Literature Review and Research Methods

Sophomore (College 2nd year) ・Psychology ・APA ・5 Sources

The foundation of outstanding analysis is typically experimental, testing or research designs. Such methods orchestrate the data collection process as well as the concept of data analysis. Furthermore, they direct the interpretation of the findings so that they make sense. Any type of study acts as a road map for scholars and researchers, as long as it is properly defined. It provides them with a view to discussing the strategies used in research and thereby enhancing the contact between the audience and the researchers. This paper analyzes the various research designs adopted in research and uses the correlational approach to answer the question ‘what is the relationship between school attendance and good grades?’.

My research question in this study is ‘what is the relationship between school attendance and good grades?’. My hypothesis is that there is a strong correlation between school attendance and good grades. I will be using the correlational approach to answer this question. This is a research design that helps in exploring the relationship between various variables. In my question, the variables are school attendance and good grades. Using the correlational approach, I will be determining the degree or extent of the relationship between these two variables. At no point will I be implying that one variable causes the other. For example, I will not finalize my correlational research by saying that high grades are caused by school attendance. Rather, I will be analyzing the correlation between the two variables.

In their research article titled ‘An overview of research designs relevant to nursing: Part 1: Quantitative research designs’, Valmi, Driessnack and Mendes provides an analysis of the quantitative research design. The researchers analyze both quantitative and non-experimental research designs. The analysis provides an overview of descriptive, correctional and experimental designs while looking at their characteristics. Correlational designs include correlational which portray relationships between variables. Additionally, Valmi et al., (2007) confirm that descriptive designs involve aspects like observation and manipulation of variables.

Correlational study design is an approach that is used in non-experimental research. The intent of this kind of design is to study and comprehend a single situation (Valmi, Driessnack & Mendes, 2007). This research study involves the collection of data bounded by time and the data is significant in the concept of learning from experiment. This study is thus one of the most significant ways of conducting my research considering that I do not need to conduct any experiment and I am not trying to prove that one variable causes the other. Additionally, my research is only trying to propose a relationship and thus this is one of the most applicable designs for my research.

Descriptive designs can also be utilized in the analysis of my research question. According to Valmi et al., (2007), descriptive designs allow the researcher to manipulate variables. In this case, I would manipulate the variables so that I have a control group and other classification of the research groups. Through this, I would be in a position to show that one variable leads to another. For instance, school attendance leads to better grades.

The article by Haklcomb and Hickman (2015) analyzes the various ways of mixed methods application. The authors make it clear that mixed methods are particularly effective when researching on aspects related to emergency care. Mixed methods involve the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods in a single study. This method and specifically the exploratory design is particularly effective when analyzing a question that cannot be effectively studied using one method only. While the exploratory technique is highly effective, it would help in answering my question if it was slightly more complex than stated.

The Solomon four design of researching is one of the most effective systems. It employs the use of two extra groups that are designated as control groups. These serve to reduce the impact of any confounding variables. Through this, it is possible for the researcher to perform intensive tests on whether the pretest has an impact on the subjects. Through this research design, I will be in a position to manipulate the variables so that I have two control groups. However, this design may not be effective for my research question as I do not expect there to be any confounding variables.

The articles by Ponterotto (2013) analyses the emerging status of the qualitative form of research in psychology. The researcher shows that multicultural qualitative research is currently applicable in psychology. Within it, there are numerous ethical considerations including deception of participants and providing informed consent. This article provides an overview of various methods used in qualitative research. I believe that I can borrow some of ethical considerations when conducting my research. The authors provide clear solutions to some of the ethical considerations and especially informed consent.

Worldviews on these research designs are particularly related to validity threats and this is one of the aspects that affect research (American Psychological Association, 2010; Frost, 2011). For instance, the relevance of validity threats when working without a control group leads to inconsistent reporting. To this end, the correlational study design may produce inconsistent results when the study is repeated. The other three designs utilize a control group and so there is no major threat. However, the correlational study would be highly effective in my study because it does not complicate the research.


American Psychology Association. (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. New York: American Psychological Association.

Frost, N. (2011). Qualitative research methods in psychology: Combining core approaches. Berkshire, GB: Open University Press.

Halcomb, E., & Hickman, L. (2015). Mixed methods research. Nursing Standard, 29(32), 41.

McGahee, T. W., & Tingsen, T. S. (2009). The use of Solomon four-group design in nursing research. Southern Online Journal of Nursing Research, 9(1), 13.

Ponterotto, J. G. (2013). Qualitative research in multicultural psychology: Philosophical underpinnings, popular approaches, and ethical considerations, Qualitative Psychology, 1(s), 19-32.

Valmi, S., Driessnack, M., & Mendes, I. (2007). An overview of research designs relevant to nursing: Part 1: Quantitative research designs. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem, 15(3), 502-507.

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