Unit 1
ORIENTATION TO RESEARCH
By
NOORUL HADI
FACULTY MEMBER
NILAT, KARACHI
SECTION 1: WHY RESEARCH.
“Why should I study research?” is a
genuine question that agitates the mind
of every beginning st...
IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCH
Research is more important in more ways than one.
First, research is the master key to progress as ...
Third, research helps us in solving immediate
concrete problems as is shown in education, social
work, medical ,engineerin...
Seventh, research helps us in achieving consensus, as
results of research are more acceptable to people than
results achie...
SECTION 2: TOWARD A
DEFINITION OF RESEARCH.
Research is a process of asking and answering questions.
The questions asked a...
WHAT IS RESEARCH PROBLEM?
A problem is simply a question whose answer we do not know:
the lack of knowledge constitutes th...
The first two questions are easy to answer because the procedures
leading to the desired answers are normally known. The f...
To understand the nature of a research problem more fully, we must
also draw a distinction between a solvable and an unsol...
Figure1:Shows this classification of
problem.
PROBLEMS
SOLVABLE UNSOLVABLE
1. ORDINARY 2. RESEARCHABLE
Figure1:Classificat...
WHAT IS THE SCIENTIFIC
METHOD ?
After having explained what a research
problem is, we now proceed to define the
scientific...
SECTION 3 SOURCES OF
KNOWLEDGE.
There are several sources of knowledge. For the
sake of convenience, we may roughly classi...
The Method of Authority:
Of the non scientific methods, authority is the most popular. The authority
may be a person (the ...
The Empirical Method:
A method is said to be empirical when we obtain knowledge through senses.
Listening to the radio wou...
The Rationalistic Method:
A method is said to be rationalistic if we obtain
knowledge through the mental process of reason...
In, deduction the conclusion is always true if the
premises are true and in proper order. Deduction is
useful in interpret...
Now, we offer an example of induction below
 Instance 1 This male teacher is honest.
 Instance 2 This female teacher is ...
The Non-rationalistic Method:
This method assumes a variety of forms
like dream, superstition, intuition,
tradition, and p...
The Method of Common Sense:
Common sense is the normal understanding of the average person. It is
useful method of solving...
SECTION 4: THE SCIENTIFIC
METHOD
Volumes have been written on the scientific method; yet, there
is no universal agreement ...
Basic Assumptions:
What are the basic assumptions of science?
 First, there is order in the universe.
 Second, the human...
Core Characteristics:
What are the core characteristics of science?
 First, it is highly purposive: it is directed toward...
Process:
What is the overall pattern of the scientific method ?
John Dewy (1910) suggested a flexible sequence of five maj...
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Unit 1 presentation hadi

  1. 1. Unit 1 ORIENTATION TO RESEARCH By NOORUL HADI FACULTY MEMBER NILAT, KARACHI
  2. 2. SECTION 1: WHY RESEARCH. “Why should I study research?” is a genuine question that agitates the mind of every beginning student of research. An, obvious though superficial, answer to this question is “because research is a required course.” “But why is it a required course?” the student shoots back. This probing question is a real one and the reasons for the importance of research are given below.
  3. 3. IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCH Research is more important in more ways than one. First, research is the master key to progress as is shown in improving productivity of goods and services and enhancing the quality of life. Consider the following argument: 1. Progress can be made in all walks of life. 2. Certain conditions must be met before progress can be made. 3. Research is the most dependable and powerful tools to unlock the conditions of progress. Second, research helps us in extending the frontiers of knowledge as is shown in all the sciences. NEXT
  4. 4. Third, research helps us in solving immediate concrete problems as is shown in education, social work, medical ,engineering and other applied fields. Fourth, research provides information for sound decision making as in management. Fifth, research helps us in solving problems, which no other methods can solve as is shown by our landing on the moon. Sixth, research helps us to be efficient in our work, faster in speed, cheaper in cost, more in quantity and better in quality. NEXT
  5. 5. Seventh, research helps us in achieving consensus, as results of research are more acceptable to people than results achieved through other means. Eighth, the study of research helps the students to: 1. Read the literature in their fields more intelligently. 2. Engage in research activities independently. 3. Write research proposals. 4. Write research reports, theses, and dissertations. 5. Evaluate research reports, and thus meet their academic requirements and build a solid foundation for their future career.
  6. 6. SECTION 2: TOWARD A DEFINITION OF RESEARCH. Research is a process of asking and answering questions. The questions asked are factual, perplexing, significant, and admitting of alternative answers. They are generally referred to as problems. The answers of given are also factual, but probabilistic in nature and involve a systematic and logical procedure technically known as the scientific method. Thus, we may define research as the scientific method of solving a problem. This definition of research has two key concepts that need classification: a problem and a scientific method.
  7. 7. WHAT IS RESEARCH PROBLEM? A problem is simply a question whose answer we do not know: the lack of knowledge constitutes the problem. A problem is said to be solved when the needed knowledge is provided. In fact, research is problem – solving activity which seeks to obtain knowledge through the scientific method. The research activity is launched by a problem. But, what exactly is a research problem ? A research problem is a question but every question is not a research problem. 1. Consider the following questions: 2. What is the meaning of statistics? 3. How many students are there in the Baal medical university? 4. What is the cause of campus unrest? NEXT
  8. 8. The first two questions are easy to answer because the procedures leading to the desired answers are normally known. The first question can be answered by consulting a dictionary and the second question by enquiring from the registrar of the Baqai medical University. Such questions do not qualify as research problems and may be simply termed as ordinary problems. The third question is not easy to answer because in this case we are seeking an answer without knowing where the answer can be found. We can, of course, suggest a few possible answers for the time being. For instance, we can say that the cause of campus unrest may be out of date curricula, party politics among teachers, exploitation of political parties, inefficiency of leadership, lack of student personal services, communication gap, erosion, of values, poverty and the like. But these suggested answers, technically known as hypotheses, have to be checked against facts before they can be accepted as true or false. In this case, we do not have the obvious way that leads to the answer. Such a question qualifies as a research problem. Thus, a research problem is a question which does not admit of a ready answer but requires “new” knowledge for its solution. NEXT
  9. 9. To understand the nature of a research problem more fully, we must also draw a distinction between a solvable and an unsolvable problem. A solvable problem is a factual that can be and warred with the use of mon’s normal capabilities :a question amenable to empirical solution. The question ,”What is the effect of reward on achievement?” is an example of a solvable problem. . an unsolvable problem on the other hand, cannot be solved through observation or experiment. It poses a problem about some supernatural phenomenon, ultimate reality or value. For example, ‘what is God?” “what is ultimate destiny of man?” or “should a man be honest?” are philosophical questions which are not amenable to empirical solution. In summary, we can say that a research problem is a factual problem which requires “new” knowledge for its solution and which is solvable. It must be distinguished from: 1. The ordinary problem which, though factual, admits of a ready answer and 2. The unsolvable problem which is a nonfactual, philosophical problem. NEXT
  10. 10. Figure1:Shows this classification of problem. PROBLEMS SOLVABLE UNSOLVABLE 1. ORDINARY 2. RESEARCHABLE Figure1:Classification of problem.
  11. 11. WHAT IS THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD ? After having explained what a research problem is, we now proceed to define the scientific method. Since the scientific method is a source of knowledge, we must first know what other sources of knowledge are available and then reexamine how the scientific method compares with them.
  12. 12. SECTION 3 SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE. There are several sources of knowledge. For the sake of convenience, we may roughly classify these sources as non scientific and scientific methods. Non Scientific Methods: We shall discuss five major nonscientific methods of obtaining knowledge :  The method of authority,  The empirical method,  The rationalistic method,  The non rationalistic method,  The method of common sense.
  13. 13. The Method of Authority: Of the non scientific methods, authority is the most popular. The authority may be a person (the boss), or a group of persons (the experts), an institution (T 1 e government), or a book (the encyclopedia of educational research). We know the historical events from historical literature. Much of our knowledge about science is derived from the writings of the scientists. These examples show that, by and large, the knowledge by authority is indispensable. Yet, it does not mean that we should accept all authority without question. There are certain problems involved in accepting authority. The first problem is that of definition: who is an authority The second problem in accepting authority is that of criterion: by what criterion should we select an authority as against another ? we can think of many criteria like competence, popularity, recognition, past success and the like; yet, the facts remains that without some criteria we cannot select an authority. The third problem is that an authority may be liable to error. When an authority is an error the knowledge obtained from him cannot be dependable. These problems suggest that we should not accept authority uncritically.
  14. 14. The Empirical Method: A method is said to be empirical when we obtain knowledge through senses. Listening to the radio would be an example of obtaining knowledge through the empirical method. The empirical method is generally regarded as the most dependable method of obtaining knowledge. Yet, there are many dangers in this method. Two or more senses give conflicting reports: a stick looks bent in water but feels straight when touched. This means we cannot trust our senses. Then, we have illusions, that is, false perceptions: a movie is simply a series of still pictures. Besides, our sense perceptions are selective: different persons may interpret things differently. Moreover, our senses are limited: the life of an atomic particle is too difficult to understand. Furthermore, our memory is liable to error: one has only to examine the report of a witness in a court. These considerations suggest caution in the use of the empirical method. Our appeal to experience must be controlled and disciplined.
  15. 15. The Rationalistic Method: A method is said to be rationalistic if we obtain knowledge through the mental process of reason. Logical reasoning is an example of the rationalistic method. Logical reasoning is traditionally classified into two types deduction and induction. In deduction we proceed from general to particular while in induction, we proceed from particular to general. An example of deduction case in a pattern technically known as syllogism ( a logical argument in three proportions) is given below:  Major Premise All Men are Mortal  Minor Premise Socrates is a man.  Conclusion Therefore, Socrates is mortal. NEXT
  16. 16. In, deduction the conclusion is always true if the premises are true and in proper order. Deduction is useful in interpreting the new and the unfamiliar in the light of the general information from previous experience. However, it’s scope is limited because it accepts the premises and the scope is limited because it accepts the premises and the conclusion as true without asking whether they are really true. In other words, deduction is concerned with relative truth (formal validity) and not with truth as such. NEXT
  17. 17. Now, we offer an example of induction below  Instance 1 This male teacher is honest.  Instance 2 This female teacher is honest  Instance 3 This rural teacher is honest  Instance 4 This urban teacher is honest Generalization: Therefore, all teachers are honest. Induction is useful because it helps us in obtaining new knowledge. In Induction, the conclusion is never certain because the generalization is based on some instances. Good reasoning, we can conclude, is a “must” for obtaining dependable knowledge. We can also conclude that the rationalistic method alone is not sufficient to yield reliable knowledge because logical reasoning, whether deduction or induction, is not without its limitations.
  18. 18. The Non-rationalistic Method: This method assumes a variety of forms like dream, superstition, intuition, tradition, and pure guesswork. The common element in these forms is the fact that reason is not used. At the most, the knowledge gained through non- rationalistic method may be accepted only provisionally to be checked against facts for final rejection or acceptance.
  19. 19. The Method of Common Sense: Common sense is the normal understanding of the average person. It is useful method of solving ordinary problems of our daily living. But when it comes to complex problems, the common sense suffers from the following major shortcomings: 1. the knowledge gained through common sense is imprecise: the term used are not well defined. 2. the knowledge yielded by common sense is highly fragmented. This knowledge does not form part of any well-integrated theory to explain facts. 3. the common sense fails to test its conclusions in any systematic fashion. In this sense, it is unsystematic. 4. sometimes the common sense beliefs are conflicting. For instance, “look before you leap” and “one who hesitates is lost” are mutually conflicting. In this situation, it is difficult for one to decide what to do. After having discussed the non-scientific methods of obtaining knowledge, we now focus our attention on the scientific method.
  20. 20. SECTION 4: THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD Volumes have been written on the scientific method; yet, there is no universal agreement as to its exact nature. There is, however, some consensus of opinion among the experts regarding various aspects of science. We, therefore, present a brief version of this consensus here. MEANING: What does “science” mean? First, it means a body of knowledge like physics, chemistry, psychology and sociology. Second, it means an attitude of mind like rationality, open- mindedness, objectivity, critical-mindedness, and willingness to suspend judgment. Third, it means a method of enquiry which is universal among the scientists of the world. NEXT
  21. 21. Basic Assumptions: What are the basic assumptions of science?  First, there is order in the universe.  Second, the human mind has a good chance of understanding this order.  Third, there is an objective and unique reality which is shared by every one. Major Goals: What are the major goals of science? The overall goal of science is to understand the phenomenon under study. To understand a phenomenon means to be able to describe, to explain, and to predict it. Thus, the major goals of science are description, explanation, and prediction of phenomenon under study. NEXT
  22. 22. Core Characteristics: What are the core characteristics of science?  First, it is highly purposive: it is directed toward solving a problem.  Second, it is empirical: it seeks to solve factual problems usually by formulating possible solutions called hypotheses and verifying them by observation and experiment.  Third, it is rationalistic: it uses reason in reaching conclusions.  Fourth, its conclusions are regarded as tentative and never as absolute truth.  Fifth, it is social in character as much as its findings are subject to public verification.  Sixth, it is self-corrective as its valid hypotheses are upheld and invalid hypotheses rejected in the light of facts. NEXT
  23. 23. Process: What is the overall pattern of the scientific method ? John Dewy (1910) suggested a flexible sequence of five major steps:  There is felt difficulty.  The problem is defined.  One or more hypotheses are formulated.  The rational elaboration of the hypotheses is worked out.  The hypotheses are tested by observation or experiment and conclusions are reached. In the light of our foregoing discussion on the nature of a research problem and the scientific method for solving it, we are now ready to offer a formal, full-blown definition of research. Research may be defined as a systematized rational and empirical enquiry for solving a significant factual problem that requires new knowledge for its solution.

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