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Designing Research

Shipworth, D; Huebner, GM; (2017) Designing Research. In: Wagner, A and O'Brien, W and Dong, B, (eds.) Exploring Occupant Behavior in Buildings: Methods and Challenges. (pp. 39-76). Springer: Cham, Switzerland. Green open access

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Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to set out a process that researchers can follow to design a robust quantitative research study of occupant behavior in buildings. Central to this approach is an emphasis on intellectual clarity around what is being measured and why. To help achieve this clarity, researchers are encouraged to literally draw these relationships out in the form of a concept map capturing the theoretical model of the cause and effect between occupant motivations and energy use. Having captured diagrammatically how the system is thought to work, the next step is to formulate research questions or hypotheses capturing the relationship between variables in the theoretical model, and to start to augment the diagram with the measurands (things that can actually be measured) that are good proxies for each concept. Once these are identified, the diagram can be further augmented with one or more methods of measuring each measurand. The chapter argues that it is necessary to carefully define concepts and their presumed relationships, and to clearly state research questions and identify what the researcher intends to measure before starting data collection. The chapter also explains the ideas of reliability, validity, and uncertainty, and why knowledge about them is essential for any researcher.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Designing Research
ISBN: 3319614649
ISBN-13: 9783319614649
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-61464-9_3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-61464-9_3
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043825
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