My single-subject research experiment assumed the A-B-A format whereby I observed and monitored my body weight trend for certain duration (one month) without undergoing the intervention (physical body exercises), I then eventually introduced the intervention in the “B” phase for another equal length of time i. e. one month, and lastly in the second “A” phase I monitored my body changes after the intervention for another one months duration. By virtue of being the subject to this single-subject research study I stood a better chance of knowing and understanding my body weight trends than it would have been if I was dealing with a second party.
The experiment was carried out for a period of three consecutive months, each phase of the experiment got an equal time i. e. one month for monitoring change in my body weight. The Protocol During the first month of the experiment (baseline phase) I was supposed to go on with my normal routine duties, eat normal diets and more important, not to indulge in any form of physical exercises as this was necessary since I was observing and recording the baseline data on my body weight trend.
During this phase my normal daily activities and behaviors were qualitatively recorded such as my favorite food, the kind of work I performed, places that I visited, sports that I participated in, the distance I traveled from home to work/ school or any other regularly visited place such as church, salon, etc. all this information was meant to determine whether I engaged in any activity that would be considered as strenuous.
Since I was the subject to the experiment I only needed to keep a qualitative record of those activities that I indulged in during this first month and the corresponding daily weight that was either gained or lost. The mean weight that was calculated at the end of the baseline phase was 79kilograms. The intervention program involved a stepped-up physical fitness exercise package that comprised of various types of physical exercises targeting various sensitive parts of my body such as shoulders, biceps, triceps, calves, stomach, and other body parts which are known to store fat.
Exercises in this package included push-ups, sit-ups, press-ups, running workouts, pull-ups, frog-jumps, duck walks, split jumps, banana jumps, squatting cock fights, stair climbing, and bicycle crunch. The exercises were carried out on a daily basis under the close watch of a credited physical fitness trainer, NB: the services of a trainer were engaged so as to ensure quality exercises were performed and also to ensure that I did not miss the daily exercises.
During the intervention phase all the necessary procedures were observed and I was also supposed to observe a normal eating habit, carrying out other activities as was during the baseline phase – in short I was supposed to keep other factors that would lead to weight loss at a constant level, as this was a control experiment only interested on finding out whether strenuous daily physical exercises leads to loss of body weight. As such therefore, any slight body weight change was noted and qualitatively recorded in the normal twice a day weight measuring and recording sessions.
At the end of the one month intervention period the calculated mean body weight stood at 69 kilograms. The last phase of the experiment (the second letter “A” phase) was similar to first phase as no strenuous physical exercises were performed. I was only required to go on with my normal daily activities as was during the baseline phase and also to keep all the other possible factors that could lead to weight change such as change in diets or even swallowing of weight loosing tablets at a constant level. My body weight was recorded twice in a day and any changes noted.
At the end of the one month period the calculated mean body weight stood at 74 kilograms, an indicator that my weight was steadily returning to its normal level since I was no longer exercising. The Role of the Researcher in the Research Since I was the researcher and at the same time the research subject, issues of reactivity or violation of respondents system did not arise and thus the study lacked any biasness as does with other approaches of research. Again, information collected was firsthand and very accurate as it was based on readings of the scale and personal imaginations.
[Cherry, (1999)] Analysis of the Empirical Materials I subjected the collected data (empirical materials) to qualitative analytic methods. A comparison between the baseline and intervention phase data indicated a difference of ten kilograms before and after the intervention, a pointer that a staggering ten kilograms were lost during the one-month physical fitness intervention phase. The mean weight recorded daily in each phase was used to calculate the mean of the first phase and the second phase.
The baseline phase mean was 79kilograms while the intervention mean was 69 kilograms. To test the level of significance of change over the period of one month the “Two Standard Deviation Test” was used. NB: please see the analysis below. Step 1: Calculate the Mean body weight and the Standard Deviations of both baseline and intervention phases; Mean: Baseline = 79 kilograms Intervention = 69 kilograms Standard Deviation: Baseline = 1. 58 Intervention = 2 Step 2: Value of two Standard deviations from the Mean of the baseline phase: (2 * 1. 58) = 3.
16 Step 3: Subtract two Standard Deviations from the mean of the baseline (79 – 3. 16) = 75. 84 Step 4: Compare the values: When the two standard deviations are subtracted from the mean of the normal weight a 3. 16% is left out at each end of the normal curve. Meaning that, only 6. 32% kilograms out of the possible 100 is not included in the two standard deviations at each end of the normal curve. Again, the mean of the intervention falls outside the two Standard Deviations from the baseline an indicator a real weight loss did occur.
There is a 93. 6% chance out 100 that weight loss did occur during the intervention phase of the study. And thus, a statistically significant weight loss occurred at p< . 05 level. The alpha level of the study was <. 05 – Representing my confidence in the study’s findings. Findings The “Two Standard Deviation Test” revealed that a change and big one for that matter took place, and therefore it is wise to conclude that the physical fitness intervention was very much effective. This is seen from the difference in means of the phases of the experiment i.
e. A and B this is an indicator that a real change took place, a change that was brought about by the intervention. This was further confirmed by the increment of weight in the last “A” phase when I was not supposed to perform any strenuous physical exercises. Limitations of the Single-subject Design Although the use of single-subject designed studies is highly recommended for studies that fall within the field of advanced clinical psychological research, it should be noted that there exists some limitations in it.
For instance, the findings of my advanced experimental clinical psychological qualitative research suffered some setbacks which includes; (1) though exercising was indeed a practical method for reducing weight on me it still can not be recommended for all persons i. e. a generalization can not be made because one person (me) can not make a whole; (2) my experiment analysis did not provide context or conditions as does other single-subject experiments; (3) the findings of the experiment had both the traits of a qualitative and quantitative research and thus not lacked the depth of a qualitative research.
[Cherry, (1999)] However, if the experiment was to be repeated under the same conditions the findings may be easily replicated as all due caution was taken in the recording of daily weight changes and also the analysis was equally done. References: • Alexander, C. 1998. Cutting Weight, Losing Life: News & Observer, February 8, 1998, A. 1. ProQuest database, accessed on February 26, 2009 • Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Yvonna. S. , (Eds. ). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, Third Edition, Sage, Thousand Oaks, 2005, accessed on February 26, 2009