Introduction of Research
Pamela M. Veroy, RN, MAN
• A systematic attempt to provide answers to
general/abstract questions (as in basic research)
and highly concrete, specific and practical ones
as in applied research.
• A systematic process of knowing or
understanding in order to collect, analyze,
interpret and use data to explain, describe,
predict or control phenomena or events.
• The application of the scientific approach to
discover answer to meaningful questions or to
search for reliable knowledge by using
different methods that are universally
considered systematic and objective.
• A process by which observable, verifiable data,
are systematically collected and analyzed.
• Nothing more than finding out what you need
to know and “searching again” what others
have written about the subject (secondary
The Goals of Science
what? & how?)
Practical Goals Control (effective
intervention to society,
to alter the course of
events in desired
Objective of Research
1. Describing – the most basic use of social
research is to provide a clear description of social
• We often observe in every life without “looking”
and “seeing” clearly.
• We often miss the minutiae of events because
we are preoccupied, or do not train ourselves to
• We tend to “see” either what is significant at the
time, or what we want to see, or else what we
have time to see.
• Precise observation and description are the
basis of research.
2. Understanding – (why events happen?)
• Once we have a very clear description of
events in the world, then the next stage is to
try to understand why and how they happen.
• Much of scientific research has always been
concerned with establishing general laws
which govern and describe patterns of event.
3. Explaining – One of the main aims of research is
to try to understand and explain organizational
patterns and behavior.
• A major purpose of research is to try to monitor
and explain trends such as:
• Changes in home-ownership patterns in the
• Trends in the use of public transport
• Employment changes in relation to variable such
as age or gender
• Changes in the relationship between qualification
level and mean income of individuals
• Productivity levels of different industries.
Commercial companies are usually interested in
such features as;
• Changes in consumer demand for a products
• Effects of changes in manufacturing
technology upon productivity
• Changes in transport facilities which might
affect the price of raw materials or of
distribution costs for products
• Demographic trends which might affect their
• Trends are potentially very complex to
• The only reliable way in which to monitor the
trend is to conduct a research investigation.
• There is really no short cut to obtaining
accurate data and precise analysis.
• It takes time and commitment, but the results
will be much more valid and useful than some
assumptions made in haste.
4. Predicting (future developments)
• It is one of the primary functions of research.
• The predictive process in research depends
very much upon establishing accurate causal
5. Developing new policy strategies
• The prime function of research is to
contribute to human knowledge.
• Research is crucial in enabling individuals,
organizations and governments to make
informed decisions about issues which policy-
makers can base their decisions.
• Policy researchers are frequently expected to
analyze their data, and to provide a series of
recommendation for social action.
• Policy-makers may wish to examine an issue
from wide a variety of view-points as possible
before reaching a decision.
Characteristics of Science
1. Objectivity – attitudes devoid of personal
whim, bias or prejudice.
• Evidence of science is factual, not conjectural;
and truth is achieved by the demonstration of
• Scientific method encourages a rigorous,
impersonal mode of procedure dictated by
the demands of logic and objective
• Scientist, as a scientist, does not advocate any
• He does, and he holds such values highly, to as
the spint of inquiry and the idea of objectivity (or
• As a scientist about the only way that he is
influenced by cultural values would be in his
choice of problems for research, and of course in
the drive which led him to becomes a seeker of
knowledge in the first place.
2. Logical –To say that science is a logical
method is simply (yet very significantly) to say
that the scientist is constantly guided by the
accepted rules of reasoning logicians
• The scientist guards himself by a cloak of
• He is constantly searching, never satisfied, and
always doubtful of everything he knows, for
he has learned early in his career the singular
lesson of science.
• What is thought to be true today might be
proved to be false by tomorrow.
3. Systematic – science proceeds in an orderly manner
both in its organization of a problem and in its
methods of operation.
• It does not proceed randomly or haphazardly
4. Reliable knowledge – this term refers to that kind of
knowledge which one can depend upon in terms of
• In this sense, then reliable knowledge is synonymous
with exact or correct knowledge.
• Science strives constantly for exactness.
• It is not satisfied with half truths and is intolerant of
Why research is of value?
• How can educators, parents, and students obtain the
information they need?
• Many ways of obtaining information, of course, exist.
• One can consult experts, review books and articles, question
or observe colleagues with relevant experience
• examine one’s own experience in the past, or even rely on
• All of these approaches suggest possible ways to proceed, but
the answers they provide are not always reliable.
• Experts may be mistaken; source documents may contain no
insights of value; colleagues may have no experience in the
matter; one’s own experience or intuition may be irrelevant
• This is why a knowledge of scientific research
methodology can be of value.
• The scientific method provides us with
another way of obtaining information-
• information that is as accurate and reliable as
we can get.
• Let us compare it, therefore, with some of the
other ways of knowing that exist.
• We see, we hear, we smell, we taste, we touch.
• Most of us have seen the fireworks on the fourth of
July in TV
• heard the whine of a jet airplane’s engines overhead
• smelled a rose, tasted chocolate ice cream,
• and felt the wetness of a rainy day.
• The information we take in from the world through
our senses is the most immediate way we have of
• Sensory data, to be sure, can be refined.
• Seeing the temperature on an outdoor thermometer
can refine our knowledge of how cold it is;
• a top-quality stereo system can help us hear
Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with greater clarity;
• smell, taste, touch- all can be enhanced and usually
need to be.
• Man experiments in sensory perception have
revealed that we are not always wise to trust our
senses too completely.
• Our senses can (and often do) deceive us:
• The gunshot we hear becomes a car backfiring;
• the water we see in the road ahead is but a mirage;
• the chicken we thought we tasted turns out to be a
• Sensory knowledge is undependable;
• it is also incomplete. The data we take in through
our senses do not account for all (or even most) of
what we seem to feel is the range of human
• To obtain reliable knowledge, therefore, we cannot
rely on our senses alone, but must check what we
think we know with other sources.
Agreement With Others
• One such source is the opinions of others.
• Not only can we share our sensations with
others, we can also check on the accuracy and
authenticity of these sensations;
• Does this soup taste salty to you?
• Isn’t that John over there?
• Did you hear someone cry for help?
• Smells like mustard doesn’t it?
• The problem with such common knowledge is that it,
too, can be wrong.
• A majority vote of a committee is no guarantee of the
• My friends might be wrong about the presence of an
approaching automobile, or the automobile they hear
may be moving away rather than toward us.
• Two groups of eyewitnesses to an accident may
disagree as to which driver was at fault.
• Hence, we need to consider some additional ways to
obtain reliable knowledge.
• To use expert opinion as a means of
• There are particular individuals we should
consult- experts in their field, people who
know a great deal about what we are
interested in finding out.
• Ph.D in economics knows more what makes
• We believed our family dentist if he say our
back molar is need to be pulled.
• It also depends on the credentials of the
experts and the nature of the question about
which they are being consulted.
• Experts like all of us can be mistaken.
• No expert however has studied or
experienced all there is to know in a given
field, and thus expert can never always totally
• They just give opinion based on what he/she
knows and no matter how much this is, it is
never all there is to know.
• We also know things logically
• Our intellect- the capability we have to
reason things out-allows us to sensory
data to develop a new kind of
• Consider the famous syllogism:
• All Human beings are mortal; Sally is a
human being; Therefore Sally is mortal
The scientific method
• The goal of all scientific endeavors is to
explain, predict, and/or control phenomena
• Compared to other sources of knowledge,
such as experience, authority, inductive
reasoning and deductive reasoning,
application of the scientific method id
undoubtedly the most efficient and reliable.
• Research is the formal, systematic application
of the scientific method to the study of
The Research Process
• The research process is defined by five
1.Phase 1: The Researcher. The personal
history, biography, gender, social class, race,
and ethnicity of the researcher and those of
the people in the setting shape research as an
2.Phase 2: Theoretical Paradigms and
Perspectives: A paradigm is a set of beliefs
that guides action. It compasses 3 elements:
• ontology (what is the nature of reality?);
• Epistemology (what is knowable?)
• Methodology (how can we gain knowledge of the
• These 3 elements serve as a foci, around which the
paradigms of qualitative research would be
examined namely positivism, post-positivism, critical
theory, and constructivism.
• Positivism denotes the received view that has
dominated research for the past 400 years.
• Post-positivism represents efforts in the past few
decades to respond in a limited way to the most
problematic aspects of positivism.
• Constructivism denotes an alternative
paradigm whose break away assumption is the
move from ontological realism to ontological
3. Phase 3: Strategies of Inquiry: A strategy of
inquiry comprise a bundle of assumptions,
skills, and practices that the researcher
employs as he moves from his paradigm to the
• It connect the researcher to specific methods
of collecting and analyzing data.
• This includes case study, ethnography,
phenomenology, biography, action and clinical
4. Phase 4: Methods of Collection and Analysis:
• The researcher has several methods of collecting
data ranging from interviews to direct observations,
to the analysis of artifacts, documents, cultural
records, to the use of visual materials and personal
5. Phase 5: The Art of Interpretation: Qualitative
research is endlessly creative and interpretative.
• The text is constructed as a working
interpretive document that contains the
writer’s initial attempts to make sense out of
what was learned.
• There is no single interpretive truth as the
interpretive act of making sense is both artful