PLEASE USE THE ATTACHED DOCUMENTS OR ONLINE INFORMATION TO ANSWER QUESTIONS IN GREAT DETAIL!!!!!1. Describe your understanding of the Scientific Method and its use in your area (provide a brief example, if necessary).2. Describe two (2) Research Classifications: a. One in which you are most familiar, and b. One for which, prior to this class, you were most unfamiliar3. Provide an interpretation for Why We Need Science to Describe Behavior in Sport Organizations


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Research & Design in the Sport
Dr. Dwayne B. Thomas, Ph.D.
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
Overview & Introduction

Research – The Knowledge Pipeline
The Scientific Method
Research & The Scientific Method
Research & Theory
Research Educational Research
Types of Research
Research Classifications
Hypotheses & Research
Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research
Why We Need Science to Describe Behavior
Historical perspective of Research & Design in the Sport Industry
Uses and Limitations of Research & Design in the Sport Industry
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• The Simplest Context: Research is nothing more or
less than finding solutions to problems in a logical,
orderly, and systematic fashion
• The Search for Truth
• Custom and Tradition
• Authority
• Personal Experience
• Syllogistic or deductive reasoning
• Scientific Inquiry
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Logic: Deductive (Syllogistic) Reasoning
• The 1st major contribution to the process of seeking truth
• 2 ideas, or premises, form the basis for the conclusion
• If the relationship between the 2 are true, then the conclusion
is true.
• However, if either premise is false, the conclusion is also
• Major Weakness: Researchers have to accept the information
contained in the premises as being true without really
knowing that it is true
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Scientific Inquiry (Inductive Reasoning)
• Thinking proceeds from the specific to the general
• The basic premise of all science
• Conclusions about events are based on information generated
through many individual and direct observations
• 1st the researcher observes an individual or group of individuals in
the larger population of similar individuals, then based upon these
observations of the smaller group inferences, conclusions, or
generalizations are made back to the larger population.
• Major Weakness: Most research is based on imperfect induction.
The information obtained may not be absolutely perfect or true, but
is sufficient to make fairly reliable generalizations.
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Problem Identification
• The specific problem should be spelled out or defined
• The PS should provide direction for the research process
• A well-stated problem will imply a specific answer, or conclusion
(Best, 1981)
• Statement of the Hypothesis
• A belief, hunch, or prediction of the eventual outcome of the
• A statement about the relationships between phenomena
• Collection & Analysis of Data
• The study is arranged to test the hypotheses
• The researcher tests, measures, weighs, experiments, or observes
the phenomena in question and collects data to support or refute
the hypothetical predicted outcome
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Confirming or Rejecting the Hypothesis
• The collected data is analyzed and an attempt is made to determine
if the investigation confirms or refutes the hypothesis or
• Have the data supported the predicted outcome?
• Do the data refute it?
• A decision to accept or reject the hypothesis is made
• Conclusion(s)
• The researcher puts an end to the study and summarizes, in one or
more brief and definitive statements about what the investigation
showed or did not show
• These are not restatements of the findings of the study
• These should be stated in concert with the acceptance of rejection
of each stated hypothesis
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• a belief or assumption about how things relate to each other
(Baumgarter & Strong, 1994)
• Establishes a cause & effect relationship between variables
with the purpose of explaining and predicting phenomena
(Best, 1981)
• Is not a LAW, but the hypothesis deduced from a theory
could become a law through experimentation or observation
• A vehicle for obtaining new knowledge by providing
hypotheses for additional research
• Provides a structure for research
• Presents guidelines for the procedures of research
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• The idea that knowledge is obtained through experience
• Does not rely on theory or science
• An empiricists
• uses facts, but has no interest in the when, how, or why of the facts
• May solve a problem in a quick and practical manner, but no new
knowledge is discovered
• Reliance on “experts” or authorities because we don’t take
the time to sift through the information ourselves
• The idea that reason is the primary source of knowledge
• Deductive Reasoning
• Inductive Reasoning
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Rules of Operational Research
• Established for researchers to credibly obtain reliable information from
which to draw valid conclusions
• Neither obscure nor difficult to follow
• Legal Principles – Mandated by law, the researcher is
obligated to guard against violating these restrictions
• Rule 1: Protection
• The National Research Act of 1974 ensured protection of individuals
invited to participate in research studies. The intent is to protect individuals
from physical, mental, or emotional harm
• Rule 2: Confidentiality
• The Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (known as the Buckley
Amendment), also passed in 1974, put into law the principle of
confidentiality. Aimed at protecting the anonymity of human participants
who participate in research studies.
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Ethical Principles – Dealing with the Moral Aspects of
Research. Credibility depends on the ethical nature and
conditions of the researcher’s work
• Rule 3: Beneficence
• Indicates that educational research is done to garner knowledge and
shed light on the human condition. The intent can never be to do harm
to individuals or groups or to denigrate, cast blame, find fault, deny
opportunity or stifle progress
• Rule 4: Honesty
• An essential element of the research process; risk loss of reputation
and career; temptation to alter data often rises and needs to be put
down with prejudice…
• Rule 5: Accurate Disclosure
• Individuals selected to serve as participants in research must be
informed accurately about the general topic of research and any
unusual procedures or tasks in which they will be involved.
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Philosophical Principles – deals with the anticipated
values of a research study, regarding significance,
generalizability, replicability, and probability
• Rule 6: Importance (Significance)
• Worthwhileness; contributing to the base of human
knowledge; utility
• Rule 7: Generalizability
• Findings applicable elsewhere; can be applied to other individuals or
settings; principle does not apply in all research
• Rule 8: Replicability
• Repeatable by others;
• Rule 9: Probability
• Research evidence does not allow for certainty, only probabilities
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Procedural Principles – procedural rules used in the selection of researchable
topics, parsimony (keeping everything as succinct as possible), credibility (ensuring
believability), and acknowledgement that rival (alternative) explanations might
result from the findings
• Rule 10: Researchability
• Answers the question of whether you can find answers by using established
• Test of researchability
• Can the scientific method be used to investigate the topic under consideration?
• If the answer to the first question is “no,” can the topic be limited or reworded to make it
• If the topic statement is, or can be made, approachable through the scientific method, is it
possible to obtain required data?
• Can the topic be investigated within existing constraints of time, facilities, distance,
money, and other practical matters?
• Rule 11: Parsimony
• The simpler a theory is the better it is as long as it explains the phenomena in
• The researcher needs to make good use of the guiding questions or hypotheses and
ensure that they are stated clearly and concisely
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Procedural Principles – procedural rules used in the selection
of researchable topics, parsimony (keeping everything as succinct
as possible), credibility (ensuring believability), and
acknowledgement that rival (alternative) explanations might result
from the findings
• Rule 12: Credibility
• Topic selected must be important and researchable
• Researcher must adhere to operational principles
• Reliable (consistent) and valid (on target) data must be collected
• Rule 13: Rival Explanations
• Researchers should anticipate that others will scrutinize their methods
and make interpretations that are different from their own
• Measures must be taken to prepare for these in advance and examine
each side of an issue
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Focuses on generating fundamental knowledge
• Is motivated by intellectual curiosity and interest in a specific problem area
(Space, human behavior, exercise, etc.)
• Broad generalizations and principles, i.e., overload and cross-transference
principles and the laws of learning, frequently result from pure research
• Focuses on real-world questions and applications
• The results of this type of research are intended for universal population
• Seat belt, smoking, and drug research are usually geared to producing
results that will apply to the entire population
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Focuses on determining the worth, merit, or quality of intervention programs
• Traditionally divided into two types according to the purpose of the evaluation:
• Formative Evaluation – when the primary purpose is to lead to judgments about how
a program can be improved
• Summative Evaluation – when the primary purpose is to lead to judgments about
whether a program is effective and whether it should be continued
• Similar to Applied Research except that the interest is in local, not universal, applicability.
• Can get very pragmatic and objective, but the problem exists in a local setting
• More participatory approach, conducted by teachers, administrators, coaches, and other
educational professionals to answer questions that practitioners have about their
immediate problems
• ORIENTATIONAL RESEARCH (Critical Theory Research)
• Focuses on collecting information to help a researcher advance a specific ideological or
political position that he or she believes will improve some part of our society.
• The most common areas of focus are class stratification (i.e., income and wealth
inequality) gender inequality, racial and ethnic inequality, and sexual orientation
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• THE THREE BASIC APPROACHES (Baumgartner & Strong 1994)
• When the researcher is interested in the past
• When the researcher is interested in the present
• When the researcher is interested in the future
• NINE CLASSIFICATIONS (Isaac & Micheal, 1976)

Case & Field Analysis
Causal Comparative or Ex Post Facto
True Experimental
Quasi Experimental
Research & Design in the Sport Industry

Reconstruct the past objectively and accurately, often in a relation to the tenability of
an hypothesis
• Reconstructing the role of the media in the Presidential election of 1992
• Tracing the history of minorities in Executive positions at the CPS

Describe systematically, factually, and accurately a situation or area of interest
• Population census studies
Surveys of literature
• Public opinion surveys
Critical incident reports
• Fact-finding surveys
Test Score Analysis
• Job Description
Normative Data

Investigate patterns and sequences of growth and/or change as a function of time
• A trend study projecting the educational need for comprehensive health
education programs in the schools from past health education curricular patterns
• A longitudinal study of the change management strategies on Assistant
Principals in the CPS
Research & Design in the Sport Industry

Study intensively the background, current status, and environmental interactions of a
given social unit (e.g., individual group, institution, or community
• The intensive study of a violent teenage gang in area HS
• An intensive study of the personality characteristics of Middle school Principals

Investigate the extent to which variations in one factor correspond with variations in one
or more other factors based on correlation coefficients
• A factor analysis of selected tests of speed of body movement
• A study of the relationship of whole body movement response time and the fielding
average of baseball players

Investigate possible cause-and-effect relationships by observing some existing
consequence and searching back through the data for plausible causal factors
• Identify factors common to The University of Illinois dropout students during the
period from 2000 to 2002 using student personnel data
• Determine similarities and differences in teenage drug users and nonusers,
recreationally active and inactive senior citizens, and little league players who
continue in sports through high school and those who do not, based on data already
on file
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Investigate possible cause-and-effect relationships by exposing one or
more experimental groups to one or more treatment conditions and
comparing the results to one or more control groups not receiving the
treatment (random assignment being essential)
• Example
• Investigate two different methods of improving self-esteem in
adolescent children
• Approximate the conditions of true experiment in a setting which does
not allow the control and/or manipulation of all relevant variables
• Example
• A cause-and-effect study where only one group is observed, random
assignment of subjects is not possible, and maximum control of the
variables is lacking
• Develop new skills or approaches in order to solve problems or improve
performance in the classroom or other applied setting
• Example
• An in-service training program to help Teachers develop skill in …
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
(Baumgartner & Strong 1994)
• The predicted outcome
• The tentative explanation of the relationship between
two or more variables
• Directional manner (when the researcher believes that a
particular relationship or difference exists between groups
of subjects – expected result)
• Children with a high IQ are more easily motivated than children
with a low IQ
• Non-directional manner (when the researcher expects a
difference but does not indicate the direction it will take)
• There is a difference in the motivational level of children with a
high IQ and those children with a low IQ
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• The statistical hypothesis is a null hypothesis and is tested by the data.
• It states that there is no difference between the groups being studied
• Research Hypothesis
• Students exposed to an experimental leisure counseling program show greater
improvement in the organization or their lives than do students who have been
exposed to this program
• Statistical or Null Hypothesis
• There is no difference in the organization of the lives of students who have been
exposed to an experimental counseling program and students who have not been
exposed to the program
• The statistical procedures used for analyzing research data can only test
hypotheses stated in form of the null hypothesis
• If the data support the null hypothesis is will be accepted; if the data refute
the null hypothesis it will be rejected.
• If the Null Hypothesis is accepted, then the researcher rejects the research
hypothesis and concludes that there really is no difference between the
two motivating conditions
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
• Qualitative – research that relies on
narrative data
• Quantitative – research that relies on
numerical data
• Experimental Research – Examines the
cause (new treatment) & effect (differences
between two groups after interjecting the
cause) relationships
• Non-Experimental Research – examines
or depicts people, events, situations,
conditions, and relationships in their
current state or previous state; evaluates
products or processes; develop innovations
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
Why We Need Science to Describe Behavior in Organizations
• We need objective scientific measurement to
overcome the human tendency toward bias
• We need systematic, scientific record-keeping
because memory is selective
• We need objective ways to determine if variables
are related because humans don’t innately
compute correlation coefficients
• We need scientific methods to meet both criteria
necessary for making accurate generalizations
(1) obtaining a representative sample and (2)
making statistical inferences from that sample
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
Descriptive Research
• Initially called Qualitative Research
• Can include:

Observational Research
Case Studies
Archival Research
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
Descriptive Research – Observation
• Observation
• Systematic: no memory
• Objective: “just the facts”
• The value of instruments
• The value of check-sheets and training (Content Analysis)
• Observer attempts to be “surreptitious” and in theory not
affecting the naturally occurring behaviors, simply
observing and recording
• Non-reactive: observer should not affect the situation or
those being observed
• Naturalistic versus participant observation
• Difficulties with Observation
• Sometimes impossible
• Sometimes impractical
• Sometimes unethical: subject’s rights to privacy
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
Conclusions: Validity of Observation
• Lab observation
• Naturalistic observation
• Participant observation
• External validity: Depends on sample
• Construct validity: May be damaged by
• Observer’s presence changing participants’
• Observer not accurately recording behavior
• Internal validity: None
Research & Design in the Sport Industry
Qualitative Research – Case Studies
• Case Studies
• Learn from unique or extreme situations
• Internal Validity
• Internal validity deals with cause and effect. Did the
experimental treatment – and only the experimental
treatment – have (or cause) an effect?
• External Validity
• External validity refers to the gener …
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