EDUA 7850 – Assignment 3 Guide

[Normal curve illustration adapted from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Standard_deviation_diagram.svg)]

Assignment question Guidelines
  1. Name the independent variable (antecedent/ predictor variable).
  • Predictor variable derived from research question/ hypothesis.
  1. Name the dependent variable (outcome variable).
  • Outcome variable derived from research question/ hypothesis
  1. Give an operational definition of each variable. … If active, how might the independent variable be manipulated? If an attribute, how will the attribute be measured? … How will the dependent variable be measured?
  • “An operational definition [of a variable] describes or defines a variable in terms of the operations or techniques used to make it happen or measure it.” (Leech, Barrett, & Morgan, 2015, p. 1)

  • “An active independent variable is a variable, such as a workshop, new curriculum, or intervention, at least one level of which is given to a group of participants, ideally within a specified period of time during the study. … active independent variables are _given_ to the participants during the study but are not necessarily given or manipulated by the experimenter. … from the participants’ point of view the situation was manipulated.” (Leech et al., 2015, p. 2)

  • “A variable that cannot be or was not manipulated, yet is a major focus of the study presumed by the researchers to be a predictor of or influence on one or more dependent variables, can be called an attribute independent variable. … Studies with only attribute independent variables are called nonexperimental studies.” (Leech et al., 2015, p. 2)

  • How measured:

    “Demographic variables like age, gender, or ethnic group are usually measured simply by asking the participant to choose the appropriate category from a list, or using school or government records. Types of treatment (or curriculum) are usually operationally defined much more extensively by describing what was done during the treatment or new curriculum. Likewise, abstract concepts like mathematics knowledge, self-concept, or mathematics anxiety need to be defined operationally by spelling out in some detail how they were measured in a particular study. To do this, the investigator may provide sample questions, append the actual instrument, or provide a reference where more information can be found.” (Leech et al., 2015, p. 1)

  1. Is the independent variable active or an attribute?
  • See above.
  1. How many levels of the independent variable are there?
  • “A variable must be able to vary or have different values or levels…” (Leech et al., 2015, p. 1).

  • “SPSS uses the term values to describe the several options or values of a variable. These values are not necessarily ordered, and several other terms – categories, levels, groups, or samples – are sometimes used interchangeably with the term values, especially in statistics books” (Leech et al., 2015, p. 3).

  1. Are the levels of the independent variable ordered or nominal?
  1. State which statistical analysis would be appropriate to answer the question/ hypothesis.

Selected References

  • Leech, N. L., Barrett, K. C., & Morgan, G. A. (2015). IBM SPSS for Intermediate Statistics: Use and Interpretation (5th edition). New York: Routledge.
  • Morgan, G. A., Leech, N. L., Gloeckner, G. W., & Barrett, K. C. (2013). IBM SPSS for Introductory Statistics: Use and Interpretation (5th edition). New York: Routledge.
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