Research Methods II
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Type I error
the rejection of a true null hypothesis

Type II error
the acceptance of a false null hypothesis

Null hypothesis
a statement of no relationship between variables; rejected when an observed statistic appears unlikely under the null hypothesis.

Sampling Distributions
A theoretical distribution that can be specified for any statistic that can be computed for samples from a population

One Tailed Test
a statistical test where extreme results leading to rejection of the null hypothesis can be located at either tail

Two Tailed Test
A statistical test where extreme results leading to rejection of null hypothesis will be located at both left and right tails

What can happen when you control for a third variable in a bivariate relationship?
 1. Nothing
 2. The correlation between X and Y reduces dramatically (Either there is spuriousness or Z is intervening)
 3. The relationship between X and Y changes but does not disappear (then Z is a conditional variable)

Issues in Questionnaire Construction
 What do you want to know? What do you expect respondents to know?
 Question Content (Fact or Opinion, wording, provide middle alternatives)
 Question Type: Closed vs Openended
 Response Format for Closedended
 Question order

What to consider when evaluating a Poll (1)
 Topic  is it something people know about?
 Screen for nonattitudes – Did the organization give respondents middle
 alternatives?
 Question wording Did the organization give you the question wordings?
 Question Order: Questions can be placed to lead respondents in certain ways

What to consider when evaluating a Poll (2)
 Sample definitions  Probability sample? From what population?
 Subsample sizes and error margins
 What happens if certain demographics are pulled
 out? (error margin increases)
 Who sponsored the poll?
 What's the spin?

Advantages of Secondary Analysis
 Less expensive
 May be the only source
 You can replicate/triangulate someone else's research with your own

Disadvantages of Secondary Analysis
 May only approximate the data you want
 May have hidden biases
 Sometimes access is a problem

Advantages of InterviewerAdministered Questionnaires
 Higher response rate
 Can probe and clarify
 Quick turnaround

Disadvantages of InterviewerAdministered Questionnaires
 High costs
 Possible interviewer bias
 No anonymity

Advantages of SelfAdministered Questionnaires
 Low cost
 No interviewer bias
 Greater anonymity
 Considered responses

Disadvantages of SelfAdministered Questionnaires
 Lower Response Rate
 Requires simple questions and answers
 Nobody there to clarify/probe
 Takes time (opportunities for outside phenomena to interfere)