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Definition of Research

Research in common parlance refers to a search for knowledge. Once can also define research as a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. In fact, research is an art of scientific investigation. The Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English lays down the meaning of research as a careful investigation or inquiry specially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge. Redman and Mory define research as a systematized effort to gain new knowledge.

Meaning of research

Research Is any systematic activity carried out in the pursuit of truth It is purposive investigation Is the application of scientific method to add to the present pool of knowledge Is an Endeavour to arrive at answers to intellectual and practical problems by the application of scientific method Is a way of finding new ways of looking at familiar things in order to explore ways of changing it Is an organised inquiry, designed and carried out to provide information for solving significant and pertinent problems Is an activity that extends, corrects or verifies knowledge Seeks to find explanations to unexplained phenomenon-social and physical, to clarify the doubts and correct misconceived facts of life

Pauline Young defines social research as a scientific undertaking, which by means of logical and systematized techniques aims to Discover new facts or verify and test old facts Analyze their sequences, interrelationships, and causal explanations which were derived within an appropriate theoretical frame of reference Develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories which would facilitate reliable and valid study of human behaviour

Objectives of Research

It extends, verifies or corrects knowledge. It answers ques. such as what, when, where why and how? It enlightens the human race in general It enables us to have a better understanding our world it establishes generalizations and laws and thereby contributes to building of verifiable and sound theories E.g Law of demand, theories of management, theories of motivation etc. Research initiates, formulates, deflects and clarifies theory It helps delineate causal relationships and enables better control over events.

It helps develop new tools, theories and concepts to better comprehend hitherto unknown aspects of life and the physical world It aids in purposive planning at the national level and thus promotes national development. It throws up facts and relevant data to support informed decision making. It enable testing of alternative approaches to an issue of interest

Descriptive vs. Analytical: DR includes surveys and factfinding enquiries of different kinds. The major purpose of DR is description of the state of affairs as it exists at present. In social science and business research the term Ex post facto research is used for DR studies. The main characteristic of this method is that the researcher has no control over the variables; he can only report what has happened or what is happening. Most ex post facto research projects are used for descriptive studies in which the researcher seeks to measure such items as, for example, frequency of shopping, preferences of people, or similar data.

Types of Research

Ex post facto studies also include attempts by researchers to discover causes even when they cannot control the variables. The methods of research utilized in DR are survey methods of all kinds, including comparative and correlational methods. In AR, the researcher has to use facts or information already available, and analyze these to make a critical evaluation of the material.

Applied vs. Fundamental: Research can either be applied (or action) or fundamental (to basic or pure) research. Applied research aims at finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society or an industrial /business organisation, whereas fundamental research is mainly concerned with generalisations and with the formulation of a theory. Gathering knowledge for knowledges sake is termed pure or basic research. Research concerning some natural phenomenon or relating to pure mathematics are examples of fundamental research. Similarly, research studies, concerning human behaviour carried on with a view to make generalisations about human behaviour, are also examples of fundamental research, but research aimed at certain conclusions (say, a solution) facing a concrete social or business problem is an example of applied research.

Research to identify social, economic or political trends that may affect a particular institution or the copy research (research to find out whether certain communications will be read and understood) or the marketing research or evaluation research are examples of applied research. Thus, the central aim of applied research is to discover a solution for some pressing practical problem, whereas basic research is directed towards finding information that has a broad base of applications and thus, adds to the already existing organized body of scientific knowledge.

Quantitative vs. Qualitative: Quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. It is applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity. Qualitative research, is concerned with qualitative phenomenon, i.e., phenomena relating to or involving quality or kind. Eg, when we are interested in investigating the reasons for human behaviour (i.e., why people think or do certain things), we quite often talk of Motivation Research, an imp. type of qualitative research. This type of research aims at discovering the underlying motives and desires, using in depth interviews for the purpose. Other techniques of such research are word association tests, sentence completion tests, story completion tests and similar other projective techniques. Attitude or opinion research i.e., research designed to find out how people feel or what they think about a particular subject or institution is also qualitative research.

Qualitative research is specially important in the behavioural sciences where the aim is to discover the underlying motives of human behaviour. Through such research we can analyse the various factors which motivate people to behave in a particular manner or which make people like or dislike a particular thing. It may be stated, however, that to apply qualitative research in practice is relatively a difficult job and therefore, while doing such research, one should seek guidance from experimental psychologists.

Conceptual vs. Empirical: Conceptual research is that related to some abstract idea(s) or theory. It is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or to reinterpret existing ones. On the other hand, empirical research relies on experience or observation alone, often without due regard for system and theory. It is data-based research, coming up with conclusions which are capable of being verified by observation or experiment. We can also call it as experimental type of research. In such a research it is necessary to get at facts firsthand, at their source, and actively to go about doing certain things to stimulate the production of desired information.

In such a research, the researcher must first provide himself with a working hypothesis or guess as to the probable results. He then works to get enough facts (data) to prove or disprove his hypothesis. He then sets up experimental designs which he thinks will manipulate the persons or the materials concerned so as to bring forth the desired information. Such research is thus characterised by the experimenters control over the variables under study and his deliberate manipulation of one of them to study its effects. Empirical research is appropriate when proof is sought that certain variables affect other variables in some way. Evidence gathered through experiments or empirical studies is today considered to be the most powerful support possible for a given hypothesis.

There are two basic approaches to research, viz., quantitative approach and the qualitative approach Quantitative Research involves the generation of data in quantitative form which can be subjected to rigorous quantitative analysis in a formal and rigid fashion. This approach can be further sub-classified into inferential, experimental and simulation approaches to research. The purpose of inferential approach to research is to form a data base from which to infer characteristics or relationships of population. This usually means survey research where a sample of population is studied (questioned or observed) to determine its characteristics, and it is then inferred that the population has the same characteristics. Experimental approach is characterised by much greater control over the research environment and in this case some variables are manipulated to observe their effect on other variables.

RESEARCH APPROACHES

Simulation approach involves the construction of an artificial environment within which relevant information and data can be generated. This permits an observation of the dynamic behaviour of a system (or its sub-system) under controlled conditions. The term simulation in the context of business and social sciences applications refers to the operation of a numerical model that represents the structure of a dynamic process. Given the values of initial conditions, parameters and exogenous variables, a simulation is run to represent the behaviour of the process over time. Simulation approach can also be useful in building models for understanding future conditions. Qualitative approach to research is concerned with subjective assessment of attitudes, opinions and behaviour. Research in such a situation is a function of researchers insights and impressions. Such an approach to research generates results either in nonquantitative form or in the form which are not subjected to rigorous quantitative analysis. Generally, the techniques of focus group interviews, projective techniques and depth interviews are used.

Research Process

Selecting a topic

The first step for a researcher is to select a topic of research. The researcher must at an outset, single out the problem he wants to study initially the problem stated, is very broad in nature, but then various ambiguities, if any, relating to the problem are to be resolved. Every research starts with the question(?), but not all whys have an answer. So while selecting a topic, the researcher should restrict himself to the most potential topic that is open to extensive research out of the several alternatives. Researcher should consider the following factors before he selects a topic Relevance Viable feasible

There are 2 types of problems Problems relating to the state of nature Problems relating to the relationship of variables Steps-1. understanding the problem thoroughly 2. Rephrasing the problem in meaningful terms. The best way to understanding the problem is to discuss with colleagues, experts, heads, and guides The researcher should also study and examine the available literature like books, journals, research articles, newspapers etc. The problem to be investigated must be clearly defined, free of ambiguity that will help in discriminating the relevant data from the irrelevant ones.

Objectives of research

After selecting a topic and once the research problem has been defined, the next stage is that the researcher must now mention the objective of research. this means that he should explain what he aims to achieve through the research. His objectives should also explain the extent to which the research work is related to the specific field.

Literature survey: Once the problem is formulated, a brief summary of it should be written down. To understand the basis of research, it is important for the researcher to review the existing literature Surveying the existing books available in the field Reviewing other published literature like articles, journals, reports, conference proceedings etc. A good library/Internet will be a great help to the researcher at this stage.

Development of working hypotheses: WH is tentative assumption made in order to draw out & test its logical or empirical consequences. Research hypotheses provide the focal point for research. Hypothesis should be very specific and limited to the piece of research in hand because it has to be tested. The hypothesis guide the researcher by delimiting the area of research and to keep him on the right track. It sharpens his thinking and focuses attention on the more important facets of the problem. It also indicates the type of data required and the type of methods of data analysis to be used.

How does one go about developing working hypotheses? (a) Discussions with colleagues and experts about the problem, its origin and the objectives in seeking a solution; (b) Examination of data and records, concerning the problem for possible trends, peculiarities and other clues; (c) Review of similar studies in the area or of the studies on similar problems; and (d) Exploratory personal investigation which involves original field interviews on a ltd. scale with interested parties and individuals with a view to secure greater insight into the practical aspects of the problem.

Working Hypothesis will be People in Khed read Marathi Newspaper People in Khed prefer local paper than state level papers There is scope for development of local newspaper industry.

Market for second hand motorcycle is larger than first hand motorcycle. Second hand motorcycle market is shifting from unorganized to organized market and has a large potential for development.

The research problem having been formulated in clear cut terms, the researcher will be required to prepare a research design, i.e., he will have to state the conceptual structure within which research would be conducted. It facilitates research to be as efficient as possible yielding maximal information. RD provides for the collection of relevant evidence with minimal expenditure of effort, time and money.

But how all these can be achieved depends mainly on the research purpose. Research purposes may be grouped into four categories, viz., Exploration-A flexible RD which provides opportunity for considering many diff. aspects of a problem. Description- the suitable design will be one that minimises bias and maximises the reliability of the data collected and analysed. Diagnosis and experimental - Experimental designs can be either informal designs (such as before-and-after without control, after-only with control, before-&-after with control) or formal designs (such as completely randomized design, randomized block design, Latin square design, simple and complex factorial designs), out of which the researcher must select one for his own project.

The preparation of the RD appropriate for a particular research problem, involves foll. Considerations (i) the means of obtaining the information; (ii) the availability and skills of the researcher and his staff (if any); (iii) explanation of the way in which selected means of obtaining information will be organised and the reasoning leading to the selection; (iv) the time available for research; and (v) the cost factor relating to research, i.e., the finance available for the purpose.

Determining sample design: All the items under consideration in any field of inquiry constitute a universe or population. A complete enumeration of all the items in the population is known as a census inquiry. It can be presumed that in census inquiry no element of chance is left and highest accuracy is obtained. But in practice this may not be true. When number of observation increases elements of bias will increase There is no way of checking the element of bias or its extent except through a resurvey or use of sample checks. This type of inquiry involves a great deal of time, money and energy. Not only this, census inquiry is not possible in practice under many circumstances. For instance, blood testing is done only on sample basis. Hence, quite often we select only a few items from the universe for our study purposes. The items so selected constitute what is technically called a sample.

The researcher must decide the way of selecting a sample or what is popularly known as the sample design. Thus, a sample design is a definite plan determined before any data are actually collected for obtaining a sample from a given population. The plan to select 12 of a citys 200 drugstores in a certain way constitutes a sample design. Samples can be either probability samples or nonprobability samples. Probability samples are those based on simple random sampling, systematic sampling, stratified sampling, cluster/area sampling whereas non-probability samples are those based on convenience sampling, judgement sampling and quota sampling techniques. A brief mention of the important sample designs is as follows:

(i) Deliberate sampling: is also known as purposive or nonprobability sampling. This sampling method involves purposive or deliberate selection of particular units of the universe for constituting a sample which represents the universe. Eg. A researcher wants to get opinions from non-working mothers. They go around an area knocking on doors during the day when children are likely to be at school. They ask to speak to the 'woman of the house. Their first questions are then about whether there are children and whether the woman has a day job. (ii) When population elements are selected for inclusion in the sample based on the ease of access, it can be called convenience sampling. Eg. A group of students in a high school do a study about teacher attitudes. They interview teachers at the school, a couple of teachers in the family and few others who are known to their parents.

(iii) In judgement sampling the researchers judgement is used for selecting items which he considers as representative of the population. A TV researcher wants a quick sample of opinions about a political announcement. They stop what seems like a reasonable crosssection of people in the street to get their views. (iv) Simple random sampling: also known as chance sampling or probability sampling where each and every item in the population has an equal chance of inclusion in the sample and each one of the possible samples, in case of finite universe, has the same probability of being selected. Eg, A person researching education levels within a co. takes the full employee list and applies a random number algorithm to this in order to select people to interview. If we have to select a sample of 300 employees from a total 15,000 employees, then we can put the names or numbers of all the 15,000 employees on slips of paper and conduct a lottery.

Using the random number tables is another method of random sampling. Write 1 to 15000 items on slip of paper and select any Rows and columns at random . Items belonging to these rows and columns will be our samples. Random number generation is easy these days with a computer (v) Stratified sampling: If the population from which a sample is to be drawn does not constitute a homogeneous group, then stratified sampling technique is applied so as to obtain a representative sample. In this technique, the population is stratified into a number of non-overlapping subpopulations or strata and sample items are selected from each stratum. If the items selected from each stratum is based on simple random sampling the entire procedure, first stratification and then simple random sampling, is known as stratified random sampling.

Eg. Person researching about work environment expectations of Gen X and Y. X gen means people who have born between 1965 to 1985 and Y gen means people born in between 1985 to 2005. In a company there are more men than women i.e. 700 men and 300 women , but it is required to have each group equally represented. Two strata are thus created, of men and women, further two strata are who are borne between 1965 to 1985 and 1985 to 2005, strata with an equal number in each.

Co. Employees Men Women

Who are borne in 1985-2005

(vi) Quota sampling: In stratified sampling the cost of taking random samples from individual strata is so expensive that interviewers are simply given quota to be filled from diff. strata, the actual selection of items for sample being left to the interviewers judgement.This is Q.S. The size of the quota for each strata is generally proportionate to the size of that strata in the population. QS is thus an important form of non-probability sampling. Quota samples generally happen to be judgement samples rather than random samples. A researcher in the high street wants 100 opinions about a new style of cheese. She sets up a stall and canvasses passers-by until she has got 100 people to taste the cheese and complete the questionnaire. (vii) Systematic sampling: In some instances the most practical way of sampling is to select every n th number of item, this type is known as systematic sampling. A study of people going to night-clubs first determines that there are about 250-300 people in the club (due to fire regulations).

A sample size of 30 is selected, giving an interval of 300/30 = 10. A random number between 1 and 10 is generated and comes up with 7. Starting with the 7th person to enter the club, every 10th person is given a brief interview. i.e. 7,17,27,37, and so on upto 30 peoples. (viii) Cluster sampling: involves grouping the population and then selecting the groups or the clusters rather than individual elements for inclusion in the sample. In a study of the opinions of homeless across a country, rather than study a few homeless people in all towns, a number of towns are selected and a significant number of homeless people are interviewed in each one. A risk with cluster sampling is that some geographic areas can have diff. characteristics, Eg. affluence or political bias. Cluster sampling is also called area sampling.

(ix) Multi-stage sampling: This is a further development of the idea of cluster sampling. This technique is meant for big inquiries extending to a considerably large geographical area like an entire country. Under multistage sampling the first stage may be to select large primary sampling units such as states, then districts, then towns and finally certain families within towns. If the technique of random-sampling is applied at all stages, the sampling procedure is described as multistage random sampling. (x) Sequential sampling: This is somewhat a complex sample design where the ultimate size of the sample is not fixed in advance but is determined according to mathematical decisions on the basis of information yielded as survey progresses. This design is usually adopted under acceptance sampling plan in the context of statistical quality control.

Primary data can be collected either through experiment or through survey. If the researcher conducts an experiment, he observes some quantitative measurements, or the data, with the help of which he examines the truth contained in his hypothesis. But in the case of a survey, data can be collected by any one or more of the follow. ways: (i) By observation: This method implies the collection of information by way of investigators own observation, without interviewing the respondents. The information obtained relates to what is currently happening and is not complicated by either the past behaviour or future intentions or attitudes of respondents. This method is an expensive method and the information provided is also very limited. So it is not suitable in inquiries where large samples are concerned. (ii) Through personal interview: The investigator follows a rigid procedure and seeks answers to a set of pre-conceived questions through personal interviews. This method of collecting data is usually carried out in a structured way where output depends upon the ability of the interviewer to a large extent.

(iii) Through telephone interviews: involves contacting the respondents on telephone itself. Useful in industrial surveys in developed regions, parti.,when the survey has to be accomplished in a very ltd. time. (iv) By mailing of questionnaires: The researcher and the respondents do come in contact with each other through mail. Questionnaires are mailed to the respondents with a request to return after completing the same. It is the most extensively used method .Before applying this method, usually a Pilot Study for testing the questionnaire is conduced which reveals the weaknesses, if any, of the questionnaire. Questionnaire to be used must be prepared very carefully so that it may prove to be effective in collecting the relevant information. (v) Through schedules: In this the enumerators are appointed and given training. They are provided with schedules containing relevant questions. These enumerators go to respondents and collects data by filling up the schedules with replies given by respondents. Much depends upon the capability of enumerators so far as this method is concerned. Some occasional field checks on the work of the enumerators may ensure sincere work.

The researcher should classify the raw data into some purposeful and usable categories. Coding operation is usually done at this stage through which the categories of data are transformed into symbols that may be tabulated and counted. Editing is the procedure that improves the quality of the data for coding. With coding the stage is ready for tabulation. Tabulation is a part of the technical procedure wherein the classified data are put in the form of tables. The mechanical devices can be made use of at this juncture. A great deal of data, specially in large inquiries, is tabulated by computers. Computers not only save time but also make it possible to study large number of variables affecting a problem simultaneously. Analysis work after tabulation is generally based on the computation of various percentages, coefficients, etc., by applying various well defined statistical formulae.

Analysis of data

In the process of analysis, relationships or differences supporting or conflicting with original or ne hypotheses should be subjected to tests of significance to determine with what validity data can be said to indicate any conclusion(s). For instance, if there are two samples of weekly wages, each sample being drawn from factories in different parts of the same city, giving two different mean values, then our problem may be whether the two mean values are significantly different or the difference is just a matter of chance. Through the use of statistical tests we can establish whether such a difference is a real one or is the result of random fluctuations. If the difference happens to be real, the inference will be that the two samples come from different universes and if the difference is due to chance, the conclusion would be that the two samples belong to the same universe. Similarly, the technique of analysis of variance can help us in analysing whether three or more varieties of seeds grown on certain fields yield significantly different results or not. In brief, the researcher can analyse the collected data with the help of various statistical measures.

After analysing the data as stated above, the researcher is in a position to test the hypotheses, if any, he had formulated earlier. Do the facts support the hypotheses or they happen to be contrary? This is the usual question which should be answered while testing hypotheses. Various tests, such as Chi square test, t-test, F-test, have been developed by statisticians for the purpose. The hypotheses may be tested through the use of one or more of such tests, depending upon the nature and object of research inquiry. Hypothesis-testing will result in either accepting the hypothesis or in rejecting it. If the researcher had no hypotheses to start with, generalisations established on the basis of data may be stated as hypotheses to be tested by subsequent researches in times to come.

Hypothesis-testing

If a hypothesis is tested and upheld several times, it may be possible for the researcher to arrive at generalisation, i.e., to build a theory. As a matter of fact, the real value of research lies in its ability to arrive at certain generalisations. If the researcher had no hypothesis to start with, he might seek to explain his findings on the basis of some theory. It is known as interpretation. The process of interpretation may quite often trigger off new questions which in turn may lead to further researches. Eg. X and Y theory of motivation, Porters diamond model, principles of management and so on.

The layout of the report should be as follows: (i) the preliminary pages; In this the report should carry title and date followed by acknowledgements and foreword. Then there should be a table of contents. (ii) The main text of the report should have the following parts: (a) Introduction (b) Summary of findings (c) Main report: The main body of the report should be presented in logical sequence and brokendown into readily identifiable sections. (d) Conclusion: Towards the end of the main text, researcher should again put down the results of his research clearly and precisely. In fact, it is the final summing up. (iii) At the end of the report, appendices should be enlisted in respect of all technical data. Bibliography, i.e., list of books, journals, reports, etc., consulted, should also be given in the end. Index should also be given specially in a published research report.

In research process, the first and foremost step happens to be that of selecting and properly defining a research problem. A research problem, in general, refers to some difficulty which a researcher experiences in the context of either a theoretical or practical situation and wants to obtain a solution for the same. Usually we say that a research problem does exist if the following conditions are met with:

(i) There must be an individual or a group which has some difficulty or the problem. (ii) There must be some objective(s) to be attained at. If one wants nothing, one cannot have a problem. (iii) There must be alternative means (or the courses of action) for obtaining the objective(s) one wishes to attain. This means that there must be at least two means available to a researcher for if he has no choice of means, he cannot have a problem. (iv) There must remain some doubt in the mind of a researcher with regard to the selection of alternatives. This means that research must answer the question concerning the relative efficiency of the possible alternatives. (v) There must be some environment(s) to which the difficulty pertains.

following points may be observed by a researcher in selecting a research problem or a subject for research: (i) Subject which is overdone should not be normally chosen, for it will be a difficult task to throw any new light in such a case. (ii) Controversial subject should not become the choice of an average researcher. (iii) Too narrow or too vague problems should be avoided. (iv) The subject selected for research should be familiar and feasible so that the related research material or sources of research are within ones reach. Even then it is quite difficult to supply definitive ideas concerning how a researcher should obtain ideas for his research. For this purpose, a researcher should contact an expert or a professor in the University who is already engaged in research. He may as well read articles published in current literature available on the subject and may think how the techniques and ideas discussed therein might be applied to the solution of other problems. He may discuss with others what he has in mind concerning a problem. In this way he should make all possible efforts in selecting a problem.

(v) The importance of the subject, the qualifications and the training of a researcher, the costs involved, the time factor are few other criteria that must also be considered in selecting a problem. In other words, before the final selection of a problem is done, a researcher must ask himself the following questions: (a) Whether he is well equipped in terms of his background to carry out the research? (b) Whether the study falls within the budget he can afford? (c) Whether the necessary cooperation can be obtained from those who must participate in research as subjects? If the answers to all these questions are in the affirmative, one may become sure so far as the practicability of the study is concerned. (vi) The selection of a problem must be preceded by a preliminary study. This may not be necessary when the problem requires the conduct of a research closely similar to one that has already been done. But when the field of inquiry is relatively new and does not have available a set of well developed techniques, a brief feasibility study must always be undertaken.

Quite often we all hear that a problem clearly stated is a problem half solved. The problem to be investigated must be defined unambiguously for that will help to discriminate relevant data from the irrelevant ones. A proper definition of RP will enable the researcher to be on the track whereas an ill-defined problem may create hurdles. Questions like: What data are to be collected? What characteristics of data are relevant and need to be studied? What relations are to be explored. What techniques are to be used for the purpose? and similar other questions crop up in the mind of the researcher who can well plan his strategy and find answers to all such questions only when the research problem has been well defined. Thus, defining a RP properly is a prerequisite for any study and is step of the highest importance. In fact, formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution. It is only on careful detailing the RP that we can work out the research design and can smoothly carry on

Define research problem: There are 2 types of research problems, viz., those which relate to states of nature and those which relate to relationships between variables. At the very outset the researcher must decide the general area of interest or aspect of a subject-matter that he would like to inquire into. Initially the problem may be stated in a broad general way and then the ambiguities, if any, relating to the problem be resolved. Then, the feasibility of a particular solution has to be considered before a working formulation of the problem can be set up. Essentially two steps are involved in formulating the research problem, viz., understanding the problem thoroughly, & rephrasing the same into meaningful terms from an analytical point of view. The best way of understanding the problem is

to discuss it with ones own colleagues or with those having some expertise in the matter. In an academic institution the researcher can seek the help from a guide who is usually an experienced man and has several research problems in mind. Often, the guide puts forth the problem in general terms and it is up to the researcher to narrow it down and phrase the problem in operational terms. In private business units or in governmental organisations, the problem is usually earmarked by the administrative agencies with whom the researcher can discuss as to how the problem originally came about and what considerations are involved in its possible solutions. The researcher must at the same time examine all available literature to get himself acquainted with the selected problem. Two types of literaturethe conceptual literature, and the empirical literature.

The basic outcome of this review will be the knowledge as to what data and other materials are available for operational purposes which will enable the researcher to specify his own research problem in a meaningful context. After this the researcher rephrases the problem into analytical or operational terms i.e., to put the problem in as specific terms as possible. This task of formulating, or defining, a research problem is a step of greatest importance in the entire research process. The problem to be investigated must be defined unambiguously for that will help discriminating relevant data from irrelevant ones. Care must, however, be taken to verify the objectivity and validity of the background facts concerning the problem. If there are certain pertinent terms, the same should be clearly defined along with the task of formulating the problem. In fact, formulation of the problem often follows a sequential pattern where a number of formulations are set up, each formulation more specific than the preceding one, each one phrased in more analytical terms, and each more realistic in terms of the available data and resources.

A proper def. of research problem will enable the researcher to be on the track whereas an ill-defined problem may create hurdles. Ques. What data are to be collected? What characteristics of data are relevant and need to be studied? What relations are to be explored? What techniques are to be used for the purpose? and similar other questions crop up in the mind of the researcher who can well plan his strategy and find answers to all such questions only when the research problem has been well defined.

A simple example of what market research can do for a business is the following. At the company Chevrolet they brought several disciplines together in a crossfunctional team to develop a concept for a completely new Corvette. This team enabled the marketers to come up with an alternative concept, one that balanced 4 attributes: comfort and convenience, quality, styling, and performance. This was considered radical because comfort and convenience were not traditional Corvette values. However, market research demonstrated that consumers supported the alternative concept. As a result the new Corvette was a huge success in the market.

The research problem should be defined in a systematic manner, giving due weightage to all relating points. The technique for the purpose involves the undertaking of the following steps generally one after the other: (i) statement of the problem in a general way; (ii) understanding the nature of the problem; (iii) surveying the available literature (iv) developing the ideas through discussions; and (v) rephrasing the research problem into a working proposition.

Let us suppose that a research problem in a broad general way is as follows: Why is productivity in Japan so much higher than in India? In this form the question has a number of ambiguities such as: What sort of productivity is being referred to? With what industries the same is related? With what period of time the productivity is being talked about? In view of all such ambiguities the given statement or the question is much too general to be amenable to analysis. Rethinking and discussions about the problem may result in narrowing down the question to: What factors were responsible for the higher labour productivity of Japans manufacturing industries during the decade 1971 to 1980 relative to Indias manufacturing industries?

This latter version of the problem is definitely an improvement over its earlier version for the various ambiguities have been removed to the extent possible. Further rethinking and rephrasing might place the problem on a still better operational basis as shown below: To what extent did labour productivity in 1971 to 1980 in Japan exceed that of India in respect of 15 selected manufacturing industries? What factors were responsible for the productivity differentials between the two countries by industries?

Placement office has noticed, while major companies make annual recruiting visits to campus for engineers, not many national or local companies are formally recruiting business majors through the placement office Why? How do we address this? Marketing Research Problems Why are companies not taking advantage of the resources that the placement service offers? Are co.s going around the service? Are companies aware of the VIM placement service? Are companies aware of the reputation of the VIM B-School? What kind of things might generate more recruiting activity? Marketing Research Objectives To determine to what extent companies are aware of the VIM placement service Determine whether companies, especially locals, are aware of the strong reputation of the VIM Business School To determine whether a quarterly newsletter highlighting VIM busi programs and students might generate more recruiting activity.

Management Problem What price should we charge for our new product? Research Problem What are our costs of production and marketing (COGS)? What are our pricing objectives and position in the market? What price does similar types of products sell for? What is the perceived value of our product in the marketplace? Are there any norms or conventional practices in the marketplace (e.g., customary prices, continual discounting) Research Objectives To assess the costs involved in producing and selling our product To determine corporate objectives and their implications for pricing To examine current prices for direct and indirect competition To determine potential customer reaction to various prices and their perception of the benefits of owning the product

In order to continue the fifty-year tradition of pacifist values, NDA administration needs a multifaceted mediation program that includes the administration, the faculty, the students and the students' parents. This mediation program needs to (1) serve as a preventative measure, (2) encourage peaceful interactions, and (3) adapt to the changing needs of the school. Currently, NDA has three mediation, i.e., problem solving, resources: (1) an unofficial peer mediation group, (2) an unofficial student court, and (3) a lecture program entitled Peaces. Unfortunately, at the present time, only one of those three methods are being utilized: lectures. These lectures are not mandatory as a result, the majority of students do not attend. Furthermore, neither the peer mediation group nor the student court are legally certified and are, therefore, not credible resources and remain unused. Without an effective mediation program to help NDA achieve its educational goals, violence will continue to escalate. A new, interactive approach to non-violent problem solving is needed. A long-term mediationtraining program may help the administration to (1) reinstate the schools pacifist values, (2) prevent aggressive behavior from escalating, and (3) promote peaceful interactions in the school. Current mediation programs are both abundant and diverse in nature.

For the following management problems, identify the underlying research problems and a couple of research objectives.

Should India allow for FDI in retail sector? What advertising media should we use to reach our market? How do we get more students to attend our Utsfurt event? Should we build a new warehouse to store our excess inventory?

How can we increase customer retention? Should the amount of in-store promotion for an existing product line be increased? Should the compensation package be changed to better motivate the sales force?

The formidable problem that follows the task of defining the research problem is the preparation of the design of the research project, popularly known as the research design. Decisions regarding what, where, when, how much, by what means concerning an inquiry or a research study constitute a research design. A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure. In fact, the research design is the conceptual structure within which research is conducted; it constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement and analysis of data.

RD facilitates the smooth sailing of the various research operations, making research as efficient as possible, yielding maximal information with minimal expenditure of effort, time and money. Just as for better, economical and attractive construction of a house, we need a blueprint (Architectural plan) well thought out and prepared by an expert architect, similarly we need a research design or a plan in advance of data collection and analysis for our research project. RD stands for advance planning of the methods to be adopted for collecting the relevant data and the techniques to be used in their analysis, keeping in view the objective of the research and the availability of staff, time and money. Research design, in fact, has a great bearing on the reliability of the results arrived at and as such constitutes the firm foundation of the entire edifice of the research work.

A good design must be flexible, appropriate, efficient, economical Design should minimise bias and maximise the reliability of the data collected and analysed The design which gives the smallest experimental error is supposed to be the best design in many investigations. Similarly, a design which yields maximal information and provides an opportunity for considering many different aspects of a problem is considered most appropriate and efficient design in respect of many research problems. One single design cannot serve the purpose of all types of research problems. A research design appropriate for a particular research problem, usually involves the consideration of the following factors:

(i) the means of obtaining information; (ii) the availability and skills of the researcher and his staff, if any; (iii) the objective of the problem to be studied; (iv) the nature of the problem to be studied; and (v) the availability of time and money for the research work.

1. Variables : A concept which can take on diff. quantitative values is called a variable. Concepts like weight, height, income are all examples of variables. Qualitative phenomena (or the attributes) are also quantified on the basis of the presence or absence of the concerning attribute/s 2. Continuous variables - Phenomena which can take on quantitatively different values even in decimal points are called continuous variables. But all variables are not continuous. 3. Non Continuous or discrete variables- If they can only be expressed in integer values, they are non continuous variables or in statistical language discrete variables. Age is an example of continuous variable, but the number of children is an example of non-continuous variable.

4. Dependent Variable -If one variable depends upon or is a consequence of the other variable, it is termed as a dependent variable, 5. Independent Variable- the variable that is antecedent to the dependent variable is termed as an independent variable. For instance, if we say that height depends upon age, then height is a dependent variable and age is an independent variable. Further, if in addition to being dependent upon age, height also depends upon the individuals sex, then height is a dependent variable and age and sex are independent variables. Similarly, Producer (X) and product (Y). Till producer is exist Y would be in exist.

6. Extraneous variable: Independent variables that are not related to the purpose of the study, but may affect the dependent variable are termed as extraneous variables. Suppose the researcher wants to test the hypothesis that there is a no poverty in India. In this case Social status (upper class, middle class & lower class) is an independent variable and Economic status (income) is a dependent variable. Religion/Caste may affect on the poverty but since it is not related to the purpose of the study undertaken by the researcher, it will be termed as an extraneous variable. Whatever effect is noticed on dependent variable as a result of extraneous variable(s) is technically described as an experimental error. A study must always be so designed that the effect upon the dependent variable is attributed entirely to the independent variable(s), and not to some extraneous variable or variables.

7. Control: One important characteristic of a good research design is to minimise the influence or effect of extraneous variable(s). The technical term control is used when we design the study minimising the effects of extraneous independent variables. In experimental researches, the term control is used to refer to restrain experimental conditions. 8. Confounded relationship: When the dependent variable is not free from the influence of extraneous variable(s), the relationship between the dependent and independent variables is said to be confounded by an extraneous variable(s). 9. Research hypothesis: When a prediction or a hypothesised relationship is to be tested by scientific methods, it is termed as research hypothesis. The research hypothesis is a predictive statement that relates an independent variable to a dependent variable. Usually a research hypothesis must contain, at least, one independent and one dependent variable. Predictive statements which are not to be objectively verified or the relationships that are assumed but not to be tested, are not termed research hypotheses.

10. Experimental and non-experimental hypothesis-testing research: When the purpose of research is to test a research hypothesis, it is termed as hypothesis-testing research. It can be of the experimental design or of the non-experimental design. Research in which the independent variable is manipulated is termed experimental hypothesis-testing research and a research in which an independent variable is not manipulated is called nonexperimental hypothesis-testing research. For instance, suppose a researcher wants to study whether intelligence affects reading ability for a group of students and for this purpose he randomly selects 50 students and tests their intelligence and reading ability by calculating the coefficient of correlation between the two sets of scores. This is an example of non-experimental hypothesis-testing research because herein the independent variable, intelligence, is not manipulated.

But now suppose that our researcher randomly selects 50 students from a group of students who are to take a course in statistics and then divides them into two groups by randomly assigning 25 to Group A, the usual studies programme, and 25 to Group B, the special studies programme. At the end of the course, he administers a test to each group in order to judge the effectiveness of the training programme on the students performancelevel. This is an example of experimental hypothesis-testing research because in this case the independent variable, viz., the type of training programme, is manipulated. .

11. Experimental and control groups: In an experimental hypothesistesting research when a group is exposed to usual conditions, it is termed a control group, but when the group is exposed to some novel or special condition, it is termed an experimental group. In the above illustration, the --------Group A can be called a control group and the Group B an experimental group. If both groups A and B are exposed to special studies programmes, then both groups would be termed experimental groups. It is possible to design studies which include only experimental groups or studies which include both experimental and control groups. 12. Treatments: The different conditions under which experimental and control groups are put are usually referred to as treatments. In the above example, the two treatments are the usual studies programme and the special studies programme. Similarly, if we want to determine through an experiment the comparative impact of 3 varieties of fertilizers on the yield of wheat, in that case the 3 varieties of fertilizers will be treated as 3 treatments.

13. Experiment: The process of examining the truth of a statistical hypothesis, relating to some research problem, is known as an experiment. Experiments can be of two types viz., absolute experiment and comparative experiment. If we want to determine the impact of a fertilizer on the yield of a crop, it is a case of absolute experiment; but if we want to determine the impact of one fertilizer as compared to the impact of some other fertilizer, our experiment then will be termed as a comparative experiment. Often, we undertake comparative experiments when we talk of designs of experiments. 14. Experimental unit(s): The pre-determined plots or the blocks, where different treatments are used, are known as experimental units. Such experimental units must be selected (defined) very carefully.

Exploratory research is often conducted because a problem has not been clearly defined as yet, or its real scope is as yet unclear. It is a process of discovery wherein you uncover as many ideas as possible. It allows the researcher to familiarize him/herself with the problem or concept to be studied, and perhaps generate hypothesis to be tested. It expands knowledge. It is the initial research, before more conclusive research is undertaken. Exploratory research helps determine the best research design, data collection method and selection of subjects. Another common reason for conducting exploratory research is to test concepts before they are launched in the marketplace, always a very costly endeavor. In concept testing, consumers are provided either with a written concept or a prototype for a new, revised or repositioned product, service or strategy.

Exploratory research relies more on secondary data. It does not have a rigid design as the researcher themselves are not very well versed with the subject and are trying to gain knowledge of the same. Hence it can be quite informal, relying on secondary research such as reviewing available literature and/or data, or qualitative approaches such as informal discussions with consumers, employees, management or competitors, and more formal approaches through in-depth interviews, focus groups, projective methods, case studies or pilot studies. The results of exploratory research are not usually useful for decision-making by themselves, but they can provide significant insight into a given situation. The findings of this can be used to develop the research further. Points can be arrived at which requires to apply the other methodologies.

Descriptive research is also used to generate hypotheses but generally has more information available than in exploratory research. Descriptive research is usually conducted to characterize one or more variables within a population, particularly in relation to person, place, and time. As the name indicates, conclusive research is meant to provide information that is useful in reaching conclusions or decision-making. It is mostly quantitative in nature, in the form of numbers that can be quantified and summarized. It relies on both secondary data, particularly existing databases that are reanalyzed to shed light on a diff. problem than the original one for which they were constituted, & primary research, or data specifically gathered for the current study. The purpose of conclusive research is to provide a reliable or representative picture of the population through the use of a valid research instrument. In the case of formal research, it will also test hypothesis.

Conclusive research can be sub-divided into two categories: 1. Descriptive or statistical research, and 2. Causal research Descriptive Research Descriptive research or statistical research provides data about the population or universe being studied. It describes the "who, what, when, where and how" of a situation and not what caused it. Therefore, descriptive research is used when the objective is to provide a systematic description that is as factual and accurate as possible. It provides the number of times something occurs, or frequency, lends itself to statistical calculations such as determining the average number of occurrences or central tendencies. One of its major limitations is that it cannot help determine what causes a specific behaviour, motivation or occurrence. In other words, it cannot establish a causal research relationship between variables. The two most common types of descriptive research designs are

1. Observation: Observation is a primary method of collecting data by human, mechanical, electrical or electronic means. The researcher may or may not have direct contact or communication with the people whose behaviour is being recorded. Observation techniques can be part of qualitative research as well as quantitative research techniques. The commonly used observation methods are: Participant and non participant observation--e.g. studying team dynamics by being a team member would be participant observation Obtrusive and unobtrusive observation--e.g. hidden microphones or cameras observing behaviour Observation in natural or contrived settings Disguised and non-disguised observation Structured and unstructured observation Direct and indirect observation:

2. Surveys: Tool for collecting primary data about subjects, usually by selecting a representative sample of the population or universe under study, through the use of a questionnaire. It is a very popular since many different types of information can be collected, including attitudinal, motivational, behavioral and perceptive aspects. It allows for standardization and uniformity in the questions asked and in the method of approaching subjects, making it easier to compare and contrast answers by respondent group. It also ensures higher reliability than some other techniques. If properly designed and implemented, surveys can be an efficient and accurate means of determining information about a given population. Results can be provided relatively quickly, and depending on the sample size and methodology chosen, they are relatively inexpensive. However, surveys also have a number of disadvantages, which must be considered by the researcher in determining the appropriate data collection technique. Since in any survey, the respondent knows that s/he is being studied, the information provided may not be valid insofar as the respondent

may wish to impress (e.g. by attributing him/herself a higher income or education level) or please (e.g. researcher by providing the kind of response s/he believes the researcher is looking for) the researcher. This is known as response error or bias. The willingness or ability to reply can also pose a problem. If the information sought is considered sensitive or intrusive the respondent may hesitate to reply, leading to a high rate of refusal. This can be overcome by framing such questions carefully. There can be an interviewer error or bias as the interviewer can (inadvertently) influence the response elicited through comments made or by stressing certain words in the question itself. This is seen through facial expressions, body language or even the clothing that is worn. Another consideration is response rate. Depending on the method chosen, the length of the questionnaire, the type and/or motivation of the respondent, the type of questions and/or subject matter, the time of day or place, and whether respondents were informed to expect the survey or offered an incentive can all influence the response rate obtained. Proper questionnaire design and question wording can help increase response rate.

1. Cross-sectional studies: It deals with a sample of elements from a given population. Number of characteristics from the sample elements are collected and analyzed. It is of two types: field studies and surveys. 2. Longitudinal studies. This is based on panel data and panel methods. A panel constitutes a group of respondents who are interviewed and reinterviewed from time to time. Hence the same variable is repeatedly measured. This helps in studying a particular behaviour over a period of time.

Causal Research

Causal research is undertaken to see if there is a cause and effect relationship between variables. In order to determine causality, it is important to hold the variable that is assumed to cause the change in the other variable(s) constant and then measure the changes in the other variable(s). This type of research is very complex and the researcher can never be completely certain that there are not other factors influencing the causal relationship, especially when dealing with peoples attitudes and motivations. There are often much deeper psychological considerations that even the respondent may not be aware of. There are two research methods for exploring the cause and effect relationship between variables:

1. Experimentation or natural experimentation: This highly controlled method allows the researcher to manipulate a specific independent variable in order to determine what effect this manipulation would have on other dependent variables. Experimentation also calls for a control group as well as an experimentation group, and subjects would be assigned randomly to either group. The researcher can further decide whether the experiment should take place in a laboratory or in the field, i.e. the "natural" setting as opposed to an "artificial" one. Laboratory research allows the researcher to control and/or eliminate as many intervening variables as possible. 2. Simulation: Another way of establishing causality between variables is through the use of simulation. A sophisticated set of mathematical formula are used to simulate or imitate a real life situation. By changing one variable in the equation, it is possible to determine the effect on the other variables in the equation.

For the natural experiments there are three classes of designs: 1. Time-series and trend designs 2. Cross-sectional designs and 3. A combination of the above two. Time series and trend designs: In a time series design, data is collected from the sample or population at successive intervals. The trend data relate to matched samples drawn from the same population at successive intervals. It can be of many types. A simple design can be represented as below:

Where X indicates the exposure of a group to an experimental treatment and O indicates the observation or measurement taken on the subject or group after an experimental treatment. Another method also involves a control group. This can be represented as below: O1 O2 O3 X O4 O5 O6 O1 O2 O3 O4 O5 O6 Where Os represent measurement of the control group. This is termed as multiple time-series design.

Cross-sectional designs: It studies the effect of different levels of treatments on several groups at the same time. It can be represented a X1 O1 X2 O2 X3 O3 X4 O4 An example would be diff. kind of incentives given for the same product in various territories. This would help in ustanding the effect of varying the incentive on the sales performance across territories This design combines both the time-series and cross sectional designs. This design is generally seen while measuring advertising effectiveness in a panel. An advertisement is run and the respondents are asked if they have seen it earlier. Those who have seen it earlier constitute the test group and those who have not constitute the control group. The purchase made before and after the advertisement by the test and the control group marks the advertising effectiveness.

The researcher must pay attention to the following points in constructing an appropriate and effective questionnaire or a schedule: 1. The researcher must keep in view the problem he is to study for it provides the starting point for developing the Questionnaire/Schedule. He must be clear about the various aspects of his research problem to be dealt with in the course of his research project. 2. Appropriate form of questions depends on the nature of information sought, the sampled respondents and the kind of analysis intended. The researcher must decide whether to use closed or open-ended question. Questions should be simple and must be constructed with a view to their forming a logical part of a well thought out tabulation plan. The units of enumeration should also be defined precisely so that they can ensure accurate and full information.

Constructing Questionnaire

3. Rough draft of the Questionnaire/Schedule be prepared, giving due thought to the appropriate sequence of putting questions. Questionnaires or schedules previously drafted (if available) may as well be looked into at this stage. 4. Researcher must invariably re-examine, and in case of need may revise the rough draft for a better one. Technical defects must be minutely scrutinised and removed. 5. Pilot study should be undertaken for pre-testing the questionnaire. The questionnaire may be edited in the light of the results of the pilot study. 6. Questionnaire must contain simple but straight forward directions for the respondents so that they may not feel any difficulty in answering the questions

Types of Questionnaire

1. Open Ended Questions Open-ended questions give your audience an opportunity to express their opinions in a free-flowing manner. These questions dont have predetermined set of responses and the respondent is free to answer whatever he/she feels right. By including open format questions in your questionnaire, you can get true, insightful and even unexpected suggestions. Qualitative questions fall under this category. An ideal questionnaire would include an open-ended question at the end of the questionnaire that seeks feedback and/or suggestions for improvements from respondents. State your Opinion about quality of Dells products and Services.______________________________________ ___________________________________________________ __________________________________________________

Closed Ended Questions Multiple choice questions, where respondents are restricted to choose among any of the given multiple choice answers are known as closed format or closedended questions. There is no fixed limit as to how many multiple choices should be given; the number can be even or odd. One of the main advantages of including closed ended questions in your questionnaire design is the ease at performing preliminary analysis. These questions are ideal for calculating statistical data and percentages, as the answers set is known. Closed ended questions can also be asked to different groups at different intervals to efficiently track their opinion about a product/service/company over time. Closed-ended questions can be further classified into 7 types.

Which are the gadgets you cannot live without ? Circle those applicable Cell Laptop I-Pod Digital camera Xbox

phone

b. Leading questions

Questions that force your audience for a particular type of answer are known as leading questions. In a leading question, all the answers would be equally likely. An example of a leading question would be a question with choices such as, fair, good, great, poor, superb, excellent etc. These questions are meant to get an opinion from the audience in limited words. How would you rate the product of XYZ corporation? Fair Fair good excellent superb

Closed-Ended Importance Question In importance questions, the respondents are usually asked to rate the importance of a particular issue, on a rating scale of 1 to 5. These questions can help you understand things that hold significance to your respondents and allow you make business critical decisions.

Extremel Very imp Somewh Not very Not at all y at imp imp imp importan t

Likert questions can help you ascertain how strongly your respondents agree to a particular statement. Such type of questions also help you assess how your customers feel towards a certain issue, product or service. ABC corporations product have to improve on quality?

Strongly Agree 1 Agree Neither agree or disagree 3 disagree Strongly disagree 5

Dichotomous Questions These are simple questions that ask respondents to answer in a yes or no. One major drawback with dichotomous questions is that it cannot analyze the answers between yes and no, there is no scope for a middle perspective. EG. No

Yes

Rating Scale Questions In rating scale questions, the respondents are asked to rate a particular issue on a scale that ranges between poor to good. Rating scale questions usually have an even number of choices, so that respondents are not given the choice of selecting a middle option. Rate the products of Dell co-- Good Fair poor Very poor

Buying propensity questions try to assess the future intentions of customers and determine respondents buying intention. These questions ask respondents if they want to buy a particular product, what requirements they want to be addressed, and whether they would buy such a product in future. If mobile phones had an inbuilt mp3 player would you prefer to buy it?

Definitely Probably Probably Not sure not 1 2 3 4 Definitely not 5

broadly defined to be a procedure, which uses available information and assumptions to substitute inconsistent values in a data set. In other words, editing is the process of examining the data collected through various methods to detect errors and omissions and correct them for further analysis. While editing, care has to be taken to see that the data are as accurate and complete as possible, units of observations and number of decimal places are the same for the same variable. The follow. practical guidelines may be handy while editing the data: 1. The editor should have a copy of the instructions given to the interviewers. 2. The editor should not destroy or erase the original entry. Original entry should be crossed out in such a manner that they are still legible. 3. All answers, which are modified or filled in afresh by the editor, have to be indicated. 4. All completed schedules should have the signature of the editor -date

DATA PROCESSING

For checking the quality of data collected, it is advisable to take a small sample of the questionnaire and examine them thoroughly. This helps in understanding the following types of problems: 1. Whether all the questions are answered, 2. Whether the answers are properly recorded, 3. Whether there is any bias, 4. Whether there is any interviewer dishonesty, 5. Whether there are inconsistencies. At times, it may be worthwhile to group the same set of questionnaires according to the investigators (whether any particular investigator has specific problems) or according to geographical regions (whether any particular region has specific problems) or according to the sex or background of the investigators, and corrective actions may be taken if any problem is observed.

ii ) CODING OF DATA

Coding refers to the process by which data are categorized into groups and numerals or other symbols or both are assigned to each item depending on the class it falls in. Hence, coding involves: Deciding the categories to be used, and Assigning individual codes to them. For example, for the open-ended question Do you enjoy milkshakes, if so, how much would you say you enjoy milkshakes. The researcher in the coding process will then have to observe different answers and give them a numeric value. For example, If we use a five-point scale with 1 being Extremely dislike (dont enjoy) 2. Dislike 3. Like 4. fairly like and 5 being Extremely like (favorite treat), and the response is I like milkshakes the researcher would code the response as a 3, if the response was I absolutely love milkshakes! the researcher would code the response as a 5.

Data Analysis

Data analysis begins with univariate analysis. Univariate analysis also is the foundation for the bivariate and multivariate analysis. Univariate analysis is the assessment of the distributional properties of a variable. It serves two broad purposes: description and preparation for multivariate analysis. These functions correspond to the two primary forms of univariate analysis, the assessment of central tendency and of dispersion, or convergence and divergence. This mainly deals with the meaning of a typical value and to what extent do values differ from this typical value. Descriptive research focuses on identifying what is most characteristic of a set of observations. Any variation from this typical value usually is the most important concern with regard to subsequent multivariate analysis. There is a possibility that many times univariate analysis itself is the research goal. For example, we might calculate the percentage of women going for work.

Descriptive research emphasizes what are most typical using estimates of central tendency. When univariate analysis is preliminary to multivariate analysis, dispersion takes center stage. This analysis often uncovers at least some technical problems that need to be resolved before other forms of analysis can proceed. Measures of Central Tendency Measures of central tendency summarize the entire distribution of values as one single quantity or quality that can be thought of as the average value. Measures of central tendency are measures of the location of the middle or the center of a distribution. The mean is the most commonly used measure of central tendency. The three most commonly-used measures of central tendency are- Mean, Mode and Median

Dispersion

As seen earlier, the measures of central tendency are used to estimate "normal values of a dataset. Measures of dispersion are important for describing the spread of the data, or its variation around a central value. Two distinct samples may have the same mean or median, but completely different levels of variability, or vice versa. A proper description of a set of data should include both of these characteristics. There are various methods that can be used to measure the dispersion of a dataset, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. 1. Range Its calculation is one of the simplest. It is defined as the difference between the largest and smallest sample values. The range depends only on extreme values and provides no information about how the remaining data is distributed. 2. Variance and Standard Deviation The standard deviation is the square root of the sample variance. These measures of dispersion are very important.

In case of bivariate population: Correlation can be studied through (a) cross tabulation; (b) Charles Spearmans coefficient of correlation; (c) Karl Pearsons coefficient of correlation; whereas cause and effect relationship can be studied through simple regression equations. In case of multivariate population: Correlation can be studied through (a) coefficient of multiple correlation; (b) coefficient of partial correlation; whereas cause and effect relationship can be studied through multiple regression equations.

Karl Pearsons coefficient of correlation (or simple correlation) is the most widely used method of measuring the degree of relationship between two variables. This coefficient assumes the following: (i) that there is linear relationship between the two variables; (ii) that the two variables are casually related which means that one of the variables is independent and the other one is dependent; and (iii) a large number of independent causes are operating in both variables so as to produce a normal distribution. Karl Pearsons coefficient of correlation can be worked out thus.

Regression is the determination of a statistical relationship between two or more variables. In simple regression, we have only two variables, one variable (defined as independent) is the cause of the behaviour of another one (defined as dependent variable). Regression can only interpret what exists physically i.e., there must be a physical way in which independent variable X can affect dependent variable Y. The basic relationship between X and Y is given by

Y = a +bx

^

where the symbol ^Y denotes the estimated value of Y for a given value of X. This equation is known as the regression equation of Y on X (also represents the regression line of Y on X when drawn on a graph) which means that each unit change in X produces a change of b in Y, which is positive for direct and negative for inverse relationships. Then generally used method to find the best fit that a straight line of this kind can give is the least-square method.

HYPOTHESIS TESTING

Null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis: In the context of statistical analysis, we often talk about null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis. If we are to compare method A with method B about its superiority and if we proceed on the assumption that both methods are equally good, then this assumption is termed as the null hypothesis. As against this, we may think that the method A is superior or the method B is inferior, we are then stating what is termed as alternative hypothesis. The null hypothesis is generally symbolized as H0 and the alternative hypothesis as Ha.

Hypothesis Testing

Hypothesis testing, consists of four steps. Formulating the hypothesis: The first step in hypothesis testing is to formulate the hypothesis to be tested. This means stating the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. (a) Alternative hypothesis is usually the one which one wishes to prove and the null hypothesis is the one which one wishes to disprove. Thus, a null hypothesis represents the hypothesis we are trying to reject, and alternative hypothesis represents all other possibilities. (b) If the rejection of a certain hypothesis when it is actually true involves great risk, it is taken as null hypothesis because then the probability of rejecting it when it is true is a (the level of significance) which is chosen very small. (c) Null hypothesis should always be specific hypothesis i.e., it should not state about or approximately a certain value.

Generally, in hypothesis testing we proceed on the basis of null hypothesis, keeping the alternative hypothesis in view. Why so? The answer is that on the assumption that null hypothesis is true, one can assign the probabilities to different possible sample results, but this cannot be done if we proceed with the alternative hypothesis. Hence the use of null hypothesis (at times also known as statisticalhypothesis) is quite frequent.

(a) Alternative hypothesis is usually the one which one wishes to prove and the null hypothesis is the one which one wishes to disprove. Thus, a null hypothesis represents the hypothesis we are trying to reject, and alternative hypothesis represents all other possibilities. (b) If the rejection of a certain hypothesis when it is actually true involves great risk, it is taken as null hypothesis because then the probability of rejecting it when it is true is a (the level of significance) which is chosen very small. (c) Null hypothesis should always be specific hypothesis i.e., it should not state about or approximately a certain value.

The level of significance: This is a very important concept in the context of hypothesis testing. It is always some percentage (usually 5%) which should be chosen with great care, thought and reason. In case we take the significance level at 5% , then this implies that H0 will be rejected when the sampling result (i.e., observed evidence) has a less than 0.05 probability of occurring if H0 is true. In other words, the 5% level of significance means that researcher is willing to take as much as a 5% risk of rejecting the null hypothesis when it (H0) happens to be true. Thus the significance level is the maximum value of the probability of rejecting H0 when it is true and is usually determined in advance before testing the hypothesis.

Decision rule or test of hypothesis: Given a hypothesis H0 and an alternative hypothesis Ha, we make a rule which is known as decision rule according to which we accept H0 (i.e., reject Ha) or reject H0 (i.e., accept Ha). For instance, if (H0 is that a certain lot is good (there are very few defective items in it) against Ha) that the lot is not good (there are too many defective items in it), then we must decide the number of items to be tested and the criterion for accepting or rejecting the hypothesis. We might test 10 items in the lot and plan our decision saying that if there are none or only 1 defective item among the 10, we will accept H0 otherwise we will reject H0 (or accept Ha). This sort of basis is known as decision rule.

Type I and Type II errors: In the context of testing of hypotheses, there are basically two types of errors we can make. We may reject H0 when H0 is true and we may accept H0 when in fact H0 is not true. The former is known as Type I error and the latter as Type II error. In other words, Type I error means rejection of hypothesis which should have been accepted and Type II error means accepting the hypothesis which should have been rejected. Type I error is denoted by a (alpha) known as a error, also called the level of significance of test; and Type II error is denoted by b (beta) known as b error. In a tabular form the said two errors can be presented as follows:

Two-tailed and One-tailed tests: In the context of hypothesis testing, these two terms are quite important and must be clearly understood. A two-tailed test rejects the null hypothesis if, say, the sample mean is significantly higher or lower than the hypothesized value of the mean of the population. Such a test is appropriate when the null hypothesis is some specified value and the alternative hypothesis is a value not equal to the specified value of the null hypothesis. Symbolically, the two tailed test is appropriate when we have H0: = : Ho and Ha: Ho which may mean > H0 or < H0 . Thus, in a two-tailed test, there are two rejection regions, one on each tail of the curve which can be illustrated as under:

Making a formal statement This means that hypotheses should be clearly stated, considering the nature of the research problem. For instance, Mr. Mohan of the Civil Engineering Department wants to test the load bearing capacity of an old bridge which must be more than 10 tons, in that case he can state his hypotheses as under:

(ii) Selecting a significance level: The hypotheses are tested on a pre-determined level of significance and as such the same should be specified. Generally, in practice, either 5% level or 1% level is adopted for the purpose. The factors that affect the level of significance are: (a) the magnitude of the difference between sample means; (b) the size of the samples; (c) the variability of measurements within samples; and (d) whether the hypothesis is directional or nondirectional (iii) Deciding the distribution to use: After deciding the level of significance, the next step in hypothesis testing is to determine the appropriate sampling distribution. The choice generally remains between normal distribution and the t-distribution.

(iv) Selecting a random sample & computing an appropriate value: Another step is to select a random sample(s)& compute an appropriate value from the sample data concerning the test statistic utilizing the relevant distribution. In other words, draw a sample to furnish empirical data. (v) Calculation of the probability: that the sample result would diverge as widely as it has from expectations, if the null hypothesis were in fact true. (vi) Comparing the probability: Yet another step consists in comparing the probability thus calculated with the specified value for a , the significance level. If the calculated probability is = to or smaller than the a value in case of onetailed test (and a /2 in case of two-tailed test), then reject the null hypothesis (i.e., accept the alternative hypothesis), but

if the calculated probability is greater, then accept the null hypothesis. In case we reject H0, we run a risk of (at most the level of significance) committing an error of Type I, but if we accept H0, then we run some risk (the size of which cannot be specified as long as the H0 happens to be vague rather than specific) of committing an error of Type II.

The chi-square value is often used to judge the significance of population variance i.e., we can use the test to judge if a random sample has been drawn from a normal population with mean (m) and with a specified variance ( s2 p ). The test is based on c2 -distribution. Such a distribution we encounter when we deal with collections of values that involve adding up squares. Variances of samples require us to add a collection of squared quantities and, thus, have distributions that are related to c2 -distribution. If we take each one of a collection of sample variances, divided them by the known population variance and multiply these quotients by (n 1), where n means the number of items in the sample, we shall obtain a c2 -distribution. Thus,

(i) Observations recorded and used are collected on a random basis. (ii) All the itmes in the sample must be independent. (iii) No group should contain very few items, say less than 10. In case where the frequencies are less than 10, regrouping is done by combining the frequencies of adjoining groups so that the new frequencies become greater than 10. Some statisticians take this number as 5, but 10 is regarded as better by most of the statisticians. (iv) The overall number of items must also be reasonably large. It should normally be at least 50, howsoever small the number of groups may be. (v) The constraints must be linear. Constraints which involve linear equations in the cell frequencies of a contingency table (i.e., equations containing no squares or higher powers of the frequencies) are known as linear constraints.

A die is thrown 132 times with following results:

Solution: Let us take the hypothesis that the die is unbiased. If that is so, the probability of obtaining any one of the six numbers is 1/6 and as such the expected frequency of any one number coming upward is 132 1/6 = 22. Now we can write the observed frequencies along with expected frequencies and work out the value of x2 as follows:

The table value of 5% significance level is 11.071. X2=9 Hence

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