Theoretical design and design of data collection in observational explanatory (causal) research

Theoretical design and design of data collection in observational explanatory (causal) research

  • 25/06/2021
    1:30 am - 5:00 pm

Course details

methodology seminar | level: beginner | register now
for questions related to this event, contact uantwerpen@flames-statistics.com
affiliation: University of Antwerp


Abstract

One of the (many) dogma’s in current (medical) scientific research is that the golden standard for causal research is the Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT). The theoretical design behind this type of study however is based on a functional relationship describing future occurrence (incidence, prevalence) of an outcome as a function of the intervention alternatives and therefore of a prognostic nature. As a consequence this design is in general not suited for appropriate assessment of the relevant exposure to the suspected cause nor for appropriate control for bias due to confounding.
In this workshop we will approach observational explanatory research defining the theoretical design as a functional (causal) relationship between current occurrence (incidence or prevalence) of the outcome to be explained and the antecedents of that outcome: the antecedent suspected to be a cause, the antecedents that confound the crude relationship and the antecedents that determine the strength of the causal relationship.
Once the true nature of the theoretical design behind a causal research question is explained (and understood), the challenge of designing an appropriate procedure for sampling (probing) from the study base and for collecting data will be discussed.
Students will develop a theoretical design for a causal (‘etiogenetic’) research question and will thereafter have to define the theoretical design and the design of data collection in an example of published causal research.


Prerequisites


Background readings


Fee

Normal fees apply.


Venue

The workshop is online.


Instructor

Prof. dr. em. Joost Weyler


One of the (many) dogma’s in current (medical) scientific research is that the golden standard for causal research is the Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT). The theoretical design behind this type of study however is based on a functional relationship describing future occurrence (incidence, prevalence) of an outcome as a function of the intervention alternatives and therefore of a prognostic nature. As a consequence this design is in general not suited for appropriate assessment of the relevant exposure to the suspected cause nor for appropriate control for bias due to confounding.

In this workshop we will approach observational explanatory research defining the theoretical design as a functional (causal) relationship between current occurrence (incidence or prevalence) of the outcome to be explained and the antecedents of that outcome: the antecedent suspected to be a cause, the antecedents that confound the crude relationship and the antecedents that determine the strength of the causal relationship.

Once the true nature of the theoretical design behind a causal research question is explained (and understood), the challenge of designing an appropriate procedure for sampling (probing) from the study base and for collecting data will be discussed.

Students will develop a theoretical design for a causal (‘etiogenetic’) research question and will thereafter have to define the theoretical design and the design of data collection in an example of published causal research.

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