“There is no doubt that this book will be well received by those who are fortunate enough to come across it. This book will be of use to the growing number of people involved either as purchasers or providers of research. Don't go to work without it!” – Health Services Management Research Journal “I would recommend [this book] to a colleague as a useful companion text for students. I would say that this is an engaging discussion of experimental research for social, behavioral, and health science students. The writing style is fresh and entertaining, and draws the willing reader into thinking through the process of designing and conducting experimental research. It is not a ‘cookbook’ or a compendium of facts. Rather, it is a pragmatic and thoughtful description intended to help students understand how to design meaningful experiments, and by understanding that, they will also understand how to interpret research they do not conduct themselves.” – Katharyn A. May, School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University “This slim but packed volume is written for prospective researchers in the social and health sciences. The writing style is lively, encouraging, upbeat. R. Barker Bausell brings science down to earth without sacrificing respect for rigor and complexity…. Recommended for all institutions with undergraduate or graduate research requirements in the social and health sciences.” – Choice Tired of research methods books that tell how to perform a research study without any mention of the why behind doing research? Aimed at communicating the excitement and responsibility of the research process, this remarkable volume enables you to evaluate beforehand whether a prospective research study has the potential to either improve the human condition, contribute to theory formation, or explain the etiology of a significant phenomenon rather than to produce just another “publishable” study. By emphasizing how to think about and strategize a research study, R. Barker Bausell shows you the important steps of a scientific study–from the formulation of the problem to the write-up of the results. Replete with illustrative examples drawn from the social, health, and behavioral sciences, this volume is a must for all serious researchers.

Conducting the Actual Study
Conducting the actual study

If you have refined your experimental blueprint to the point that you are relatively comfortable with the feasibility of your procedures and the appropriateness of your measures, it is time to begin a process that can be comparable to walking through a minefield: actually conducting the study itself. If there was ever any human activity to which Murphy's Law (i.e., “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”) applies, it is the conduct of an experiment. It is to that unfortunate fact that the following principle is addressed:

Principle 31: Always Monitor the Implementation of the Experimental Design with Extreme Care, to Ensure its Uniform Implementation throughout the Course of the Study

Sometimes it seems that the best-laid plans of ...

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