Posted by: benj2919 | June 5, 2010

Refined Research Question

After some thought, we came to the conclusion that we really had three research questions bottled into one: “How do cultural factors unique to Amsterdam’s urban environment affect public health?” Within this umbrella topic we were going to explore the effect of drug culture, prostitution, and bicycling on public health, which turned out to be too difficult. Significant problems arose when brainstorming ways to collect data and investigate Amsterdam’s drug culture and prostitution scene. Privacy issues and the problem of getting cooperation and responses from the people we wanted to interview were two big concerns.

This led us to refine our research question to focus on only the effects of bicycling on Amsterdam’s public health. As Nathaniel pointed out, we could even go further and narrow our topic to study the health of a certain group of people in Amsterdam, such as the youth living in the city. Our refined research question has now become:

“How does frequent bicycle use in Amsterdam affect the health of the city’s urban youth?”

The population of young people in Amsterdam may be a more interesting group to study, since making healthy lifestyle choices early on can greatly affect a person’s health in later years. Also, Amsterdamers similar in age to us might be more willing to participate in our surveys and interviews.


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