statistical methods and tests used to analyze the data

data research
Your Assignment
For this assignment, you will be examining three hypothetical research studies. You will be given the research questions, variables, population, sample size, and sampling methods. You will then respond with what statistical methods and tests could be used to analyze the data in order to answer the research questions or hypothesis, as well as why you feel those tests or methods should be used. You will also make a brief statement identifying challenges or pitfalls that could be faced in that particular study (i.e. bias, small sample size).

Before sending a document to your faculty member, be sure to include your name and the title of the assignment at the top of the document. When you save the document, include your last name, first name, and assignment title in the filename (e.g., smith_john_assignment1a).
Steps
1. Complete the assigned readings and videos for this unit. In addition, review the Writing Rubric in Materials below.

2. Download and review Research Study Data Sets in Materials below. In addition, review the Essay Test Point Information document in Materials below for supplemental assignment information.

3. In a Microsoft Word document, write an essay response (approximately one page) to each hypothetical data set that includes recommended statistical methods and tests to analyze the data. Pay close attention to the sample size, types of variables, hypothesis, and sampling methods when formulating your suggestions. Be sure to note briefly why you are recommending those statistics or tests. Identify the challenges or pitfalls that could be faced in that particular study (i.e bias, small sample size).

Materials
The materials below will help you complete this assignment. Here is data sheet Read and reflect on the following 3 hypothetical research studies. Think about what statistical testing you would use to analyze the data and why, and what challenges researchers might face in collecting and analyzing the data.

Use these questions to help you:
• What is the population being studied? What is the sample size and how was the sample determined?
• Is it likely that the sample differs greatly from the population? How can you tell?
• What variables are being collected? What types of variables are they? (Quantitative vs. Qualitative, ordinal, nominal, ratio, etc).
• What variables would researchers want to examine most? Which would they want to compare?
• What would a possible research question or hypothesis be for this study?
• How could researchers test it?
• What challenges might the researches face in collecting the data?
• Are there any lurking variables or compounding factors that might affect the results?
• Where might there be risks for bias?

Study 1
A promising new drug with the potential to treat Alzheimer’s is being run through clinical trials. The researchers are doing a double-blind study using patients suffering from the earliest stages of the disease. The researchers are testing the drug on a sample of 2000 voluntary Alzheimer’s patients that have been separated into two groups – a test group receiving the drug, and a control group receiving a placebo. Because it is double blind study, neither the researchers nor the patients know who is receiving the drug and who is receiving the placebo. The study measures improvement in memory and cognitive function in both groups over a period of one year, by giving each group a cognitive and memory test before they begin the drug or placebo, and continuing the tests every two months. The test scores for both groups are recorded, as well as any reported side effects.

Study 2
A hospital is curious about levels of patient comfort and satisfaction. They decide to create a short satisfaction survey that is offered to patients upon their discharge. The survey is voluntary and anonymous and asks general questions about the patients’ demographics (age, gender), length of stay, and overall ratings of satisfaction and comfort with their procedures, staff, and facilities. The ratings questions use a Likert scale (1 – 5, 5 being “very satisfied” and 1 being “unsatisfied”). As the surveys are turned in over a 6 month period, an employee enters all the data into a spreadsheet for future analysis. When the 6 month period is over, the hospital has collected a total of 60 completed surveys.

Study 3
A nutritionist wants to test the effects of a particular FDA-approved natural supplement on body weight. She selects a randomized sample of 300 healthy adults from a pool of 1,000 paid study volunteers. The study subjects are asked to take the supplement every day for one year. They sign a contract agreeing not to change their diet or exercise regimens. Their weight and other health indicators such as blood pressure, fat composition, energy levels, and resting heart rate are taken by a clinician before the study, and then once a month for the supplement trial period. At the end of the study, they are given a short debriefing and a questionnaire about their experience.

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