UNIT 2: Introduction to Quantitative and Qualitative Research, Literature Review & Use of Theory

Assumptions
Beliefs that are held to be true but have not necessarily been proven; assumptions may be explicit or implicit.

Limitations
Weaknesses in a study; uncontrolled variables.

Pilot study
A small-scale trial run of an actual research study.

Data
The pieces of information or facts collected during a research study.

Ethnographic studies
Research studies that involve the collection and analysis of data about cultural groups.

Phenomenological study
Research studies that examine human experiences through the descriptions of the meanings of these experiences provded by the peope involved.

Grounded theory
Research studies in which data are collected and analyzed, and then a theory is developed that is grounded in the data.

Saturation
The researcher hears a repetition of themes or ideas as additional participants are interviewd in a qualitative study.

Participant observation
Involves the direct observation and recording of information in a study and requires that the researcher become a part of the setting in which the person, group, or culture is being observed.

Content analysis
A data collection method that examines communication messages that are usually in written form.

Primary source
In the research literature, an account of a research study that has been written by the original researcher(s); in historical studies, firsthand information or direct evidence of an event.

Secondary source
In the research literature, an account of a research study that has been written by someone other than the study investigators; in historical studies, secondhand information or data provied by soeone who did not observe the event.

Abstract
Brief summaries of research studies; generally contain the purpose, methods, and major findings of the study.

Database
A compilation of information that can be retrieved by computer

Theory
A set of related statments that describes or explains phenomena systematically.

Concept
A word picture or mental idea of a phenomenon.

Propositional statement
A statement or assertion of the relationship between concepts.

Model
A symbolic representation of some phenomenon or phenomena.

Grand theory
Theories that are concerned with a broad range of phenomena in the environment or in the experiences of humans.

Middle range theory
Theories that have a narrow focus; concerned with ony a small area of the environment or of human experiences.

Deductive reasoning
A reasoning process that proceeds from the general to the specific, from theory to empirical data.

Inductive reasoning
A reasoning process that proceeds from the specific to the general, from empirical data to theory.