The selected hypothesis of the study is the second one: facing a very harsh disappointment. The exposition of the hypothesis is that the Arab Spring failed to spread in Arabian states because the affected states performed poorly in achieving their objectives of protesting and received minimal support from states that supported the protest, thus causing a very harsh disappointment among the people. Therefore, the study hypothesizes that the citizens of the Arabian states who perceive the Arab Spring as unsuccessful are less willing to participate in protests in their own countries than the citizens who perceive Arab Spring as successful.
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Perception of ‘successfulness’ of the Arabian Spring by citizens of Arabian states.
Willingness to participate in a protest by the citizens of the Arabian states.
The appropriate research design of the study is the cross-sectional design. A cross-sectional design is a type of survey that allows researchers to collect information from a given population or a sample of the population without consideration of any time bounds. As a type of survey research, the cross-sectional design is applicable in assessing the feelings, perceptions, and opinions of people about a given issue in a community or society. Since it deals with abstract information about feelings, opinions, and perceptions, the cross-sectional design permits qualitative collection and assessment of data, thus providing the basis of descriptive statistics. Descriptive statistics are applicable in the analysis and interpretation of qualitative information. The perceptions of people about the success of the Arab Spring comprise qualitative data that the study needs to collect from the population and analyze. In this view, since the study examines the perceptions of the citizens of the Arabian states, a cross-sectional design is the appropriate design for the research.
Essentially, cross-sectional design entails the collection of data from a population sample by use of survey techniques such as questionnaires or interviews. In this case, the study will apply the technique of collecting information using questionnaires. The questionnaires are appropriate for this form of study because the population of study spreads across the Arab world, which is very extensive to conduct using interviews. The use of questionnaires is advantageous because they are simple to construct and easy to administer as they do not require a lot of resources. With the use of the Internet, the study can administer questionnaires to thousands of people in various countries via mail or social sites. Hence, given that the study targets people who are spread across the Arab world, the use of questionnaires administered via mails and social sites is appropriate for the study because it is cheaper and more convenient than other methods of data collection.
For an appropriate analysis of the data collected using questionnaires, designing of the questionnaire is imperative. The process of designing the questionnaire is usually a complex one as it requires a researcher to balance the simplicity of the questions and literacy levels of the target population. The questions in the questionnaire need to be very simple for the participants to understand because complex questions lead to unfavorable answers that reduce the reliability of the study. Hence, in this case, the use of the questionnaire allows the researchers to design their questions according to the attributes that measure perceptions of the people, an independent variable, which determines the willingness of the people to participate in protests, a dependent variable. Since perceptions of people constitute qualitative data, the use of the questionnaire permits the researcher to design a questionnaire using a Likert scale. The Likert scale is a scale that transforms qualitative data into quantitative data, which statistical tools can analyze. Therefore, the application of the questionnaire in the cross-sectional research design enables the transformation of qualitative data into quantitative data, which eases the process of data analysis using statistical tools.
The administration of questionnaires via mail and social sites is an advantage of the cross-sectional design because it enhances the proportion of responses, thus increasing the external validity of the research. Normally, the major problem associated with the use of questionnaires as research tools is low responses, which reduces the external validity of the research. However, in this case, since the study administers questionnaires using emails and social sites, it targets a significant proportion of the population who are in the Arabian states. Thus, the method of administering questionnaires to the target population enhances the responses and thus increasing external validity, which is central in the generalization of the study findings. Overall, the cross-sectional design is appropriate in assessing the perceptions of people concerning the success of the Arab Spring.
Specific Methods of Data Analysis
The study will use the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) in performing descriptive statistics, Chi-square test, and correlation test. As a statistical tool, the study will use descriptive statistics in explaining the perceptions that people have regarding the success of the Arab Spring. Since the questionnaires have structured questions in the form of a Likert scale, descriptive statistics such as mode, median, standard deviation, and percentages are imperative. The mode provides the general perception of the dominant people in the Arabian states, while the median indicates the average perceptions of the people in general. The mode and mean are two measures of central tendency that the study will utilize to indicate the extent to which people in other Arabian states are willing to protest due to the successfulness of the Arab Spring in the affected countries. The standard deviation is another measure of central tendency that is integral in showing the variability in perceptions of the people regarding the successfulness of the Arab Spring. The variability of perceptions is important because it indicates whether people have a common or diverse perception of the success of the Arab Spring. Ultimately, the analysis of data using percentages enhances the interpretation of the collected data.
To test the hypothesis, the Chi-square test is an appropriate test. The Chi-square test is a statistical test that is applicable in testing hypotheses. The Chi-square test compares the expected willingness of the people to participate in protests and their perceptions regarding the successfulness of the Arab Spring. In this view, if the difference between expected and observed willingness to participate in a protest due to the perception of the successfulness of Arab Spring is huge, it means that there are not statistically significant relationships to warrant acceptance of the hypothesis. However, if the difference is small, it implies that willingness to participate is significantly dependent on the perceptions of the successfulness of the Arab Spring. Thus, Chi-square is a critical method of data analysis because the study expects that there is a significant variation between expected willingness and observed willingness.
Correlation is another statistical method that is necessary to establish the relationships between willingness to protest and perceptions of the successfulness of the Arab Spring. Correlation is an important test in the study because it shows the extent to which the two variables can correlate. As hypothesized, the study expects that perceptions of the successfulness of the Arab Spring determine the willingness of the people in various Arabian states to protest. A positive correlation indicates that the perceptions of the success of the Arab Spring influence willingness of the people to cause similar protests in their countries. In contrast, a negative correlation indicates that the perceptions of the protest have a negative impact on the willingness to protest. Thus, the study expects that the existence of correlation shows the extent to which perceptions influence willingness to protest among citizens in various Arabian states.
The study will collect qualitative data from the citizens of the Arabian states who are in different places within the Arabian world. The use of questionnaires will enable the respondents to provide their perceptions regarding the success of the Arab Spring. Although the data that the study will collect is in qualitative form, structuring of questionnaires using the Likert scale converts the qualitative data into quantitative data for analysis purposes.
Given that the administration of questionnaires to the participants will occur through the Internet, the researchers do not need to travel. Instead, the researchers will use the Internet to link up with different people in various countries within the Arab world. Although there is not the cost of traveling, the research requires a website for it to recruit many people in the Arab world. Hence, the study requires about $500 for web design and $200 for hosting the website per month. Since the study is complex, taxing, and technical, the study will employ three research assistants who will aid in the online administration of questionnaires and in performing data analysis. Each of the research assistants will earn $300 per month.
The process of data collection is central in data analysis, and thus will take 15 days. During the 15 days, researchers will be busy contacting potential participants and requesting their participation in the study via the developed website. The researchers will also use social sites when recruiting the participants and directing them to the website where they can answer the questionnaires and submit them. Moreover, analysis of the data will take 5 days because it involves the use of the SPSS tool, which eases the complexity of analyzing descriptive statistics, Chi-square test, and correlation test. To write and present the findings of the research, it will take 10 days. This means that the whole study will take a period of 30 days. Hence, if the researchers start the study on July 1st, it implies that by July 31st, the researchers will have finished collecting, analyzing, writing, and presenting the findings of the study.
Regarding the ethical issues of human participants, the study faces the issue of confidentiality and informed consent. Confidentiality is a critical ethical issue because an ethical study should assure the participants about the use of information in research. Given that it is an online survey, participants may have great reservations about the essence of the data that they provide. The Arab Spring caused a great impact on the lives of many people; hence, some may perceive the study as a foreign survey intended to cause protests in their countries. Informed consent is an ethical issue because some participants may perceive that the study entices and deceives them to fill questionnaires by providing false information about the research, thus violating the requirements of informed consent.