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The Need for Topical Expertise in Quantitative Methods: The Example of College Test Preparation

Case
By: Audrey Devine-Eller Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Abstract

This case study draws on my quantitative study of college entrance exam preparation (also known as “test prep”) to illustrate how a researcher goes about setting up a quantitative project using existing datasets. I describe how I decided between two different datasets, a decision which required attention to how the research question was asked. I also discuss how I decided on an analytic strategy, and how to interpret results from logistic regression analysis. I offer a detailed description of the ways that expert background knowledge shape research questions and decisions about the research from the very beginning. In particular, I discuss how the lack of expert knowledge might hinder efforts at understanding the statistical phenomenon at hand or even result in misunderstanding it altogether. I ...

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Quantitative data collection