Conceptual framework

In this section of your manuscript, you explain why you expect a relationship between your covariates (your Xs) and your dependent variable(s) (Ys).

  • Have a theory of why you expect a relationship between your Xs and Y(s)
    • The theory can be based on papers, but also your own logical reasoning, as long as it motivates the relationship
    • Also think about alternative arguments (X could have a positive relationship, but also a negative relationship)
    • Write up your argumentation, then, end with your hypothesis, or spell out your expectation explicitly (you can also admit the relationship can go in two ways)
  • Typically, just hypothesizing an effect to exist is weak; it’s much stronger if you can predict its direction.

Also, your discussion is enriched with a figure that visualizes your conceptual framework

  • Draw your conceptual framework (and re-draw it until it’s perfect)