Refer to page 156 of your textbook: Box 9.1 –“Guidelines for Critiquing Research Design of a Quantitative Study” Chapter 9 in your text will also help with the writing exercise.

Answer each question in sections (1,2,3,5,6,7). (Do not write the question. Your sentences should reflect the part of the analysis that you are discussing. 

Key Research Design Features

Table 9.1 describes seven key features that are typically addressed in the design of a quantitative study. Design decisions that researchers must make include the following:

  Will there be an intervention? A basic design issue is whether or not researchers will introduce an intervention and test its effects—the distinction between experimental and nonexperimental research.

  What types of comparisons will be made? Quantitative researchers often make comparisons to provide an interpretive context. Sometimes, the same people are compared at different points in time (e.g., preoperatively vs. postoperatively), but often, different people are compared (e.g., those getting vs. not getting an intervention).

  How will confounding variables be controlled? In quantitative research, efforts are often made to control factors extraneous to the research question. This chapter discusses techniques for controlling confounding variables.

  Will blinding be used? Researchers must decide if information about the study (e.g., who is getting an intervention) will be withheld from data collectors, study participants, or others to minimize the risk of expectation bias—i.e., the risk that such knowledge could influence study outcomes.

  How often will data be collected? Data sometimes are collected from participants at a single point in time (cross-sectionally), but other studies involve multiple points of data collection (longitudinally).

  When will “effects” be measured, relative to potential causes? Some studies collect information about outcomes and then look back retrospectively for potential causes. Other studies begin with a potential cause and then see what outcomes ensue, in a prospective fashion.

  Where will the study take place? Data for quantitative studies are collected in various settings, such as in hospitals or people’s homes. Another decision concerns how many different sites will be involved in the study—a decision that could affect the generalizability of the results.

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