Handout 3.2:
21 Ways of Generating Research Ideas from Previous Research

  1. Find gaping omissions.
  2. Repeat studies.
  3. Do a study suggested by the journal article's author(s).
  4. Repeat the study with a different group of participants.
  5. Look for situational factors that may moderate the effect.
  6. Look for factors that were not controlled.
  7. Reduce the effects of expectancies.
  8. Use more realistic amounts of the treatment factor.
  9. Uncover the functional relationship.
  10. Use more realistic stimulus materials.
  11. See if another factor would have the same effect.
  12. Bridge fields and try to find a practical implication of the research.
  13. Look at the studies from a different level of analysis.
  14. Look for patterns in conflicting studies.
  15. Look for a factor's immediate relationship to other variables.
  16. Look at long term effects.
  17. Look for "down the road" effects.
  18. Repeat the study using a different measure of the same construct.
  19. Repeat the study with a more sensitive way of detecting the effect.
  20. Take advantage of "component" measures.
  21. Take advantage of measures of entirely new concepts.

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