The Second Edition of An Applied Guide to Research Designs offers researchers in the social and behavioral sciences guidance for selecting the most appropriate research design to apply in their study. Using consistent terminology, the authors visually present a range of research designs used in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods to help readers conceptualize, construct, test, and problem solve in their investigation. The Second Edition features revamped and expanded coverage of research designs, new real-world examples and references, a new chapter on action research, and updated ancillaries.

Survey Approach

The most common form of nonexperimental research is the survey approach (sometimes referred to as descriptive research). Typically, investigators administer a survey to a randomly selected sample of individuals or, if possible, to an entire population (see Fowler, 2013). Random selection is a critical element to survey research in that generalization (external validity) is the primary goal of the findings (i.e., external validity is the focus; internal validity does not apply). However, it must be noted that construct validity and statistical conclusion validity do apply to the survey approach. Again, the concept of internal validity is concerned with the establishment of cause-effect relations, whereas the survey approach is not applied to determine cause and effect. Surveys are used to observe trends, attitudes, ...

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