Research Proposal: Age of Traffic Speeders

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[. . .] This hypothesis is intended to be very specific, because the researcher believes that age and speeding behavior or strongly correlated, especially in younger people. Additionally, the researcher believes that once a person reaches 30 years of age, speeding and many other dangerous behaviors begin to drop off more sharply because of increased responsibility and maturity. The researcher understands that this will not be the case for every person in a particular age group, of course, but only intends to show that there is a strong correlation between being young and being more likely to speed.

Independent/Dependent Variables

Both independent and dependent variables will need to be studied in order to address the hypothesis properly. These variables are both very important, and can provide the researcher with the proper starting point for information collection. To that end, the independent and dependent variables are as follows:

Dependent variable: speeding behavior

Independent variable: age of the motor vehicle operator

The dependent variable is speeding behavior. This is considered dependent because it is the thing being measured. In other words, the researcher wants to see if people speed. In order to do this, the researcher has to get information from people who will state whether they speed or whether they do not. The speeding behavior is not something the person cannot control, or something that belongs to that person. It is a choice as to whether the person wishes to speed instead of remaining at the speed limit when operating a motor vehicle. The independent variable is age, because it is not something to be tested to see if it occurs. It is static, and can only be tested to determine if it is the cause. It is also not something a person can change. He or she is a specific age because of the year and date he or she was born. It is not something that is dependent on his or her ability as a driver.

Levels of Analysis

The level of analysis of the variables is very important for this study. The dependent and independent variable are both measured at the micro-level, because they are focused on individual people as opposed to a city, tribe, or even a country. By keeping the focus on each person and only making them part of a group based on the range into which their age falls, the micro-level of analysis applies to both variables. The independent variable of age is ordinal, because it can be counted and ordered but not measured. In other words, it is possible to count a person's years (age) and order that person into an age range, but age is not a behavior that can be measured. It is a fact or statistic a person cannot change. The dependent variable of speeding behavior is nominal, as it can be assigned a number of label (speeder or not speeder, speeding X number of times, etc.).

Reliability and Validity

Reliability and validity are concerns in any study. These can strongly affect whether the study is taken seriously by peers, whether it is able to be replicated, and how much information it actually provides to those who read it. For this particular study, there is reliability in the information collected because it is coming from the actual sources of the data. In other words, people are being asked, specifically, to provide information about themselves. While it is possible they could lie, that is the case with any study every done that asks information of human subjects. It is the assumption of the researcher that the people who are asked the questions about age and speeding behaviors will answer them honestly, as they have no reason to lie about the information, it will not be linked to their name, and will not be published or available anywhere but in the study. Since they remain completely anonymous, they have no incentive to provide information that cannot be reliable upon by the researcher to be accurate responses to the questions asked of them.

The validity of the study is also important to consider. In this case, surveying the participants is considered to be a valid way of obtaining information about them, and should provide the intended information that can then be used for analysis. Surveys are valid ways to obtain information, as long as they are non-biased and ask the proper questions. The researcher will focus the survey questions on specific age and driving behaviors (most notably speeding) in order to have the highest likelihood of obtaining accurate answers to the questions posed. This will provide the researcher with the proper information needed to address the hypothesis and determine its validity or lack thereof. By doing this, the researcher will obtain information that is both valid and reliable.

Research Design

This study's research design will consist of a survey that will be provided to the participants of the study. This survey will be anonymous in that the participants will not be asked for their names, social security numbers, drivers license numbers, or other personally identifying information. They can also stop the survey at any time if they decide they do not want to participate. There are many advantages to using a survey for a research design. The most important point to note with this design is that surveys are collecting data that is new and specific to that particular study. It is not simply going back over and reanalyzing information that was provided from other studies.

The biggest downfall for the survey is that the sample size may be very small, so the researcher may not get a completely representative data set. Still, for this particular research project, the survey will be the best design option. It will allow the researcher to ask questions about age, but also about driving and speeding behavior that will produce data specific to the study. Even with a smaller sample size, it is very easy to collect valuable, pertinent information if the researcher knows to ask the right questions and if the researcher analyzes the collected information properly.

Sampling Strategy

In order to collect the sample of data, the researcher will be interested in surveying 100 participants. These people will come from a random sample of individuals who will be asked to take the survey. While it may be easier to conduct the survey at a set location, such as the college campus, that would not provide a random data set when it comes to age groups. The best way for the researcher to get a more random sample is to stand at the entrance to a store or other public building and ask people to take the quick survey. Since it is only a few questions, there will be many people who will be willing to take the survey to help the researcher collect a sample set that can be analyzed.

Data Collection

The collection of the data will come from surveying 100 people at random to during their age and driving habits as these relate to speeding behaviors. The data will be collected over one weekend by surveying people entering and exiting a public building. That will create a group and data set that is representative of the community and will not limit the researcher to one age group or other demographic subset. Limiting the age group of the sample would not provide adequate data. Additionally, limiting the demographics of a group in other ways, such as through gender, religion, or other classes or types of people would not provide data that would be random and accurate to the study. There will not be anything on the surveys that will tie a person to them, and they will remain completely anonymous. While there are many ways to conduct a quick survey, the researcher has found that this is one of the easiest ways to collect information from a random group of people in the community, and it will continue to be the method of choice for these types of studies.

Data Analysis

Once the data has all been collected, it will be analyzed through SPSS software to look for correlations between age, age group, and speeding behaviors. This will provide the researcher with hard data points that can be used in order to draw conclusions regarding the validity of the hypothesis that was addressed in a previous section. With that in mind, the researcher will be able to determine if there is an age group where speeding is more common and if there is a specific age within that group where speeding appears to peak. The researcher is not interested in analyzing the why and how of the speeding and age equation. The only goal is to determine whether speeding and age are correlated. In the future, other studies could be conducted that would look into why people in certain age groups seem to speed more than others, or how correlations are created. Here, that is not the focus and not… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Research Proposal:

APA Format

Age of Traffic Speeders.  (2014, February 18).  Retrieved March 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/age-traffic-speeders-general/5768986

MLA Format

"Age of Traffic Speeders."  18 February 2014.  Web.  21 March 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/age-traffic-speeders-general/5768986>.

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"Age of Traffic Speeders."  Essaytown.com.  February 18, 2014.  Accessed March 21, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/age-traffic-speeders-general/5768986.