# Research Methods And Analysis

In Modules 2 and 3, you have learned about how to turn concepts into variables; how to define, measure, and label variables; and how to build a research design for a study. The purpose of this assignment is to show me that you understand these activities and can take the first steps toward designing your own study. There are two parts to this assignment (see next pages), and you are responsible for completing both parts.

Your answers to each part of the assignment can be written in paragraph form or kept separate in numbered lists, but please use complete sentences either way. Your answers should be spell- checked and grammar-checked. Be clear and concise: you should not need more than 2 double- spaced pages for this assignment. Please use 12-point Times New Roman font, with standard 1- inch margins.

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Part 1 Content (completeness and accuracy/logical sense) Part 2 Content (completeness and accuracy/logical sense) Organization/Clarity
Spelling/Grammar

Total

20 points 20 points 5 points 5 points 50 points

First, imagine that it is your job to design a study that focuses on the concept of violence. Part 1 of this assignment walks you through the first steps you would take to design your study on violence. Please do the following:

1. 2. 3.

4.

5. 6. 7.

8.

Identify a concept that you believe might be related to violence.
Explain exactly what you believe is the relationship between violence and your concept. Describe how you will operationalize violence, including the name of the variable and what the values will be
Describe how you will operationalize your concept, including the name of the variable and what the values will be
Explain which variable (yours or violence) is the independent variable.
Explain which variable (yours or violence) is the dependent variable.
Identify a third variable that you will use as a control variable in your study, and explain why you believe this variable makes sense to use as a control.
Describe how you will measure the control variable, including what values the variable will have.

Be as
demonstrate to me that you have been thoughtful when deciding what the relationships among the concepts/variables are and what the best way to measure each one is.

creative as you like in choosing your concept and your control variable, but I want you to

Part 2

In Part 2 of the assignment, I would like for you to apply the research design terminology that you have learned to an existing study. Read through the below description of a study about punitiveness, which tries to test for a causal relationship. Once you have read about the study, answer the questions provided after the study description.

THE STUDY: A researcher wants to know whether educating judges about drug addiction can lower their punitiveness in cases involving drug possession. To assess whether this type of education lowers punitiveness, the researcher first recruits 100 judges to participate in the study. Each judge rolls dice to determine whether he/she will attend a 4-hour training course that educates people about the causes and consequences of drug addiction. If the judge rolls an odd number, the judge attends the course. If the judge rolls an even number, the judge does not attend the course. 58 judges roll an odd number, so 58 judges are assigned to the course and the other 42 judges are not.

At the start of the study, the researcher calculates the average sentence length given in drug possession cases by each judge in June 2020. For the group of judges who are assigned to the course, the average sentence length in drug possession cases is 1.8 years. For the group of judges who are not assigned to the course, the average sentence length is 1.9 years. Judges assigned to the training course then complete the course in July 2020.

At the end of the study, the researcher again calculates the average sentence length given in drug possession cases by each judge in August 2020. The researcher finds that the average sentence length assigned by judges who completed the course is 1.6 years, and the average sentence length assigned by judges who did not complete the course is 1.7 years.

What are the two main concepts being studied?

What is the treatment (including duration)?

Who represents the treatment group?

Who represents the control group?

Is this study an experimental or a quasi-experimental design? Explain.

What is the dependent variable being studied?

What represents the baseline?

Do the findings in this study convince you that the treatment has a causal effect on the

dependent variable? Use the three elements of causal evidence to support your answer.

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