Doing Empirical Research

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					          Doing Empirical Research
                    In Visual Impairment
                      Dr. Dixie Mercer
1 – Topic Selection
Broad area or research interest
    “The impact of visual impairments on the social
  development of children with visual impairments.”

Narrow or research topic
    “The impact of a visual impairment on the
 development of emotional bonding between mothers
 and infants.”

2 – Review of the Literature
• Why do it?
  – Has my topic already been done sufficiently?
  – If not, what has already been done?
  – What needs to be added to the body of knowledge currently
  – Are there areas that need to be expanded?
  – Are there areas (studies) that need to be replicated to
    determine their validity?
  – Are there areas that need to be examined for their relevance?
    How could they practically be used as the basis for
                  Types of Resources
• Scholarly books
• Peer reviewed journals
• Reputable information from the web
• A LIMITED number of newsletters, personal stories, etc.

                 How to do a Review?
1.   Select key words or phrases from the topic.
      “The impact of a visual impairment on the development of
      emotional bonding between mothers and infants.”

2. Make a list of other key words that apply to your topic.
     • Blind
     • Babies
     • Bonding
     • Social
     • Families

                      Do the Search
  • Log into MySFA, Click on MyCourses tab
  • Under Academic resources click Ralph W. Steen
  • Use the selections on the left to follow subject guide
    to >Education>Human Services.
  • Click General Services and select a resource
    (Acacemic Search Complete, Expanded Academic
    ASAP or Wilson Select Plus are recommended)
• Type in your key words, article names, etc.

          Boolean Search Parameters
• Anything in “” is found verbatim.
      Visually AND impaired AND social AND development
The development of social understanding in children with visual impairments. By: McAlpine,
  Linda M.; Moore, Chris L.. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness,
   Jul/Aug95 Part 1 of 2, Vol. 89 Issue 4, p349, 10p, 1 chart; Abstract: Reports on the
  performance of 16 visually impaired children, aged 4-12, on tasks designed to
   assess their understanding of false belief. Effect of degree of vision loss on the
  development of social understanding; False belief as a central aspect of social
   understanding; Theory of mind; Other issues in the development of social understanding
  in visually impaired children.; (AN 9509294209)

When you find an important resource…
• Begin making a list.
• Check out the bibliography/references and see what
  other resources are listed there.

2A – Reading and Note Taking
• Read the articles thoroughly.
• Make notes on what they say.
• Highlight, copy or note any passages that you may want to quote
• You know that you’re finished when:
   – You’ve read everything that you can find, and/or
   – Even with extensive, thorough research everything begins to say the
     same thing.
3 –Write Review
• First, outline the review with major points and citations
  that you intend to use.
• Write your first draft, and let it “cool.”

4 –Research Design
• State your hypothesis.
   – Infants who have a visual impairment have a more difficult
     time bonding with their primary caregivers than do sighted
    –   How much vision?
    –   How old?
    –   MIVI or VI only?
    –   Etc.
• Children who are:
    – 36 months or under
    – 20/200 or 20 degrees or worse
    – Single disability

• What variables do you need to measure?
    – Bonding
        • Smiling to voice
        • Reaching for caregiver
        • Distress when removed from caregiver
    – Easy vs. difficult
            How will you measure these?
• Survey data
• Observation and inter rater reliability
• Counting specific behaviors

5 – Data Collection

6 – Data Analysis
•   What results did you get back?
•   What did they mean?
•   What assumptions can you draw?
•   What did you learn?

7 – Write the Paper
• Write the Introduction or Statement of the Problem
• Re-read and edit the Review.
• Write the Methodology section which includes
  – Population
  – Definition of Variables
  – Procedure

• Present the data –
  – Use tables or charts wherever appropriate
• Discuss what it means in terms of your original

• References or bibliography section
  – EACH reference that’s used in the paper MUST be included in
    this section.
  – Any other significant reference should also be included.