal definitions to express the meaning of constructs, and c the need to create operational definition from constructs so that they can be measured. Each of these aspects of constructs is discussed in turn:. The table below provides some examples of these different types of constructs:. The examples above highlight a desire to capture what we mean about something through the use of just a few words often only one or two words.
Take the following examples:. We often refer to constructs as mental abstractions because seldom are constructs directly observable e. Since constructs are very broad and abstractconceptual clarity has become one of the cornerstones of good research.
Constructs vary significantly in their complexity. By complexitywe mean the relative difficulty that people have understanding and measuring i.
A Guide to Concept Analysis
We know that the construct, sexhas just two attributes in humans: male and female. If we choose to include the construct, sexin our research, this would be relatively easy to justify. After all, most people would associate the construct, sexas referring to males or females. Some constructs that we think we understand, and that we think the reader will understand, can be more complex than we first thought. For example, take gender.
You often see students include the construct, genderin questionnaires, giving respondents just two options i. This is because the constructs of sex and gender are often used interchangeably. But social scientists would argue that gender is a more complex construct, including additional attributes to just male and female ; perhaps including bisexualhomosexualtranssexualand so forth.
In reality, a significant proportion of constructs are of the more complex type. This difference in complexity raises two issues: 1 the need to explain to the reader what you mean when you use a particular construct; and 2 the fact that a construct can have more than one meaning, highlighting the importance of explaining what the construct means to you.
Constructs provide a common language and shared meaning that help us to communicate about things clearly and precisely. Imagine a discussion about marriagehaving to continuously explain terms such as divorcecivil partnershipslovesexintimacyreligionsanctitycohabitationengagementand so forth. Imagine a debate about faminewithout knowing the meaning of other constructs such as starvationdroughtpovertydisaster relieffood supplysurvivalnutritionaidand so forth.
Without a clear and precise way of explaining what these constructs mean, we would struggle to communicate to our audience. Constructs often lack clarity and precision ; they are ambiguous. Sometimes in undergraduate and master?Join NursingCenter to get uninterrupted access to this Article.
For the clinical nurse specialist CNS engaged in research or evidence-based practice EBPa concept analysis can provide guidance when a concept of interest does not have sufficient literature, is vaguely defined, or is not understood clearly or when literature and research do not match.
There are several approaches to a concept analysis including, but not limited to, the approaches by Chinn and Jacobs, 2 Walker and Avant, 3 Rodgers, 4 and Sartori. A concept represents a symbol or a building block of a bigger spectrum; it is the basis of what the researcher wants to pursue. Research is a methodical and rigorous inquiry, which provides answers to questions surrounding phenomena. A concept analysis can be defined as the dissection of a concept into simpler elements to promote clarity while providing mutual understanding within nursing.
A concept analysis can elucidate the meaning of the concept in current use, which can contribute to the future development of the concept. Rodgers 4 offered a method of concept analysis referred to as an evolutionary view of concepts, which "addresses contemporary concerns valuing dynamism and interrelationships within reality. Because concepts for analysis are sometimes vague or confusing to the CNS researcher, simply using 1 definition would be insufficient to the researcher.
All associated conceptual descriptions must be uncovered for the CNS researcher to clearly understand the depth of a concept. Rodgers' 4 approach to concept analysis includes 7 phases, which can be carried out simultaneously and not necessarily in a linear manner.
However, for clarity, these phases are described linearly. The Table delineates these phases and provides an example of an abbreviated concept analysis. To begin the dissection of the identified concept of interest, the CNS researcher must begin with the meaning to nursing. An initial review of the literature provides insight into an elusive concept because the researcher can discover what is known, not known, or confusing about a concept.
Empathy was chosen as the concept of interest to illustrate the process of concept analysis. Empathy is considered to be at the heart of nursing as a part of caring. One definition says that "an empathetic nurse is sensitive to the patient's feelings and problems, but remains objective enough to help the patient work to attain positive outcomes.
For example, when facing potential loss of a loved one, the CNS understands and is sensitive to the fears of losing a loved one. Clinical nurse specialists recognize and acknowledge the feelings of helplessness in a family member and tailor care to reflect these empathetic feelings.
Through this display of empathy, the CNS builds trust with patients and families while building a deeper therapeutic relationship. The dissection of the meaning of the concept will identify surrogate terms. Again, the initial review of literature provides clarity to the researcher because additional terms are sought. Relevant uses for the concept will also surface.
Surrogate terms found in the literature for empathy include caring, sensitive, recognition, awareness, intention, communication, understanding, acknowledgement of feelings, helping attitude, and trusting and therapeutic relationship. To identify an appropriate realm sample for data collection, an in-depth review of literature on the concept identifies potential realms in nursing and other healthcare fields.
The key words, which are the identified surrogate terms, should be used for the search. Initially, a multitude of articles may be available on the concept using the identified terms or combinations of terms.
The CNS researcher must appraise each article critically to explore and develop the concept. Answers to these analytic questions also reveal to the researcher what is known and unknown about the concept. For this example, the review of literature was performed in PubMed using the following search terms: empathy and the millennial because this analysis was undertaken by a CNS student representing this demographicempathy and healthcare, and empathy and CNS students.
After a critical appraisal of the literature, confusion, ambiguities, and in consistencies with the concept of empathy became apparent.Most research topics start out as a general and often vague idea that a researcher has an interest in investigating. Inexperienced researchers, including most doctoral learners, frequently think of topics that are quite interesting, but not narrowly enough focused for a dissertation.
This tutorial will guide you through a set of steps designed to help you come up with a topic, first of all, and secondly to focus it more tightly so that you can begin a meaningful and successful search of the existing literature to discover whether your topic is actually researchable.
This tutorial's primary objective is to prepare you to create a successful research topic that may become the topic of your dissertation.
To do that, we'll work through the following issues:. Obviously, in Track 1 you are at the beginning of your studies toward the doctorate, and perhaps your dissertation is far from your thoughts. We are starting the process now, however, because our experience has been that when learners wait to start searching for their topics, it often creates a serious problem for them when they actually start the dissertation.
That problem can take many forms, but the most common one is that they have not had sufficient time and training in exhaustively searching the relevant literature to discover whether the topic they are interested in is even viable—and without a good topic statement, a good literature search is impossible.
So let's begin. A research topic is an area of interest to a researcher that is first of all, researchable. It is focused narrowly enough that its key concepts are quite plain and well integrated.
It is a topic or subject that can be found in the existing literature of the researcher's field, which shows that it is of some interest or importance to that field, and has some important characteristics.
The first mark of a well-formed topic is that it clearly states the key concepts to be investigated. Sometimes, only one concept is named—those studies often turn out to be qualitative, but not always. More often, two or more key concepts are named. Next, it identifies the relationship or relationships among those concepts that the researcher intends to explore. Obviously, if only one concept was named, there won't be a relationship, but in that case a word like "describes" or "experiences" will give a clue to the kind of information desired.
Third, a research topic specifies the population of interest to be investigated. Finally, a research topic is just a phrase. That is, it is not a full sentence with a verb. However, the well-formed topic statement will embed the actual topic in a complete sentence. Let's look at some examples. You can see immediately that all six examples, taken from the four schools in Capella University, are phrases, not complete sentences.
So far, so good.This guide is designed to help you through a research assignment from start to finish. The numbered tabs above represent steps in the research process. Other tabs provide information good researchers should know.
If you have any questions you can always contact the library reference desk for help. Call us at or email the reference librarian. The library offers a reference consultation service to help users get started on their research projects. Users can make an appointment with a reference librarian to discuss their projects and get targeted, personalized assistance as they begin the process.
To make an appointment, please click below. Toggle navigation Menu. Search this Guide Search. About This Guide 1. Identify Key Concepts 2. Gather Background Info 3. Find Books 4. Find Articles 5. Find Internet Resources 6. Evaluate Your Sources 7. Using This Guide This guide is designed to help you through a research assignment from start to finish. Ask a Librarian. Andrew Adler. Email Me. Contact: Reference Consultations The library offers a reference consultation service to help users get started on their research projects.In simple words, interest means the reward for the use of capital.
It is also called the income of the owner of capital for lending it. In other words, it is the price paid by the borrower of money to its lender. Now, question arises, why interest is paid? The third form has the advantage that this amount can be used at any time.
Therefore, when one person parts with this amount, he gets a price which is known as interest. Gross interest refers to the entire payments made by the borrower to the lender on a certain amount of loan received for a period of time. It includes not only the payment for the use of money capital but also for risks, inconvenience and management.
Net interest is the payment purely made for the use of money. Net interest rate is determined by the forces of demand and supply of funds or money.
It generally relates to public and is comparatively low to gross interest. The loan market is not characterized by the prevalence of one definite rate of interest. Rate of interest differs from place to place and from person to person. A number of factors bring about such a situation. Interest rate varies with the type of property pledged behind the security.
Loans borrowed against the security of gold carry less interest rate than loans against the security of immovable property like land or house. Interest also depends upon the credit standing of the borrowers.
It is because of this reason that persons of known integrity and credibility can get loans on easy terms. Rate of interest also varies with the degree of liquidity of the asset offered as security against the loan.
The greater the liquidity of the assets offered as security against the loan the lower will be the rate of interest and vice-versa. Rate of interest also depends upon the period of loan. Long-term rate of interest is higher than the short term. In a long term loan, money gets locked up for a longer duration.
Naturally, the lender wants to be compensated by a higher rate of interest. Rate of interest stands in an inverse relation to the amount of loan. The greater the amount of loan, the lower is the rate of interest and vice versa. Distance between the lender and the borrower also causes difference between rates of interest. People are willing to invest their capital at a lower rate of interest in ventures nearer home than at a long distance.
Productivity of capital differs from venture to venture. For highly productive ventures, people will be willing to borrow at a higher rate of interest and vice-versa.
Differences in the interest rate also originate from market imperfections that may be found in a loan market. The discussion given above shows those different interest rates reflect differences in risk, length of loan amount and a host of other factors. There is a wide spread controversy among the economists whether the interest can be zero or not.
Some economists opined that if marginal productivity of capital is zero and there is no saving and investment in the country, interest will be zero.
But other economists refuted this version and remarked that in nature every economy is dynamic and marginal productivity of capital cannot be zero. Thus, there is no possibility for the rate of interest to be zero.
A borrower has to pay some minimum amount of interest to the lender for the use of money capital.