Research Design

… a core topic in Quantitative Methods and Atlas104

ResearchDesignTopic description

This topic examines the basic principles of research design.

The treatment of this topic on the Atlas follows almost precisely that in Chapter V, Research Design, of OnlineStatBook, Online Statistics Education – An Interactive Multimedia Course of Study,, accessed 14 May 2016.

Topic learning outcome

Familiarity with basic principles of research design, including following core concepts and terms.

[Note: Until Atlas pages are created for all the individual concepts in Quantitative Methods, some of the links in the concepts below point directly to the relevant pages in OnlineStatBook.]

Core concepts associated with this topic
Scientific Method


Validity (Internal and External)

Instrumental Variable

Basics of Data Collection

Sampling Bias

Omitted Variable Bias


Panel Data

Experimental Designs

Randomized Controlled Trial (RTC)


Causal Effect


Read and/or watch video for each of the concept pages above (top to bottom, starting in left column).

Read the Statistical Literacy exercises, Low HDL and Niacin, and answer the question.

Assessment questions

From, accessed 14 May 2016.

AQ104.05.01. To be a scientific theory, the theory must be potentially ______________.

AQ104.05.02. What is the difference between a faith-based explanation and a scientific explanation?

AQ104.05.03. What does it mean for a theory to be parsimonious?

AQ104.05.04. Define reliability in terms of parallel forms.

AQ104.05.05. Define true score.

AQ104.05.06. What is the reliability if the true score variance is 80 and the test score variance is 100?

AQ104.05.07. What statistic relates to how close a score on one test will be to a score on a parallel form?

AQ104.05.08. What is the effect of test length on the reliability of a test?

AQ104.05.09. Distinguish between predictive validity and construct validity.

AQ104.05.10. What is the theoretical maximum correlation of a test with a criterion if the test has a reliability of .81?

AQ104.05.11. An experiment solicits subjects to participate in a highly stressful experiment. What type of sampling bias is likely to occur?

AQ104.05.12. Give an example of survivorship bias not presented in this text.

AQ104.05.13. Distinguish “between-subject” variables from “within-subjects” variables.

AQ104.05.14. Of the variables “gender” and “trials,” which is likely to be a between-subjects variable and which a within-subjects variable?

AQ104.05.15. Define interaction.

AQ104.05.16. What is counterbalancing used for?

AQ104.05.17. How does randomization deal with the problem of pre-existing differences between groups?

AQ104.05.18. Give an example of the “third variable problem” other than those in this text.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 13 May 2018.

Image: Seema, SlideShare, at, accessed 14 May 2016.