research method


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Key note address titled "Scientific methods of Knowing" in the Faculty development program on Research Methodology organized by the Department of Business Administration, Kalyani University, 20.6.2005.

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research method

  1. 1. SCINTIFIC METHODS OF KNOWING <ul><li>Dr. D. Dutta Roy </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology Research Unit </li></ul><ul><li>Indian Statistical Institute </li></ul><ul><li>203, B.T. Road, Kolkata - 700 108 </li></ul><ul><li>For </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Business Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Kalyani University </li></ul><ul><li>Kalyani </li></ul>
  2. 2. SCIENCE AND COMMON SENSE <ul><li>Science and common sense differ sharply in five ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of theories and construct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing theories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relations among phenomena </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explaining phenomena </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Use of theories <ul><li>In common sense, theories are developed out of fanciful explanations. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Failure of jute mill is due to unionism/ due to use of old technology </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Scientists systematically build theoretical structures, test them for internal consistency, and makes empirical testing. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Testing Theories <ul><li>Non scientist tests hypotheses in selective fashion. They select evidence simply because it is consistent with the hypothesis. </li></ul><ul><li>Scientist carefully guards own preconceptions and predictions and against selective support of hypotheses. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Control <ul><li>Layman seldom bothers to control systematically explanations of observed phenomena. They ordinarily make little effort to control extraneous variables. </li></ul><ul><li>Scientist gave much importance on extraneous variables in sampling and in collection of data. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Relations among phenomena <ul><li>Layman’s preoccupation is loose, unsystematic and uncontrolled. Layman easily comes to the conclusion of cause and effect. </li></ul><ul><li>Scientist’s theory on relationship is based on more systematic and controlled study. After studying relations of two variables from different angles, scientist makes causal relationship. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Explaining phenomena <ul><li>Scientist avoids metaphysical explanations where as layman uses it in explaining observed phenomena. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Four methods of Knowing <ul><li>The Methods (Charles Peirce, 1867) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Method of tenacity :Men hold firmly to the truth, the truth that they know to be true because they hold firmly to it. They make inference based upon this truth. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Method of authority : An established belief, e.g., If a noted physician says that there is a God, it is so. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Method of intuition : immediate apprehension or perception of an actual fact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Method of science : Knowing through research. Science believes that nothing is obviously truthful. We must support our beliefs through observation, measurement, and experiment. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Definitions of Scientific method <ul><li>Scientific method is systematic, controlled empirical, and critical investigation of natural phenomena guided by theory and hypotheses about the presumed relations among such phenomena. </li></ul><ul><li>Eg: Research methods in Organizational psychology </li></ul>
  10. 10. Steps of Scientific research <ul><li>Reflective thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Stating Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Research Design: </li></ul><ul><li>Sampling, Development of instrument, Collection of data, Statistical control. </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of data </li></ul><ul><li>Interpreting data </li></ul><ul><li>Theory development </li></ul>
  11. 11. Reflective Thinking <ul><li>Reflective thinking : </li></ul><ul><li>Why something is as it is? It is a vague unrest about observed and unobserved phenomena. </li></ul><ul><li>Reasoning-deduction: Studying the problem from different perspectives. Develop causal model and Identify Constructs, variables. </li></ul><ul><li>Explore the relations among sets of variables and how that affects the consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of situations where in the consequences of hypothesis do not work. Explore other variables that may affect the consequences. Try to find out interactive effect of variables on the consequences. Find out limitation of existing research in terms of sample selection, research design, selection of variables, selection of instruments, selection of statistical tools for analysis etc. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Stating Hypothesis <ul><li>It is a conjectural statement of the relations between two or more measurable variables. </li></ul><ul><li>Types : Null and Alternative </li></ul><ul><li>Null hypothesis : no significant relationship between variables/A has no significant effect on B. </li></ul><ul><li>Alternate hypothesis : Significant relationship between variables/ Increase in A causes decrement in B significantly. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Research Design <ul><li>Purposes of research design are (a) to provide answers to research questions as validly, objectively, accurately, and economically as possible and (b) to control the variance (maximize between group variance, minimize error or random variance, control extraneous/ unwanted variables variance). </li></ul>