Definitions of Research Terms:
Research Design; research design is an organized system for holding together a research program. It can therefore be said to be, the glue for keeping all the research procedures together. It is a systematic manner of carrying out investigation procedures, to address the research question.
Sample; this is a representative of the group, of people or even items, that is being investigated for a given characteristic or quality. A sample is therefore like an example of what to expect, from the rest of the crowd. A sample is used for research because the research program can not be applied on the whole population.
Sampling Procedure; sampling procedure is the systematic way of determining the few, from the whole group of people or items, which will be relevant in our research. It is a series of steps that will help us determine appropriately and make conclusions on which few of the whole group should be tested. The sampling procedure can come up with simple random, systematic, stratified, cluster, quota or even line intercept samples.
Population; Population is the group of people or items to be studied for some characteristic. This is where we, as researchers have interests in and we would like to know some of the group’s particular aspects through research. Conclusions on any research are based on the population as a whole.
Random selection and Random assignment; Random selection is the coming up with a sample for research, from the population. Items or individuals are chosen without considering any factor, just any how. Assume twenty customers are chosen from a group of two hundred, without considering their background or the time that they purchase, then this is Random selection. If ten of these twenty are given an extra/more treatment, then this Random assignment. Therefore Random Assignment is the derivation of a sample from various groups in the study. Another example could be case where one hundred doctors and two hundred nurses are chosen at random first and then only five of the doctors and ten of the nurses, are considered for research because they are above fifty years old.
Experiment and Investigation; experiment is a procedure for finding out the existence of some quality in a population. It is an organized manner of determining the effect of exposing a given sample to a reaction, while holding another sample constant. Investigation is the thorough examination of a population, by studying it to make conclusions. Investigations do not require control group.
Research Control; this is the group of the population, that is not exposed to a reaction and is used for comparison to experimental results. All the factors in the control group are held constant, because they are not supposed to change. The experiment group is compared with this control group for conclusions to be made.
Independent and dependent Variable; an independent variable is the factor of an equation that remains constant after a reaction, it is not affected, therefore it does not increase or decrease after the reaction/experiment. A dependent variable is the factor that changes after the sample is exposed to some reaction, that is, it depends on this reaction and may change negatively or positively. An independent variable is a constant factor in the equation while a dependent variable is not.
(Mark 2002 p.11-39)
Representative sample; this is a group, a few that has been chosen and shows exactly what the population is made of. A representative sample is one that has been well considered so that the expected observation does not vary much from the actual observation. It is well chosen after several factors of the population have been considered. This improves the level of accuracy in research.
Real-life setting; Real-life setting is the environment in which samples are taken from the sample frame. The few items and individuals taken should be in their natural state, so that research conclusions are an actual representative of the whole population. Sample frames should therefore be a true picture of the research population.
(B) RESEARCH REFERENCE TABLE:
1. Action research
2. Cost benefit analysis
2. Grounded theory
3. Experimental designs
3. Factor analysis
4. Research design
4. Representative sample
5. Experiment and Investigation
(Timothy 2000 p.16-47)
Mark T. (2002) Research Terms. New York. Nedina Publishers.
Timothy R. (2000) Research in Psychology. New Jersey. Oliva Press.