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Research Methods Room

The constellations in this room are concerned with how you will be doing your research. There is a very wide range of research methods available to you, and you will have to spend some time deciding which method or methods are the most appropriate, both with regard to your topic and to the approach you have decided to take. If you are a student in the physical sciences then you will probably find you tend toward quantitative or positivist methods. If you are studying the social sciences then qualitative or interpretive methods may be more appropriate. But this is a generalization, and much of the really interesting and innovative research uses a blend of both qualitative and quantitative methods. As you study the constellations visible from this room, keep referring to the continuum on the left and see if you can spot your position on it, and if you might move along it.

Research methods > Analysing data: applying Friedman's test

Research methods

Analysing data: applying Friedman's test

An analysis of data is usually required after you have undertaken research or an experiment in order to convert the data into useful information. An analysis involves:

"...processing the data into a useable form, and analysing it to produce the results from which you can begin to draw conclusions." (Moore 2006 pg. 133)

Here, you will be presented with some example data that is used to explain and demonstrate some of the concepts associated with data analysis such as describing the data, producing a graphic and deciding how to statistically analyse your data. The data relates to a proxy measure for the psychological wellbeing of 21 HIV-positive men undergoing treatment to combat changes in facial appearance. The data can be viewed by selecting "Introduction: the data" from the table below.

This topic focuses on the thought processes behind some of the decisions that you will need to make when analysing the data. You can follow it through from beginning to end to get an overview or dip in and out of those areas relevant to you.

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Engage

Apply

1. Introduction: the data2. Research and statistical hypotheses
3. The research design
4. Describing the data
5. Producing a graphic
6. deciding how to analyse
7. interpreting statistical test results
9. Conclusion limitations
10. model solution output

Author: Paul White, Bristol Institute of technology, University of the West of England, Bristol. Contributions from Dr Olivia billingham, University of the West of England, Bristol.

Further reading