Definition of Research
The systematic investigation into and
study of materials and sources in
order to establish facts and reach new
What is Research?
Research is finding out what you don't know.
No one knows everything, but everybody
knows something. However, to complicate
matters, often what you know, or think you
know, is incorrect.
There are two basic purposes for research: to
learn something, or to gather evidence.
What you've learned is the source of the
background information you use to
communicate with others. In any
conversation you talk about the things you
know, the things you've learned. If you know
nothing about the subject under discussion,
you can neither contribute nor understand it.
Purpose of Research
understanding of matters that
most people are either not
familiar with or don’t fully
When reading a study, one seeks the
knowledge that allows us to learn
something new about the topic we’re
interested in. Some studies are conducted
purely for the purpose of gaining
knowledge, but others aim to apply it in the
Characteristics of Research
Reliability is a subjective term which can not be
measured precisely but today there are
instruments which can estimate the reliability of
any research. Reliability is the repeatability of
any research, research instrument, tool or
Validity is the strength with which we can call a
research conclusions, assumptions or
propositions true or false. Validity determines
the applicability of research . Validity of the
research instrument can be defined as the
suitability of the research instrument to the
research problem or how accurately the
instrument measures the problem.
Accuracy is also the degree to which
each research process, instrument and
tool is related to each other. Accuracy also
measures whether research tools have
been selected in best possible manner
and research procedures suits the
research problem or not.
Credibility comes with the use of best
source of information and best procedures
in research. If you are using second-hand
information in your research due to any
reason your research might complete in
less time but its credibility will be at stake
because secondary data has been
manipulated by human beings and is
therefore not very valid to use in research.
Generalizability is the extent to which a research findings can
be applied to larger population. When a researcher conducts a
study he/she chooses a target population and from this
population he takes a small sample to conduct the research.
This sample is representative of the whole population so the
findings should also be. If research findings can be applied to
any sample from the population, the results of the research are
said to be generalizable.
Empirical nature of research means that the research has been
conducted following rigorous scientific methods and procedures.
Each step in the research has been tested for accuracy and is
based on real life experiences.
Systematic approach is the only approach for research. No
research can be conducted haphazardly. Each step must follow
Controlled-in real life experience there are many factors that
effect an outcome. A single event is often result of several
factors. When similar event is tested in research, due to the
broader nature of factors that effect that event, some factors are
taken as controlled factors while others are tested for possible
Different Types of Research
The research which is done for knowledge enhancement, the research
which does not have immediate commercial potential. The research
which is done for human welfare, animal welfare and plant kingdom
welfare. It is called basic, pure, fundamental research.
Applied research is designed to solve practical problem of the modern
world, rather than to acquire knowledge for knowledge's sake. The
goal of applied research is to improve the human condition. It focus
on analysis and solving social and real life problems. This research
is generally conducted on large scale basis, it is expensive.
Quantitative research aim to measure the quantity or
amount and compares it with past records and tries
to project for future period. In social
sciences, “quantitative research refers to the
systematic empirical investigation of quantitative
properties and phenomena and their relationships”.
Qualitative research presents non-qualitative type of
analysis. Qualitative research is
collecting, analyzing and interpreting data by
observing what people do and say. Qualitative
research refers to the
meanings, definitions, characteristics, symbols, met
aphors, and description of things.
Classification of Research
You may be exploring a new topic or issue in
order to learn about it. If the issue was new or the
researcher has written little on it, you began at the
beginning. This is called exploratory research.
Initial research conducted to clarify the nature
of the problem. When a researcher has a limited
amount of experience with or knowledge about a
research issue, exploratory research is useful
preliminary step that helps ensure that a more
rigorous, more conclusive future study will not
begin with an inadequate understanding of the
nature of the management problem.
*Goals of Exploratory Research:
Become familiar with the basic facts, setting, and
Develop well grounded picture of the situation;
Develop tentative theories, generate new
ideas, conjectures, or hypotheses;
Determine the feasibility of conducting the study;
Formulate questions and refine issues for more
systematic inquiry; and
Develop techniques and a sense of direction for future
Descriptive research presents a picture of the specific
details of a situation, social setting, or
relationship. The major purpose of descriptive
research, as the term implies, is to describe
characteristics of a population or phenomenon.
Descriptive research seeks to determine the answers to
who, what, when, where, and how questions.
*Goals of Descriptive Research:
1. Describe the situation in terms of its characteristics i.e.
provide an accurate profile of a group;
2. Give a verbal or numerical picture (%) of the situation;
3. Present background information;
4. Create a set of categories or classify the information;
5. Clarify sequence, set of stages; and
6. Focus on `who,' `what,' `when,' `where,' and `how' but not
When we encounter an issue that is already known and have a
description of it, we might begin to
wonder why things are the way they are. The desire to know
"why," to explain, is the purpose of
*Goals of Explanatory Research:
1. Explain things not just reporting. Why? Elaborate and
enrich a theory's explanation.
2. Determine which of several explanations is best.
3. Determine the accuracy of the theory; test a theory's
predictions or principle.
4. Advance knowledge about underlying process.
5. Build and elaborate a theory; elaborate and enrich a
theory's predictions or principle.
6. Extend a theory or principle to new areas, new
issues, new topics:
7. Provide evidence to support or refute an explanation or
8. Test a theory's predictions or principles
Hindrances that customs, beliefs, practices and
1. Tradition. This is accepting
superstitions are true and part of our daily lives. Even it is not true, we
are always apply this in our lives without applying a scientific
2. Authority. This is accepting anything without a question, the opinion
which the person has a big name to the authority w/o using any
scientific investigation if it's true.
3. Inaccurate Observation. This is describing wrongly what is
observed. For example, four people are outside the hotel, wearing short
skirts and pants. Some people will say they have no manners. The fact
is that they are attending a party.
4. Overgeneralization. This is establishing a pattern out of a few
5. Selective Observation. This is persisting to believe an observed
pattern from overgeneralization and ignoring others.
6. Made-up Information. This is making up information to
explain away confusion.
7. Illogical Reasoning. This is attributing something to
another w/o any logical basis.
8. Ego involvement in understanding. This is giving an
explanation when one finds himself an unfavorable situation.
9. Mystification. This is attributing to supernatural power, the
phenomena that cannot be understood. This is accepting that
there are things that are beyond our intelligence, like spirits,
ghosts, or something that people think that are out of this
10. To err is human. This is an attitude that admits the
fallibility of man. When he made a mistake, he will not study
why he had committed this, and how he will correct it and
make some effort to avoid this mistake again.
11. Dogmatism. This is an addition. This is an unwritten
policy of certain institutions and governments prohibiting the
study of topics that are believed to run counter to the
Variable of Research
Variable is the characteristic or attribute of an
individual, group, educational system, or the
environment that is of interest in a research study.
Identifying the key variables is important for the
1. The key variables provide focus when writing the
2. The key variables are the major terms to use when
searching for research articles for the Literature
3. The key variables are the terms to be operationally
defined if an Operational Definition of Terms section is
4. The key variables provide focus to the Methods
5. The Instrument will measure the key variables. These
key variables must be directly measured or
manipulated for the research study to be valid
Components of Full Research
3.Introduction, or Problem Statement, or Problem
4.Background and Review of Existing Literature,
7.Findings (Results and Analysis of Your Data
9.Discussion of 'Limitations
Chapter one consists of problem, purpose, hypotheses
or research questions, definitions and theoretical framework.
Chapter two consists of the review of literature.
Chapter three consists of the methodology: sample, setting,
design, data analysis methods, and ethical concerns.
Chapters four and five are written after the study is completed.
Chapter four consists of results of data analysis.
Chapter five consists of a discussion of results, conclusions,
implications for nurses, and recommended future studies. It is
important for nurses to review and apply this five-chapter
approach when conducting or critiquing research studies.
Validity, Reliability and
It means the degree to which a test or measuring instrument
measures what it intends to measure.
Types of Validity
Content validity: Warrants that an overall sample of the content
being measured is represented. Identification of the content must be
accurately represented by the test items. A panel or grouping of
content experts is typically consulted to identify a broad spectrum of
Criterion Validity: Targets the accuracy of a measure itself.
Examining criterion validity is demonstrated by comparing the
selected measure with another valid measure.
Predictive validity: Predicts a recognized association between the
identified construct and something else. Typically, one measure
occurs at an earlier time and is used to predict a later measure.
Concurrent validity: Exists when the identified measure positively
correlates with a measure that has been previously found to be
valid. The two measures could be for the same or different
constructs that are related.
Construct validity: Ensures that the assessment measures the
construct it claims to measure. Construct validity can be determined
by demonstration of comparative test performance results
(differential-groups study) or pre and post-testing of
implementation of the construct (intervention study). This type of
validity can also show how the measure relates to other measures
as a defined in the construct.
Discriminant Validity: Illustrates that measures that should not be
related are not. A lack of correlation is expected to establish
It means the extent to which a research instrument is
dependable, consistent and stable.
Methods in Testing the Reliability of a Good Research Instrument
Test-retest method – In this method, the same instrument is
administered twice to the same group of subjects and the correlation
coefficient is determined.
Parallel-forms method – Parallel or equivalent forms of a test may
be administered of the group of subjects, and the paired
Split-half method – The test in this method may be administered
It means the degree to which the research instrument be
satisfactorily used by teachers, researchers, supervisors and
school managers without expenditures of time, money and
Factors to Determine Usability
Base of administration. To facilitate the administration of a
research instrument, instruction should be complete and
Base of scoring. It depends on the following aspects:
Construction of a test in the objective type.
Answer keys are adequately prepared.
Scoring directions are fully understood.
Ease of interpretation and application. Results of test are
easy to interpret and apply if tables are provided.
Low cost. It is more practical if the test is low cost materialwise.
Proper mechanical make-up. A good research instrument