ERIC Number: EJ1019175
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 106
What Would It Take to Change an Inference? Using Rubin's Causal Model to Interpret the Robustness of Causal Inferences
Frank, Kenneth A.; Maroulis, Spiro J.; Duong, Minh Q.; Kelcey, Benjamin M.
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, v35 n4 p437-460 Dec 2013
We contribute to debate about causal inferences in educational research in two ways. First, we quantify how much bias there must be in an estimate to invalidate an inference. Second, we utilize Rubin's causal model to interpret the bias necessary to invalidate an inference in terms of sample replacement. We apply our analysis to an inference of a positive effect of Open Court Curriculum on reading achievement from a randomized experiment, and an inference of a negative effect of kindergarten retention on reading achievement from an observational study. We consider details of our framework, and then discuss how our approach informs judgment of inference relative to study design. We conclude with implications for scientific discourse.
Descriptors: Causal Models, Inferences, Research Methodology, Robustness (Statistics), Educational Research, Statistical Analysis, Reading Achievement, Kindergarten, Academic Persistence, Comparative Analysis, Equations (Mathematics), Reading Programs, Test Bias
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: N/A