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I need help stating a theory for my topic (quantitative research methods)

lia 1 / -  
Mar 27, 2012   #1
I have to come up with a topic, theory, and hypothesis on the topic. I am stuck on what to ask or how to ask. I want to research something in the realm of people's attitudes towards prison inmate education. I read papers already on the benefits of education in the prison etc but how can I make it my own that is the problem.

During lecture my professor said

: When Reading Papers:
- Note what authors are saying
What do they say they are studying?
How do they perform their study?
What did they find?
What would you ask next?
- Ask: what new information do the authors give
- Ask: what else do we want to know

The last few sentences I am not sure what I would personally ask next???

He also
Once you have enough information to ask a
question, ask a question
- State hypothesis
- Briefly a your variables and what you will
measure, and what results will support your

That is the part what am I asking? if am looking at programs for inmates and attitudes towards them by the public how will I ask that? When I do my lit review I have to find research that supports my hypothesis but its confusing??

help =(

kthanhpn 1 / 6  
Mar 28, 2012   #2
Can you give a short summary of the paper? Lit review revolves around an article/book, right? We need to know what's in the book to ask the appropriate question.

I totally feel you though. I just finished my Psy Ant critical review yesterday. It's hell on Earth...
chalumeau /  
Mar 28, 2012   #3
Hypothesis: The public is less likely to trust items made by inmates.
Variables: Items (non-essential vs. essential to daily living); (food vs. non-food)
Trust vs. other issues such as ethicality of using inmates as laborers for private corp.
Type of prison (state vs. federal)
Public (age, education, marital status, prior arrest record)

Your project is about prison inmates and the public's attitudes toward them.
Is this for a psychology class? sociology? criminal justice? business? I have to know what slant you want.

If it were psychology, then I would go to a local prison and ask permission to tape footage of one of the programs. Do a couple of interviews if possible.

Then prepare 15 minutes of scenes (no voiceover) for the public (students at school?)
After each scene you ask one to five questions about the program.

Rate from 1 to 10 how satisfied you are with the inmate program. (marketing)
Rate from 1 to 10 how likely you are to buy this product _____.
Rate from 1 to 10 how likely you are to buy this product if it were made by an inmate.
If you rated 1 or 2 above, list reasons why you are unwilling to buy:

Find a trust questionnaire that has been validated and use it. (Psychology)
It would be interesting to compare the trust questionnaire results with results from a couple of questions about the footage.

Do you believe that products made by inmates should have a special warning or identification? Yes/No (More sociology)

Let me know if this was helpful.

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