Contributing to Theory: Independent, Mediating, Moderating and Dependent Variables

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Contributing to Theory: Independent, Mediating, Moderating and Dependent Variables Length: 5-7 pages not including title and reference pages A research problem for a quantitative study will usually be a statement describing something we do not know about the relationships among constructs in a topic area. Here is a fictitious example:  Say your review of the literature shows that we know that smiling causes happiness. It also shows that there is disagreement among researchers and theorists in these areas: on how smiling causes happiness; under what conditions and for what type of people smiling causes happiness; and, what else causes happiness Your research can contribute to theory on the relationship between smiling and happiness by addressing a) or b). Addressing c) is a completely different matter. c) involves identifying constructs that also cause happiness. You would be unlikely to choose this option, because it is not directly related to the smiling/happiness relationship. It involves you in the huge project of developing a general theory of happiness, which is too ambitious for a dissertation study. If, however, your literature review uncovers a theory of happiness that predicts that smiling causes happiness but no one has done a controlled study to see if it in fact does, then you could conduct a study to see if smiling causes happiness that would contribute to theory. Your study could: Address phenomena that mediate the smiling/happiness relationship. Our knowledge of human biology tells us smiling cannot directly cause happiness. Smiling must be the beginning of a causal chain of events ending with happiness. Your literature review would identify plausible links, and your study would examine if they are in fact present when people smile and report feeling happy. Your study would contribute to theory on how smiling causes happiness. Address constructs that moderate the smiling/happiness relationship. Your literature review would show you that…