Overview[ edit ] In the scientific methodan experiment is an empirical procedure that arbitrates competing models or hypotheses. However, an experiment may also aim to answer a "what-if" question, without a specific expectation about what the experiment reveals, or to confirm prior results. If an experiment is carefully conducted, the results usually either support or disprove the hypothesis. According to some philosophies of sciencean experiment can never "prove" a hypothesis, it can only add support.
It may change from group to group, person to person, or even within one person over time. There are six common variable types: For example, if the independent variable is the use or non-use of a new language teaching procedure, then the dependent variable might be students' scores on a test of the content taught using that procedure.
In other words, the variation in the dependent variable depends on the variation in the independent variable. This "control" may involve manipulating existing variables e. Whatever the case may be, the researcher expects that the independent variable s will have some effect on or relationship with the dependent variables.
In language learning and teaching, they are usually inside the subjects' heads, including various language learning processes which the researcher cannot observe.
For example, if the use of a particular teaching technique is the independent variable and mastery of the objectives is the dependent variable, then the language learning processes used by the subjects are the intervening variables.
Unlike extraneous variables, moderator variables are measured and taken into consideration. Typical moderator variables in TESL and language acquisition research when they are not the major focus of the study include the sex, age, culture, or language proficiency of the subjects.
It is not possible to consider every variable in a single study.
Variables that have been controlled in this way are called control variables. Extraneous variables are dangerous. They may damage a study's validity, making it impossible to know whether the effects were caused by the independent and moderator variables or some extraneous factor.
If they cannot be controlled, extraneous variables must at least be taken into consideration when interpreting results. · Qualitative Design Use cases and context to examine social processes Looks at interpretation or the creation of meaning in specific settings Look at social life with multiple points of view Look at how people construct identities Rarely use variables or test hypotheses See data as highly meaningful** Newman, benjaminpohle.com /documents/QualitativeResearchMethods.
· Research Methods Qualitative vs. quantitative Understanding the relationship between objectives (research question) and variables is critical Information ≠Data Information=data + analysis Planning in advance is a must To include how data will be analyzedbenjaminpohle.com Unlike extraneous variables, moderator variables are measured and taken into consideration.
Typical moderator variables in TESL and language acquisition research (when they are not the major focus of the study) include the sex, age, culture, or language proficiency of the subjects. In an ideal world, experimental research methods would be used for every type of research, fulfilling all of the requirements of falsifiability and generalization.
However, ethics, time and budget are major factors, so any experimental design must make compromises. As long as a researcher recognizes and evaluates flaws in the design when choosing from different research methods, any of the scientific research .
· Variables. A variable, as opposed to a constant, is simply anything that can vary.
If we were to study the effects of work experience on college performance, we might look at the grades of students who have worked prior to starting college and the grades of benjaminpohle.com › AllPsych › Research Methods.
dependent variable (also referred to as outcome variable or effect variable). The independent variable is "independent of" prior causes that act on it, whereas the dependent variable "depends on" the cause.