There are many considerations in selection of topic. These considerations may be classified as academic/intellectual and applied . An intelligent selection of the topic is necessary as potential topics are many but topics which can be practically studied and on which we can actually proceed research are very rare.
The first step in formulation of the problem is the discovery of the problem in need of solution. Unfortunately every topic cannot be transformed to feasible research project but more frequently, it is possible to identify some aspect of topic, which can be formulated into specific research question. In this regard the first step then is to select a topic that would yield a task of manageable size. Thus after narrowing the problem to one that could reasonably be handed within in a single study we can proceed to several interrelated steps.
Hypothesis is a propositions, conditions or principle which is assumed perhaps without belief, in order to draw out its logical consequences and by this method to test its accord with facts which are known or may be determined (Webster’s New international dictionary of English language)
A hypothesis is derived from the Greek word “Hypo” that means “under” and “Tithenai” which means “To place” and mean any thing under consideration.In research it is used in the meaning of “Tentative solution to the problem being evaluated”.
Campbell defines hypothesis as “A proposition which is put forward for consideration and concerning the truth, or falsity, nothing asserted until the consideration is complete.
Goode and Hath defines hypothesis as “a proposition which is tested to establish validity.
It is suggested problem solution which is expressed as generalization.
1. Research hypothesis/ Working hypothesis /exploratory hypothesis- is that hypothesis which is derived form the researcher theory about social phenomena.
Examples of research hypotheses are.
Drugs adversely effect the personality, family and society.
Drugs addicted people have negative approach to life.
2. Null hypothesis. Null hypothesis are the opposite of research hypothesis. These are the statements which refute or deny what is explicitly indicated in a given research hypothesis. The above hypothesis will be.
Drugs have no adversely effect on the personality, family an society.
Drugs addicted people have positive approach to life.
Why null hypothesis is used.
1. The researcher is detached.
2. It seems easier to prove some thing false than to prove it true.
3. It is conventional.
4. It performs specific functions in relation to probability theory and test to research hypothesis.
3. Statistical Hypothesis . It is the suggested solution in statistical terms, or statistical relation deduced from the relations of research.
1. Some concepts are very close to object or event they represent. For example “Dog” is abstraction of directly observable and measurable common characteristic of the dog.
2. Some concepts are not closely related to phenomenon they represent like attitude, role, learning, and motivation. They are inference at high level of abstraction from concrete events and there meanings are conveyable to, by pointing specific object, individual or event. Some times they are called “Constructs” as they are constructed from the concept at lower level.
Both of these categories carry the ability to transfer information in the form of images about experiences in the empirical world
For researcher concepts definition is very important because.
The same concepts may refer to different realities and the different concepts may represent the same reality.
In science concepts communicates special communication. In common language some concepts carries different meaning from its special meaning. Thus all concepts must be clearly defined because the greater the distance between the concept and empirical fact to which they are intended to refer, the greater the possibility of misunderstanding. Thus greater care is required in defining concepts.
Concepts may be defined in the following two ways.
In abstract term. Giving the general meaning they are intended to convey. This is necessary to link the study with the body of knowledge using similar concepts.
In operational term. By which they will be represented in the particular study.
ESTABLISHING WORKING DEFINITION /OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS.
By working or operational definition we means “definition that assigns meaning to a concept by specifying the activities or “operations necessary to measure the concepts”. It is specification of the activities of the researcher in measuring a variable or manipulating it. It is a sort of manual of instruction to the investigator. In short it gives meaning to a variable (concept) by spelling out what the investigator must do to measure the variable (concept).
In such definitions we define concept by telling what actions or behaviours the concept expresses or implies. Such definitions make the observational basis by specifying the empirical referent of the terms.
They are of two types.
1. Experimental. It spells out the details of the investigators manipulation of the concepts.
2. Measured. Which describe how concept will be measured.
Every research has relation to the old and new knowledge. There are two major ways of relating a given study to the larger body of knowledge.
1. To examine the research and thinking that has already been done on the given research problem or problems related to it and to plan the study so that it ties in with this existing knowledge.
2. To formulate the research problem at the level sufficiently abstract, so that finding from the study may be related to the finding from other studies concerned with the same concepts. The studies that take their inputs from scientific question. It is usually not difficult to formulate research problem at useful level of abstraction. Thus they can be likely stated in general terms. But the studies that arise from the need to answer practical questions may remain at such specific level that they make no real contribution to the knowledge unless the investigator takes pain to transpose the question to the higher level of abstraction.