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MCFT-005: Counselling and Family Therapy: Research Methods and Statistics

MCFT-005: Counselling and Family Therapy: Research Methods and Statistics

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MCFT-005 / TMA-5 / ASST-5 / 2022-23

Course Code: MCFT-005

Assignment Name: Counselling and Family Therapy: Research Methods and Statistics

Year: 2022 - 2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Note: - (i) Answer all the questions in both sections.

(ii) Answers to questions of Section “A” should not exceed 300 words each.


Section A – Descriptive Questions (10x6=60 marks)


Q 1) What is the meaning of hypothesis? Explain the different types of hypothesis.

Ans) Hypothesis is a statement or set of statements that is used to explain the occurrence of a certain group of events. Hypothesis comes from the words "hypo," which means "less than," and "thesis," which means "less than a thesis." Hypotheses explain or predict variables. It is a testable statement that can be tested empirically. Hypotheses help scientists gather data and draw conclusions.


Types of Hypothesis


1. Directional and Non-directional

A statement that predicts the direction of the relationship between two variables is called a directional hypothesis. It says which way the effect goes, like "the treatment will make the outcome better." A directional hypothesis makes a prediction about the size and direction of the effect. It is often used in experimental research where the goal is to find the cause-and-effect relationship between variables.


On the other hand, a non-directional hypothesis doesn't say anything about the direction of the relationship between the variables. It only says that there is a difference or a link between the two things. It doesn't say which way the effect goes. A non-directional hypothesis is usually used in observational studies where the goal is to find out if there is a significant relationship between variables, but the direction of the effect is not known.


2. Research Hypothesis and Null Hypothesis

A research hypothesis is a statement that defines the expected relationship between two or more variables in a study. It is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon or a prediction about the outcome of a study based on current knowledge and understanding. A research hypothesis provides a framework for conducting research and serves as a guide for collecting and analyzing data.


The research hypothesis is developed based on prior knowledge, theories, and observation, and is tested through empirical research methods such as experiments, surveys, and observational studies. The results of the study may support, reject, or modify the hypothesis, and the results are used to draw conclusions and make inferences about the phenomenon being studied.


Q 2) Differentiate between “Population” and “Sample”. Discuss criteria for selecting the sampling method.

Ans) A "population" is any group of people or things that have at least one trait in common that the researcher is interested in for a certain study. A population can be made up of all the people of a certain type or just a smaller part of that group. For this study, the population is all of the high school and college-aged girls in a city who are studying. This is so that the study can look at how they study.


A "sample" is a small part of a population that was chosen for the study. By looking at the characteristics of the sample, you can figure out some things about the population from which the sample is taken. Sampling is the process of choosing a small part of a larger group and using that part to judge the whole group. So that this subgroup can be used to make decisions about the larger group, it needs to be as much like the larger group as possible.


Criteria for Selecting Sampling Method


1)  Because there are different ways to pick samples, it is important to choose the right one. Young has given three things to think about when choosing a sampling method:

a) For the sample estimate to be as accurate as possible, a sampling method based on a known or measurable probability should be used.

b) Simple, straightforward, and effective methods should be used, and they should be changed to fit the facilities and people that are available.

c) The goal should be to find the best balance between how much money is spent and how much reliable information is gained.

2) If the goal of the research is to use the results of the study on a small group of people in the same area, sampling may not be as important as if the results were to be used on a larger group. In experimental research, it's more important to care about the internal validity than the external validity.

3) If you want to figure out how big the sampling error is, you can use probability sampling instead of non-probability sampling.


Q 3) Describe the uses, advantages, and disadvantages of questionnaire.


Questionnaires are commonly used for:

  1. To gather information from a large number of people about their attitudes, opinions, behaviours, and preferences.

  2. questionnaires can be used to measure and understand people's beliefs, values, and perceptions.

  3. questionnaires can be used to gather feedback on the quality of a product or service, and to measure customer satisfaction.

  4. questionnaires are often used to gather data on personality, intelligence, and academic performance.

  5. questionnaires can be used to gather information on health behaviours, risk factors, and health outcomes.

  6. questionnaires can be used to gather feedback from employees about their job satisfaction, working conditions, and motivation.


Advantages of using questionnaires include:

  1. questionnaires are a cost-effective method of collecting data.

  2. questionnaires can reach people in different locations and can be administered online, by mail, or in-person.

  3. questionnaires can be designed to be anonymous, which can increase the likelihood of honest and accurate responses, especially when sensitive topics are being discussed.

  4. the standardized format of questionnaires ensures that all participants are asked the same questions, allowing for consistent and comparable data collection.

  5. data collected from questionnaires can be easily analysed using statistical software, allowing for quick and efficient data analysis.

  6. questionnaires can be completed in a relatively short amount of time.


Disadvantages of using questionnaires include:

  1. questionnaires have a limited ability to probe for in-depth information, as the answers are usually limited to a set of predetermined options.

  2. respondents may not answer questions truthfully or accurately, especially when sensitive topics are being discussed.

  3. questionnaires can introduce bias into the data collected, due to the wording of questions or response options, or by the order in which questions are asked.

  4. questionnaires may have a low response rate, which can limit the representativeness of the data collected.

  5. participants may become bored or frustrated with lengthy questionnaires, leading to decreased response quality.

  6. questionnaires lack the interaction and follow-up opportunities that are possible with other data collection methods, such as interviews or focus groups.


Q 4) Discuss the uses and assumptions of parametric tests.

Ans) Parametric tests are helpful because they are the best way to test how important or trustworthy the sample statistics are. But their use depends on some assumptions. These assumptions are made based on how the population is spread out and what kind of scale is used to measure the data. Some parametric tests, like the t-test and the F-test, are quite strong and can be used even when some assumptions are not met.


Some common uses of parametric tests include:

  1. Comparison of means: parametric tests, such as t-tests and ANOVA, are used to compare the means of two or more groups to determine if there is a significant difference between them.

  2. Correlation analysis: parametric tests, such as Pearson's correlation coefficient, are used to measure the relationship between two continuous variables.

  3. Regression analysis: parametric tests, such as linear regression, are used to model the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables.

  4. Analysis of variance: parametric tests, such as one-way ANOVA and two-way ANOVA, are used to determine if there are significant differences between two or more groups.

  5. Multiple comparisons: parametric tests, such as Tukey's HSD, are used to make multiple comparisons between groups, to determine which groups are significantly different from one another.

  6. Inferential statistics: parametric tests are used to make inferences about a population based on a sample of data, such as estimating the mean and standard deviation of a population.


The assumptions for most parametric tests are the following:

  1. The variables described art; expressed in interval or ratio scales and not in nominal or ordinal scales of measurement.

  2. The samples have equal or nearly equal variances. This condition is known as equality or homogeneity of variances and is particularly important to determine when the samples are small.

  3. The population values are normally distributed, and

  4. The observations are independent. The selection of one case in the sample is not dependent upon the selection of any other case.


Q 5) Explain the different types of triangulation.

Ans) Triangulation may be defined as the use of two or more methods of data collection in the study of some aspect of human behaviour.


There are four basic types of triangulation:


1. Data triangulation

Data triangulation can be done by putting together different kinds of data, like qualitative and quantitative data, or by using more than one way to collect data, like surveys, interviews, and observations. When you use more than one method, the results can be checked against each other. This can help prove or disprove the results from a single method. Data triangulation can be especially helpful when there is a lot of uncertainty or complexity around a research problem or when it is hard to measure a phenomenon with just one method. Data triangulation can improve the reliability and validity of research findings by using more than one source of data or more than one way to collect data.


2. Investigator triangulation

Investigator triangulation is a method in qualitative research where multiple researchers collect and analyse data on the same study in order to increase the validity and reliability of the findings. This approach helps to minimize the impact of individual biases and perspectives and can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the topic being studied.


3. Theory Triangulation

Theories are triangulated to understand a phenomenon or issue. By looking at the phenomenon from different angles and integrating theories, the goal is to increase understanding. This approach can improve understanding, identify areas of agreement and disagreement between theories, and create new, synthesised theories.


4. Methodological triangulation

Methodological triangulation uses multiple methods to improve study results. A researcher can "triangulate" or "cross-check" results by using multiple methods, reducing the impact of each method's flaws and biases. Since different methods provide different information, this method can provide a more complete picture of the subject. Methodological triangulation can involve multiple data sources, data collection methods like surveys, interviews, and observations, and data analysis methods.


Q 6) Analyse the scientific criteria for evaluating a research report.

Ans) An evaluation of a training report will focus on research methodology. Methods don't matter in research that seeks new knowledge. This is because senior professionals supervise their research students and are familiar with research methods. There are several scientific criteria for evaluating a research report, including:

  1. Research question: Does the research report clearly define the research question being investigated?

  2. Methodology: Does the report clearly describe the methods used to collect and analyse data, including sampling, data collection instruments, and data analysis techniques? Is the methodology appropriate for the research question?

  3. Results: Does the report present the results in a clear and concise manner, including appropriate statistics and tables? Are the results presented in a way that supports the conclusions drawn from them?

  4. Conclusions: Does the report draw conclusions that are logically consistent with the results presented? Are the conclusions supported by the evidence?

  5. Interpretation: Does the report provide a clear and well-reasoned interpretation of the results? Are the interpretations consistent with the results and the conclusions?

  6. Replicability: Can the results be replicated by other researchers using the methods and data described in the report?

  7. Validity: Does the report address potential sources of bias or confounding factors that could affect the validity of the results?

  8. Relevance: Does the report contribute new knowledge or insights to the field being studied?

  9. Writing quality: Is the report written in clear, concise language? Are the ideas presented logically and coherently?

  10. Ethical considerations: Does the report adhere to ethical standards for conducting research, including informed consent and protection of participants' rights and privacy?

By evaluating a research report against these criteria, one can assess the scientific rigor and validity of the study and determine whether the results are trustworthy and can be relied upon to inform future research and practice.



Section B - Short Answer Type Questions (40 Marks)


1. Write short notes (in about 150 words each) on the following: (5X8=40 marks)


i) Inductive reasoning

Ans) In inductive reasoning, we start with a specific event and then make many more observations. We make a generalisation based on what we find in common between a set of observations. So, in deductive reasoning, we start with a generalisation and apply it to a specific situation, but in inductive reasoning, we start with a specific event or situation and end with a generalisation.


Inductive reasoning was made as a way to search for knowledge to go along with deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning looks at specific cases (concrete facts), and by looking at these specific cases, a general conclusion is drawn about the whole class to which these specific cases belong. Inductive reasoning can lead to these general conclusions, which can be used as a major premise for deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning isn't very useful by itself because it doesn't lead to much progress in knowledge.


ii) Characteristic features of a research problem

Ans) A research problem is a specific issue or gap in understanding that a researcher seeks to address through the collection and analysis of data. Characteristic features of a research problem are:

  1. A research problem leads to dependable solutions.

  2. It contributes to useful generalizations and theory development.

  3. It provides insight into the hypothesis formulation.

  4. It provides the direction for the choice of research design.

  5. It helps in wise choice of statistical or other relevant methods of interpretation.

  6. The research problem should involve concepts or variables that can be measured and analysed.

  7. The research problem should have a clear purpose and research objectives that guide the study.

  8. The research problem should be relevant to the field being studied and address an issue that is of interest to researchers, practitioners, and/or society.


By considering these characteristic features, researchers can ensure that the research problem they choose is well-defined, relevant, and feasible to investigate, and will contribute new knowledge and understanding to the field being studied.

iii) Phenomenological studies

Ans) Phenomenological studies are a type of qualitative research that looks at how people feel about something from their own point of view. The goal of phenomenological studies is to figure out what an experience is all about or what it means from the point of view of the people who have been through it.


In-depth interviews and focus groups are usually conducted with study participants. These interviews are analysed to find patterns in people's stories. This analysis creates a "phenomenological essence" of the experience. This essence captures what the experience meant to the participants.


Phenomenological studies are commonly used in the fields of psychology, sociology, and healthcare, among others. They are useful for exploring complex experiences that cannot be fully understood through more quantitative or experimental methods. By focusing on the subjective experiences of individuals, phenomenological studies can provide a rich and detailed understanding of the lived experiences associated with a particular phenomenon.

iv) Rorschach’s Inkblot Test

Ans) The Rorschach inkblot test is a projective psychological test in which a person is shown a series of inkblots and asked to describe what they see in each one. The test is based on the idea that a person's responses to ambiguous stimuli can reveal their unconscious thoughts, feelings, and personality traits. The person giving the test writes down what the person says, which can be anything from a simple description of what they see to a long storey.


The test results can be interpreted in different ways, depending on things like the content of the answers, the tone, and how much certain things are stressed. Some psychologists use standardised systems to score and explain the results, while others rely on more personal judgments.


The Rorschach test has been used a lot in clinical settings, but the psychological community has had a lot to say about its validity and reliability. In the end, the Rorschach inkblot test should be seen as just one of many ways to figure out what a person's personality is like.

v) Bi-variate Analysis

Ans) Bivariate analysis is a statistical technique used to examine the relationship between two variables. It is used to determine if there is a significant association between the two variables, and to identify the strength and direction of the relationship. Bivariate analysis can help researchers understand how changes in one variable impact changes in another variable, and is commonly used in fields such as psychology, sociology, and economics.


There are several methods for conducting bivariate analysis, including:

  1. Pearson's correlation coefficient, which measures the strength and direction of the linear relationship between two variables.

  2. Point-biserial correlation, which is used to analyse the relationship between a continuous variable and a dichotomous variable.

  3. Spearman's rank correlation, which is used when the relationship between two variables is non-linear.

  4. Chi-square test, which is used to examine the relationship between two categorical variables.

vi) Purpose of writing synopsis

Ans) The purpose of writing a synopsis is to provide a condensed version of the work that highlights its key elements and themes.


A synopsis can serve several purposes, including:

  1. Marketing and Promotion: A synopsis can be used to market a work to potential publishers, agents, or film producers, or to provide information about the work to potential readers or viewers.

  2. Evaluating a Work: A synopsis can be used by literary agents, publishers, or film producers to assess the potential of a work and determine whether to invest in it.

  3. Understanding a Work: A synopsis can provide a useful summary of a work for someone who has not read or seen it, allowing them to understand its main points and themes before diving into the full work.

  4. Organizing Thoughts: Writing a synopsis can be a useful exercise for the author, helping them to clarify their thoughts and focus on the key elements of the work.


vii) Technological sources of literature search

Ans) Technological sources of literature search refer to online and digital tools and platforms used to find and retrieve relevant academic or scholarly articles, papers, and other types of published works.


Some common technological sources of literature search include:

  1. Audio-video programmes containing interviews, presentations, real case studies, process of an event, contextual happening of a phenomenon, etc.

  2. Library catalogues: Many universities and research institutions have online catalogues that allow users to search for books and articles in their collections. These catalogues often include links to electronic versions of articles and books, making it easy to access the literature from anywhere.

  3. Social media and networking sites: Platforms such as ResearchGate, Mendeley, and allow researchers to connect with other scholars, find new research, and share their own work.

  4. Search engines: Search engines like Google can be used to find relevant literature, but the results may be less focused and include a wider range of sources, including news articles and other non-academic content.


viii) Characteristics of a good abstract

Ans) A good abstract is a brief summary of a larger work, such as a research paper, thesis, or article, which provides a clear and concise overview of the main points and findings.


A good abstract should have the following characteristics:

  1. Concise: A good abstract is 250–300 words long and concise. It should give a brief summary of the work.

  2. Accurate: Good abstracts accurately summarise the larger work. It should be accurate and not misrepresent the work.

  3. Objective: An objective abstract avoids subjective language and personal opinions. It should present the Relevant: Good abstracts highlight the work's most crucial information. It should highlight key findings and explain why the work is significant.

  4. Well-structured: A good abstract is well-organized and logical. It should be well-organized.

  5. Accessible: A good abstract uses simple, non-technical language. It should be accessible to non-specialists.

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