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Summarizing three parts of a book chapter on research methods - Term Paper Example

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This kind of research is very valuable because it allows a careful assessment of cause and effect, so long as five criteria are met, namely appropriate temporal order (with the independent…
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Download file to see previous pages Variations on these criteria do occur, often when it is not practical to meet them fully, and in these cases the research can be classified as quasi-experimental.
The classic experiment is described. A control group and an experimental group are pretested, the experimental group is subjected to the independent variable, and the two groups are tested again, to see if there is now any difference in the two groups that can be attributed to the independent variable. In social work there are ethical and practical issues which may prevent a researcher from conducting a true classic experiment. Typical objections are listed and appropriate responses suggested. It is true that human beings should not be denied services because of a research project, or treated as objects to be experimented on, but on the other hand it is unethical to offer services without knowing what their effects are likely to be and who is most likely to benefit from them. By putting appropriate safeguards in place, and by using waiting lists for random assignment, it is possible to design research that is both ethical and experimental. Informed consent is, however, absolutely essential, even if it has negative effects on the research in question. Research can interfere with the normal working of social services, but staff should be made aware of the aims and potential benefits of research and their views and suggestions should be sought early in the research process.
The Solomon four-group research design is described, showing the advantage of using a pretest with two groups and no pretest with the other two. The intervention is then administered, to one group in each set, and all four groups are posttested. This method allows the researcher to see very accurately what effect has been caused by the intervention. Matching can improve the accuracy of quasi-experimental design, but it is not as good as true randomisation because it only matches ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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