Research Design in Counseling
Ethics is part of the value system that a person possesses. To simply study rules has proved insufficient to ingrain some of the most important values when it comes to dealing with ethical issues. Studying the foundations, helps provide further insight as to why these practices are important to the field of research. Cultures vary, as do their practices and values. Placing a blanket interpretation to findings gives the wrong conclusions. This leads to misunderstandings as far as implementation of findings is concerned. The study lacks relevance when wrong interpretations are attached to it. The most serious consequence of publishing fraudulent data is the loss of faith in the work of a particular researcher. Ethics calls for fidelity in the work of a researcher. Gaining back that confidence will be an uphill task, if not impossible. By saying, “the data are always friendly”, Carl Rogers meant the participants of the research are always willing to help when approached. He may have also meant that the data may be interpreted in whatsoever what way to suit the needs of the researcher. This second interpretation would be fraudulent misrepresentation. The head researcher’s name should appear first, with the rest following in order of decreasing authority. This helps give a clear chain of responsibility in case of references or inquiries that need the interpretation of the researcher responsible. Deception may be used to obtain data for research in case the participant is not willing to take part due to irrational fears of exposure. Confidentiality should be maintained throughout the data collection process and anonymity offered to participants revealing sensitive information. I do not think deception is necessary in counseling research. It should not be employed to conduct any study since fidelity is a required of researchers, whether to their participants, their colleges or society. Insensitive cross-cultural research could result from a negative personal bias of the investigator emanating from existing personal prejudices. This will lead to inaccuracy in portrayal of the culture involved. Another scenario may emanate from a wish to portray the s3elected culture in better light due to favoritism, another form of bias. This portrayal will bee inaccurate and may render the research findings useless. Confidentiality refers to keeping the identity and personal information submitted a secret while anonymity is withholding personal identification. Confidentiality is practiced by the researcher to ensure the privacy of the participant is preserved while anonymity is the participant’s prerogative in case they may want their identity protected even from the researchers. It is easier to unearth the root of the issues when dealing with the relevant parties. Parties that were not involved may compound the situation further. Addressing the issue with others may not provide a solution. In some cases, the error may have occurred mistakenly. Bringing it to the attention of the relevant parties may help avert further damage.
Both designs are assured of randomness that is effective in assuring the assessment of the independent variable. Between-groups designs have the advantage of time with respect to the research time and resources available. Within-subjects designs take a longer time to conduct, as the participants need to be switched between the different treatment options available during the study. Within-subjects designs may suffer the consequences of an overlap bias that between-group designs are not affected by. The latter also has the advantage of the control study that helps assess the efficiency of the treatment options. Overall, both designs are useful in providing different perspectives of research findings. Two research topics that may be used on these two design models are: i. Favorite ice cream flavors among a choice of vanilla, chocolate, mocha and pistachio. ii. Preference for coffee or tea. iii. The questions would include: which is the better choice? Which is the preferred drink? How many men? How many women? A control group is important in mitigating the effects of a variable that is under investigation. It helps set the expected baseline of the outcome of an experiment. Controls test the efficiency and validity of the function of a given variable. The most important methodological issue is the baseline that a control group sets which helps determine the efficiency of the variable since there is something to compare against it.
Some quasi-experimental designs may be hard to interpret due to the nature of quasi-experimental designs. The lack of a controlled environment that may arise in a quasi-experimental design renders some of the findings difficult to quantify. The introduction of controls in the design may make some of them interpretable. Such controls may include randomization of the participants in the design. To increase the validity of using intact groups, the researcher is requires to understand the basis of the grouping that occurred prior. The awareness of these bases for grouping may be examined or controlled for preexisting differences. This analysis can be accomplished using the selection variable as a covariate. Two research questions in a quasi-experimental design would cover the topic of alcoholism. They are: What are the immediate effects of alcoholism on the alcoholic? What are the long-term effects of the condition on the alcoholic’s immediate family?
They would be covered during an experimental design set up in Alcoholics’ Anonymous meetings that would be covered extensively for a period of about three months with follow up meetings every three months for a period of one year.
Although treats to validity are a major factor to consider, their prevalence and effects on the findings of a study can be mitigated by the use of better designs and statistics that make the study valid.
The topic that interests me most is in behavioral psychology. It concerns answering the question why some people stay in abusive relationships despite overwhelming evidence that the victims hardly fare well in such situations. Why stay in an abusive relationship? What are the victim’s views on the benefits of such a relationship? What is the long-term course of action? The study would require participants who are in abusive relationships to come forward and take part in the study. Anonymity would be assured to protect them and a period set to observe them in their natural settings.
A mediating variable explains how the independent variable is related to the dependent variable. Conversely, a moderating variable pinpoints the conditions under which an independent variable exerts its effects on a dependent one. The three types of regression, which is a statistical method, used to study separate but predictor variables. They are simultaneous regression where all the predicator variables are entered concurrently into the equation; stepwise regression where the predicator variable with the highest correlation enters the equation first, and hierarchical regression where the researcher determines the order of entry of the predicator variables based on a rationale. Both analyses assume that there is a small number of latent variables. The difference is in the fact that factor analysis is concerned with the different types of variables present, while cluster analysis only considers the number of variables. An exploratory factor analysis is only used in situations where the factor in question has never been investigated, while a confirmatory factor analysis seeks to verify the effects of relevance of a given factor that had been previously researched on. Ease of data collection enabled by the easy access to the questionnaires.
Large number of recipients reached
Varied groups of participants