This eBook describes the principles and concepts for planning and conducting research. Topics include critical thinking, scientific problem solving, experimental designs, methods, statistical analyses, and interpreting findings. Knowing how and when to apply the topics shows functional skills in complex reasoning. Increase your research methods knowledge and make evidence-based decisions.
Teaching research methods for 25 years provided the author with insights into effective ways to engage both enthusiastic and reluctant students in the games that scientists play. Many students are challenged to learn a new language dedicated to communicating and interacting on research method topics with both rudimentary and expert scientists. Consistent with Pink’s motivational research book (Drive, 2009), students excel when they have a purpose, master the knowledge base, and are given autonomy to use the information. This eBook describes the principles, concepts, and procedures for planning and conducting research. The easy to read writing style covers a broad knowledge base and integrates many of the concepts with real world empirical examples. Acquiring the functional skills necessary to become an independent, critically thinking scientist is a worthy purpose. Extensive discussions include science, variability, experimental design, statistics, and relevant rules for proceeding from sitting on the bench to being a player in science. Research methods mastery comes from intense learning of the specific information and extensive practice situations to develop expertise. Indeed, reading, writing, and reciting the rules involved in scientific problem solving, designing sound experiments, analyzing data appropriately, and examining internally valid and invalid conclusions contributes to mastery. Once students are able to apply the knowledge, write coherent reviews evaluating the literature, determine causal relationships leading to evidence-based decision-making, then autonomy is apparent. Reading and studying this research methods eBook will help you become a productive member and consumer of science.
Increasing your knowledge on the rules for planning and conducting experiments is important for all types of academic majors. Students from applied physiology and kinesiology, exercise science, exercise physiology, motor behavior, sport psychology, sport management, physical therapy, and occupational therapy readily acquired and used this knowledge. This eBook focuses on causes and effects as the most important for advancing science, whereas threats to internal validity are potential confounds. Minimizing threats to internal validity should be a primary goal in selecting an appropriate experimental design as well as considering appropriate statistical analyses. Thus, engage in research methods, develop functional skills, and become fulfilled.
About James H Cauraugh
James Cauraugh, Ph.D., is a Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida. His teaching in the department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology has included both undergraduate and graduate courses in research methods, statistics, and motor learning/control as well as mentoring students toward their degrees. An active researcher throughout his career, his focused line of research investigates an important health care and society issue: post stroke motor control in individuals with chronic hemiparesis in their impaired arm. His research explored theoretically sound motor learning and control variables that influence stroke motor recovery progress and has produced an h-index of 23 and a g-index of 48. Four grants from the American Heart Association and one from the National Institutes of Health have funded his work. He has served as a grant reviewer for: (a) NIH Study Section; Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Sciences, (b) American Heart Association, (c) United Kingdom Stroke Association, and (d) Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Dr. Cauraugh serves on three journal editorial boards, is an ad hoc reviewer for 12 other journals, and is a member of the National Academy of Kinesiology.