QUANT COMM METHODS
QUANT COMM METHODS COMM 310
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Errors in ordinary inquiry Innacurate observations overgeneralization selective observation illogical reasoning gamblers fallacy Theory deals with the logical aspects of scienti c inquiry data collection is the observational amp data analysis brings them together A scienti c approach to communication is empirical communication researchers base their knowledge on observations not personal values Social regularities represent probabilistic patterns general pattern needs not be 100 Aggregate collective actions and situations of many individuals Communication studies is a eld of research on the production and uses of symbols both linguistic amp nonverbal in concrete social amp cultural contexts to enable the dynamics of systems society and culture PRODUCTION USES amp DYNAMICS 3 interests message production transmission amp meaning making 2 systematically examine the content of communication messages 3 functions amp effects of messages CH2 Triangulation use of several different research methods to test the same nding Types of Research papers Proprietary report why its being studied mainly for who the research is for Working reports presentation of ndings with a request for comments Short research note why the note is justi ed by the ndings amp what the ndings are Article in a scholarly joumal Book chapterusually summarize a body of work Book of research reporting The Quantitative research report Title lOl2 words used for abstracting amp indexing Byline name amp af liation Abstract less than 120 word summary includes problem investigated characteristics of the participants methods employed major ndings amp major implications Introduction 1 opening to introduce the problem amp its signi gance 2 the purpose of the study 3 background information in lit review form 4 end with the research questionshypotheses that guided the study Method 1 particpants of the study 2 materials 3 procedures what was executed in the stud Results answers to the post questions and hypotheses Present data describe all aspects of analysis tables charts and gures Discussion what has been discovered amp what future research could do conclusions amp limitations References Communication Purpose Exploration provide a familiarity with that topic 1 satisfy curiosityunderstanding 2 test the feasibility before a more extensive study 3 develop methods for a later study Description observes amp then describes what was observed CasualFunctional Explanation explain things Casual explanation addresses why and functional addresses how Understanding reasonbased Units of analysiswhat or who you can study unlimited Individuals groups organizations social artifacts product of social beings or their behavior Some social artifacts are physical traces Erosion traces are physical ex oor tiles Accretion traces nger prints amp smudges Some are archival records communication messages or social interactions The Ecological Fallacy iassuming about a group or set of systems Or drawing conclusion about a group based on the individual Research question inquires about a phenomenon Hypotheses ask about it TIME IN RESEARCH DESIGN Crosssectional studies study a phenomenon in a crosssection of time Exploratory amp descriptive studies are often these Causeeffect studies Longitudinal Studies observations over an extended period Trend studies study changes within some general population over time Cohort studies relatively specific subpopulations or cohorts as they change over time Often an age group Panel studies examine the same set of people each time Ex voters every month SPACE IN RESEARCH DESIGN Field Dependent Research reaction in a physical setting Evaluation research often does this asses the impact of social interventions such as public health media campaigns specific actions is particular contexts Field Independent Research setting is either irrelevant or tightly controlled Cause Effect research Ch 3 Paradigmfundamental points of view characterizing a science ex Darwin amp Newton Positivist Paradigmcomte viewing society the same way science views natural phenoms Features the belief in objective reality through empirical observation study of variables theories for prediction explanation and control the search for generalized laws and quantitative data observations Focuses on the relationship between variables and their attributes Objective reality 7 out there independent of the researcher Cause and effect way to explain phenomena Attributes characteristics of qualities that describe an object or phenomena ex loud amp chatty Variablesfeatures or characteristics about individuals or phenomena Logical groupings of attributes So someone who is obnoxious variables has the attributes of loud and chatty independenceexogenouspredictor IV or X Attitude similarity dependent variables endogenous DV or Y Relational satisfaction X quot9 Y x is a predictor of Y moderator Variables whose values alter the strength andor direction of the relationship between the IV and DV mediator Explains the relationship between the IV and DV Positivist Theory 7 seek to explain the causeeffect relationship between variables An attribute on one variable should cause an attribute on another variable Causality proved through 1 a causal relationship between two veriables in which the cause precedes the effect IV before DV 2 the two variables be empirically related to eachother 3 the relationship between the variables cannot be explained in terms of a third variablenon spuriousness Necessary cause a condition that must be present for the effect to follow ex classes to get a degree amp sufficient cause a condition that will pretty must guarantee the effect in question ex getting married amp having sex there are other ways to start having sex but this should guarantee it Idiographic explanations have a lot of stuff for one case Nomothetic has an explanation for a class of situations Quantitative Data Systems ParadigmBertalanffy viewing a social entity ex social group as one organism of different parts Parts of the system have interdependence a change in one part results in other system changes The whole is more than the sum of the parts Dynamic equilibrium various system parts function to sustain the system in a state of balance Openness constantly responding to external factors Interpretive Paradigm the human experience is different from the natural world To understand the web of meanings in which humans act Purposive Based on the subjective world of those being studied Qualitative The study of meanings what the action means to those who do it semantic relationship a unit ofmeaning Types Strict inclusion x is atype ofy spatial x is in place ofy causeeffect rationale x is a reason for doing y location for action x is a place to do y function x is used for y meansend x is a way to do y sequence x is a step in y attribution x is an attribute of y The study of rules identify the rules that guide communicative actions in a given setting or social group Interpretive theory theories of understanding two types local knowledge since rules are specific to setting or group it is impossible to generalize so it just about that groupidiographic Heuristic framework set of statements designed to guide our efforts to understand meaning making regardless of group nomothetic Qualitative data Critical Paradigm challenge the presumption that empirical observation is the only pathway to knowledge believe that re ection can produce knowledge Ideology amp Power Social change Critical re ection an interrogation of a data set with an eye toward identifying its ideological basis and the implication for this basis for power relations Approaches Marx social behavior is a process of con ict Feminist theory Inductive reasoning from the particular to the general Deductive reasoning from the general to the specific Theory set of statements that renders intelligible some phenomenon or process Theory prevents us from being taken in by ukes make sense of observed patterns in a way to suggest other possibilities and shapes and directs research efforts Experimental participation must be voluntary never cause harm to the participants Together this is the concept of informed consent If revealing them in any way would harm them use the principles of Anonymity cannot link a given response to a given participant Con dentiality the researcher can link the responses but will not do it publicly Deception sometimes needed for research If disguise self muts do it for compelling scienti c or administrative concerns Deal with through debrie ng interviews to discover any problems generated by the research so that these problems can be corrected try not to describe participants in ways they can identify themselves in research IRB ensures that the risks face by humans is minimal Tearoom study Humphreys was watch dog for gay hookups Then tracked down these men by license plate number amp went to their homes disguised to ask them more questions Never been resolved Milgram 7 had 40 men be the teachers and administer shocks to pupils in another room Many men shocked the pupils into possible death The study had no real pupils or shocks but still emotionally distressed particpants Ch 6 has only one value Properties quantitati v c manipulated some would argue that all manipulated are discrete or not manipulated manipulation is putting it in different groups quantitative do not have active control over our subjects Types of variables independenceexogenouspredictor IV or X Attitude similarity dependent variablesendogenous DV or Y Relational satisfaction X quot9 Y X is a predictor of Y I I 394 I 01 Llualllall moderator Variables whose values alter the strength andor direction of the relationship between the IV and DV mediator Explains the relationship between the IV and DV Causality there is a relationship between the variables the IV must precede the DV time order non spuriousness something else explains the relationship between the IV and the DV Research Questions Types of Research and Research Questions eXploratory or descriptive studies how do people define family eXplanatory studies what is the relationship between perceptions of normal and ideal family communication when do you advance a research question as opposed to a hypo when you either don t have enough info from the literature or from your own conclusions from the literature to make some sort of claim as to what should or could happen between a couple of variables Hypotheses tentative answers to research questions importance There are falsi able and non falsi able theories MUST PICK FALSIFIABLE THEORY FOR OUR PROJECT MUST INCLUDE A RESEARCH QUESTION IN PROJECT Form of Hypotheses phrased as an af rmative statement the null hypothesis is what is not assumes a relationship eXists speculated about the nature and form of the relationship Can not decide a relationship just use a research question states the relationship in associative not casual terms a hypothesis does not establish time order is consistent with prior research and theory TYPE ONE of hypotheses Continuous statements Hl greater feelings ofmarital quot f quot quot will be 39 A with lesser feelings of job satisfaction Continuous is not just one thing from start to nish TYPE 2 Difference statements Hl Married couples will report high levels of relational satisfaction than dating couples the dependent variable should not be categorical Categorical variable married couples over dating couples TYPE 3 DIRECTIONALITY Directional Hl married couples will report higher levels of relational satisfaction than dating couples it is directional because it speci es the direction of the nature of the relationships also called one tailed TYPE 4 Non directional Hl married couples will report different levels of relational satisfaction than dating couples it is nondirectional that a relationship or a difference will be found Two tailed DIFFERENCE STATEMENTS WITH DIRECTIONAL NESS DO NOT HAVE POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE Three issues with research ethics how research participants should be treated how data are collected analyzed and reported how research results are used unethical use leads to career lose History of Research Ethics Nazi Medical War Crimes WWII Individuals in these camps were put under medical studies in order to determine whether or not they could sustain life after a variety of chemicals Radioactivity amp nerve gas testing Tuskegee Syphilis Study 19301972 Studied the results of syphilis on a group of black men and just left them untreated just to see how it would spread Many in the study did not know they had syphilis Conducted by the federal government only ended when the public found out NY Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital Study 1963 Studying the effect of cancer Injected chronically ill people with cancer cells to see how long they could survive Justification they were all terminally ill anyway Not all of them knew Some thought it was a treatment The Willowbrook Study 196366 Giant children s mental hospital Hepatitis testing was done l974 Federal Legal Protection for Human Research Participants begins l979 the Belmont Report becomes the grounds for the research rules Three basic principles in the report Respect for persons autonomy Beneficence obligation to do well over harm Justice equitable selection of particpants and treatment To evaluate the trustworthiness of quantitative research Internal validity the truth value of a study s findings Evaluates the research design The extent to which the variations in the dependent outcome variable can be attributed to the independent variable Is good if the researcher has con dence in what caused a certain outcome Three threats to internal validity researcher related factors eX appearance of interviewer participant related factors desired answer and research procedures eX how a question is posed Measurement reliability consistency of results Measurement validity whether you are measuring what you say you are measuring EXtemal validity 7 applicable with other similar studies Chapter 6 Conceptualization specify exactly what we mean and what we don t mean what terms mean Or the refinement and specification of abstract concepts Defines what a researcher wants to observe Operationalization seeing how communication researchers find concepts re ected in the real world Or the development of specific research procedures that will result in empirical observations representing those concepts in the real world can measure anything that eXists Measurement careful deliberate observations for the purpose of describing objects and events in terms of the attributes composing a variable Conception term for those mental images in our mental fie drawers Conceptualization is coming to an agreement and the results a concept Reification regarding as real those things that are not EX terms that are made to summarize something are only in our minds Operational de nition the description of the operations that will be undertaken in measuring a concept Indicators the presence or absence of the concept we re studying The interchangability of indicators if several indicators all represent the same concept then all of them will behave the same way that the concept would if it were real and could be observed Dimensions a speci able aspect or facet of a concept ex feeling dimension of compassion The progression of measurement vague 7 speci c Conceptualization nominal operational ratio Conceptualization nominal de nition operational de nition measurements in the real world Nominal de nition 4 requirements Specify indicators sign of presence or absence Specify multiple dimensions Identify related concepts Are consistent with past usage in theory amp research Operational choices what range of variation to consider what levels of measurement to use and whether to depend on a single indicator or several Attribute a characteristic of quality of something ex feminine Variables logical sets of attributes ex gender Every variable should be exhaustive and mutually exclusive classi ed in terms of one and only attribute Levels of measurement Flirting can be de ned as messages and behaviors that are received by a recipient as purposely endeavoring to gain the attention of the reczpient and intentionally revealing an a liltative desire for the reczpient Conceptual nominal definitions speci 2 indicators sign or presence or absence speci 2 multiple dimensions Identi related concepts Are consistent with past usage amp theory Importance of conceptual de nitions lead to operational de nitions a de nition that explains how something is measured informs units of analysis Individuals groups organizations inform research design Crosssectional speci c cross section of the population in a speci c time and place amp history Longitudinal trend cohort panel over a period of time nominal measures variables with attributes that have only the characteristics of exhaustiveness and mutual exclusiveness are being measured at the nominal level ex birthplace major hair color Offer only names or labels ordinal measures attributes can be ranked logically ex social class or class standing interval measures when the actual distance separating attributes matters ratio measures the attributes composing it are based on a true zero point Ex age number of times married amp number of children you can make a ratio an interval but you cannot make an interval a ratio some indicators are single one observation or question others are multiple that combine several pieces of information to form a composite several pieces that measure the variable Ex college performance PAGE 119 HOW TO ACTUALLY PERFORM reliability does not ensure accuracy for reliable measures ask only about things the respondent knows and be clear Testretest method you should get the same results every time So retesting helps Alternate form method researcher develops two different forms or versions of the same measure from the same pool of measurement items Use with paper and pencil questionnaires Internal consistency method various items in a given measure should correlate positively with one another or consistently Split half reliability two sets of a test that measure the same eX a quiz on love that has two different sets of qualities that determine love the same Item total reliability compares the consistency of each item in a measure with the total score EX how likely selecting one characteristic means determining love use previously established measures to ensure reliability correlation coefficients 1 being the most desirable Acceptable is around 7 Content validity how well a measure covers the range of meaning or the dimensions included within the concept Face validity particular empirical measures may or may note jibe with our common agreements and our individual mental images concerning a particular concept Expert panel validity group of experts in the area evaluates a measures adequacy EX census Factor analysis analyzing the multidimensional structure of their measures Criterion validity asses measures validity through its relation to some external criterion Predictive validity measure must predict future behavior Concurrent validity a new measure corresponds to the measurement made by an established measure Construct validity based on the logical relationships among variables Convergent construct validity the measure converges positively with measures of theoretically related variables Discriminant construct validity the measure diverges from or correlates negatively with measures of theoretically different variables SUGGESTED FORM representational validity whether a measures categories are meaningful for the people who are being assessed Types of Concepts family of conceptions created by a researcher based on how hard it is to define Direct observables directly measurable hair color etc Indirect observables indirectly measurable can t see it but can figure it out Constructs based on observations but not directly or indirectly measurable ie IQ not a rea characteristic Writing Research Reports introduction literature review Justification of the study Discussion of theoretical bases Review of relevant concepts Hypotheses and research questions methods Sample description how you got them EVERYTHING about the process Procedures Description of measuresinstruments results Preliminary analyses Check for normality of data Check for group differences NOT FOUND BY HYPOTHESIS Hypotheses amp research questions REPORT FINDINGS ONLY discussion Summary of results Interpretation of results refer back to the literature Limitations Suggestions for future research General Writing Tipes use headings NEW STYLES go to owl website Transition less be more specific amp less verbose stop using this Format to use These findings say this about this hypothesis review specific requirements of assignment abstract your work FIND A RESEARCH ARTICLE RELATED TO YOUR TOPIC TO FOLLOW AS A MODEL Operationalization Means specifying the exact operations involved in measuring a variable babbie 2004 Conceptualization v Operationalization It is possible to have competing operational definitions for one conceptual definition if it is broad enough that it would include multiple operationals could be circumstantial to what you are focusing towards Broad v specific Idea v observation Measurement Is the process of systematic observation and assignment of numbersthink of as an abstract term to phenomena according to rules wrench Variables Attributes characteristic of the variable eX male or female Measurement Considerations Variation Lytic scale 15 scale Degree of precision really precise or does it matter Range the number of possibilities Manipulation v observation Controlled or not Properties of Measurement Magnitude talking scale ordinal interval amp ratio Equal intervals are our measures equidistant ratio amp interval Absolute zero point ratio Four levels of measurement Nominal level Ordinal level rank ordering variables from greatest to least or vice versa likert scales Interval level allow us to categorize things and can also rank order but in addition interval level variables allows me to determine something about that rank ordering Can infer the distance between things likert scales when analyzed Ratio level identify categories rank order say something about the distance between each categories has an absolute zero point Nuances of measurement Higher level v lower level Converting measures Need for multiple indicators sometimes multiple measures of something amp in different ways Determining trustworthiness of measures validity refers to the extent to which an empirical measure adequately re ects the real meaning of the concept under consideration Does it tap the phenomena reliability is whether a particular technique applied repeatedly to the same object yields the same result as last time cannot have categoricalcategorical Whatever the fuck that means Example 1 not satis ed 4 satis ed 5 very satis ed Problem is 4 amp 5 are both satis ed So it is not utilizing the scale you can never know the true value an instrument can be reliable and valid just reliable or just valid You would want one that is reliable over one that is valid if you had to choose But if a measure is not valid it is not reliable Types of Validity Content face validity just look at it amp if it looks like it measures what its supposed to measure expert panel validity Criterion concurrent validity Does the measure discriminate between groups that are known to differ predictive validity does it produce results Construct convergent validity does this measure produce outcomes similar to measures of the same contraint discriminant validity does this measure produce different outcomes than measures of related but conceptually distinct constructs Types of Reliability Paper pencil measures Testretest reliability Has a priming pre exposing them effect Alternate form reliability asking a slightly different question Internal consistency Cronbach s alpha 0 Ranges from o 99 If it is 85 or greater we can say it is a reliable measure But this is arbitrary so many argue that above a 7 is reliable too Observed measures Interobserver or intercoder agreement Don t want coder bias Formula observed agreement 7 expected agreement over expected agreement Basic Research trying to nd out some unknown thing about a phenomenon vs Applied Research what we want to know because we want to x something Population the aggregation the group of people for whom our study would apply of elements from which a researcher selects a sample babie 2004 Theoretical population Accessible population Sample A sample is a subset or portion of a population keyton 2006 Why does sampling matter Ann landers asked her readers if you had to do it again would you have children 70 of parents say kids not worth it Sample Size Factors determining sample size Heterogeneity of the population have to have equal representation Desire precision the more precise you need to be the larger the sample size you need Sampling Error Sampling error is the degree to which a sample differs from population characteristics on some measure Sampling error ALWAYS occurs because researchers do not collect data from the entire population Sampling error sample size and population size are all linked such at that the closer the sample size is to the population size the smaller the sampling error Sample size in relation to sampling error Sampling error depends directly on sample size Acceptable sampling error is 5 Thus the goal is a 95 con dence interval or a 95degree of accuracy chance of predicting the result for the population based on the result from the sample Generating a sample Determine theoretical amp accessible populations Determine the sampling frame List all cases if possible cases are all members of the population from which you could sample Decide on a rule de ning members Select units based on sampling design Probability Nonprobability Probability sampling using a statistical basis and the most rigorous way for identifying whom to include as part of a sample Keyton 2006 p122 Often for experimental research this is needed Convenience sample is often used for surveys Can be hard to meet It is the ultimate goal though Nonprobability sampling is sampling that does not relv on anv form of random selection keyton 2006 p 125 RANDOMEVERY PERSON IN MY SAMPLING FRAME HAS AN EQUAL CHANCE OF BEING CHOSEN Types of probability sampling Simple random sampling every person has an equal chance of being selected to participate Assign each a random number and then use such things as a number chart to pick randomly Systematic random sampling assign a number to each element in the sampling frame Determine sample size Divide the sampling frame total by sample size to get k Then select every kth element in the sampling frame EX sampling frame total 120sample size40 k 3 Therefore every third person in the sample should get selected Begin by generating a random number to begin with Then go every kth element Stratified random sampling divide population by homogenous subgroup eX sex or age but must be meaningful to what this is studying amp randomly sample Cluster sampling HARDEST use when the research is unable to list the entire population Sample natural groups clusters initially and then select a subsample from each group for your sample EX if our population was all college students in the us COULD divide the us colleges by region or size or public or private Then subsample each of these natural occurring clusters Single cluster sample LOOK THESE UP Multistage cluster sample Probability proportionate to size PPS Multistage cluster sample in which clusters are selected based on probabilities proportionate to their sizes determined by the number of units to be subsampled EX more people are in public institutions than in private institutions so our sample must be proportionate to this Types of nonprobability sampling Convenience sampling the research selects those individuals who are convenient as respondents EX sampling at Clemson Voluntary response the researcher selects those individuals who indicate a willingness to participate in the research as the sample Purposive judgment sampling researcher handpicks the sample to ensure that it typifies the population of interest Quota sampling researcher samples until a target number of participants is met for each subgroup CAN BE USED WITH OTHERS Referall snowball sample participants refer other individuals who might be willing to participate in the research Two problems often arise in sampling inadequacies in obtaining observations the sample differs from the population in a meaningful way Survey Research A survey is a system for collecting information Keyton 2006 Other terms questionnaire amp self report General features of surveys Easy access to large numbers of respondents Ideally uses probability sampling Typically selfreport method Procedures are systematic Unstructured Structured Research is descriptive or explanatory Basic or applied Produces associative data Produces primarily quantitative data Allows for both primary and secondary research Questionnaires Delivery face to face mailphone intemet computer assisted means that the computer has all the text amp you can read the question or based on your responses to one particular question the computer decides which is next Pros Accessible to general public Ease of sampling Economical Offers anonymity Standardizes responses Cons Impersonal Restricted range of responses Response rates about 30 Response bias because of the little response only a certain type are willing to ll Can be labor intensive Quantitative interviewing cant be paper and pencil Delivery Face to face Telephone Computer assisted Pros Holds respondents accountable Interviewer is present Excellent for examining complex personal or latent phenomena something that is an underlying idea Flexibility Opportunity for structured or semistructured interviews Cons Expensive have to compensate trainpay interviewers facilities Researcher has less control cant control interviews or respondents Potential researcher interviewer bias Data may be difficult to analyze Typically requires a large staff Requires careful monitoring of standardization Survey research designs Cross sectional looks at a cross section of the population at a particular point in time One measure at one time point General cross sectional Contextual cross sectional Longitudinal could do it over a period of years or months Means multiple measures at different time points Trend Panel Cohort Developing good survey questions Expert understanding of the phenomenon under study Knowledge about the population of interest Knowledge of the data collection procedures Basic Assumptions of survey research The survey should Not make unreasonable demands on the respondent Not having a hidden agenda Be used to collect data that you cannot get from other sources Indicate that it is backed by the authority of some institution or individual Clarity of Instructions The survey should Be prefaced by explicity directed instructions Use clear and simple language Offer sample responses when necessary Offer clear and concise directions on how to complete and return the survey if applicable Questions should be Straightforward and non biased Singular no double or triple ba1reled questions Do you agree that the department of comm studies has great faculty and is understaffed Might agree with one but not the other Question Construction Questions should be Nonthreatening have you ever cheated on an exam in your major classes THIS IS THREATENING Nonleading don t you think the best way to get a job when you graduate is to major in communication studies this is leading Question order Easy to hard Thematically all the question from one instrument should be grouped together Add filler questions when necessary example to surround a threatening question Demographic questions should be first or last Last if a lengthy survey what he recommends Rules for questionnaires The items in the questionnaire should be presented in an attractive professional and easytounderstand format All questions and pages should be clearly numbered Separate into sections restarting at one so it does not seem so daunting The questionnaire should include transition headings Don t tell them the type of scale they are using Types of questions Openended Closeended Types of questions Likert scales Semantic differential scales Please indicate in the space provided the degree to which each statement applies to you by marking whether you 1 strongly agree 2 agree 3 are undecided 4 disagree 5 strongly disagree with each statement 1 7 It is necessary to console my child after discipline 2 7 I console my child with kind words after discipline 3 I console my child with physical rewards after discipline Rate thaoncept of Physical Discipline according to the way you perceive it or feel about it by placing an X on each of the sevenpoint scales to indicate your evaluation Physical Discipline Harmless 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 Harmful Would Never Use It 7777777 Use It Frequently Needs Consoling 7777777 Does Not Need Consoling Indicate how similar you feel the following two items are to each other by circling a number on the scale How similar is verbal consoling and consoling through gifts Exactly the same 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Completely different How effective is explaining the discipline and explaining the action that led to the discipline to eachother Exactly the same 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Completely different questions Thurstone scales Guttman scales The more job stressors a person experiences the more spousal con ict they will have The variables are job stressors and spousal con ict A job stressor is something that stimulates a stress response including fear of job loss overwhelming work load feeing unsafe and work and in exible hours Job stressors will be measured at an ordinal level By indicating the amount of stress a person feels at work in general and then in relation to each of the stressors independently Spousal con ict will be any disagreement between spouses specifically that is job related This will be rated interval by asking how many disagreements a month the spouses have that are job related Evidence against the hypothesis would be that a greater amount of job stress does not mean a greater amount of spousal con ict a the variables b the identity criteria for each variable c a measurement procedure for each variable d what would count as evidence for or against the hypothesis