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LESSON 1

INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH METHODS

Definitions of Research

 Research is defined as a careful, critical, disciplined inquiry, varying in


techniques and methods according to the nature and conditions of the
problem identified, directed toward the clarification or resolution (or both)
of a problem (Good, 1959).
 Research is a systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic
or problem. After a careful, systematic search for pertinent information or
data on a specific topic or problem, and after the research worker has
analyzed and interpreted the data, he eventually faces another essential task
– that of preparing the research report (Aquino, 1974).
 Research is defined as the process of gathering data or information to solve
a particular or specific problem in a scientific manner (Manuel and Medel,
1976).
 Research is a systematic study or investigation of something for the purpose
of answering questions posed by the researcher (Parel, 1966).
 Research in its broadest sense is an attempt to gain solutions to problems.
More precisely, it is the collection of data in a rigorously controlled situation
for the purpose of prediction or explanation (Treece and Treece, 1977).
 Research may be defined as a purposive, systematic and scientific process
of gathering, analyzing, classifying, organizing, presenting, and
interpreting data for the solution of a problem, for prediction, for invention,
for the discovery of truth, or for the expansion or verification of existing
knowledge, all for the preservation and improvement of the quality of
human life (Calderon, 1993).
 Best and Kahn (1998) defines research as the systematic and objective
analysis and recording of controlled observations that may lead to the
development of generalizations, principles, or theories, resulting in
prediction and possibly ultimate control of events.
 Henson and Soriano (1999) simply put it as the systematic, controlled and
empirical inquiry about a subject/topic through problem-solving using a
method application of the scientific method to the study of a problem.
 Research is a scientific process of critical selection of data, investigation and
analysis of such to gain new knowledge or to complement an existing one
(Martinez, 1988).

Purposes and Goals of Research

1.) To discover new facts about known phenomena. (Alcohol is a known


phenomena and research may turn it into a kind of fuel in quality to gasoline)
2.) To find answers to problems which are only partially solved by existing
methods and information. (Cancer is a serious disease which is only partially
cured by present methods but due to intensive and continuous research, the
disease may be eradicated later on)
3.) Improve existing techniques and develop new instruments or products. (This
goal envisages the invention of new gadgets and machines, food products and
others used by man)
4.) To discover previously unrecognized substances or elements. (Previously we
had 92 elements but due to research we have now more than 100)
5.) Discover pathways of action of known substances and elements. (Due to
research we come to know the dangers from the abusive use of unprescribed
drugs and some poisonous substances)
6.) To order related, valid generalizations into systematized science. (The result of
this purpose of research is the science we are now studying in school)
7.) To provide basis for decision-making in business, industry, education,
government, and in other undertakings. One approach in decision-making is
the research approach. (This is basing important decisions upon the results of
research)
8.) To satisfy the researcher’s curiosity. (Edison was curious about how a hen
hatches her eggs and made a research on that and he invented the incubator)
9.) To find answers to queries by means of scientific methods. One important
question that may be asked which can be answered only by means of research
is: In what setting is life expectancy higher, in the city of in the barrio?
10.) To acquire a better and deeper understanding about one phenomenon that can
be known and understood better by research is why women are generally
smaller than men.
11.) To expand or verify existing knowledge. This usually happens when
researchers are replicated. Newly discovered facts may be found to expand
knowledge gained from a previous research or verified if the same facts are
found.
12.) To improve educational practices for raising the quality of school products.
Research surveys often result in the revision of curricula and instructional
innovations to maximize the effectiveness of the learning process.
13.) To promote health and prolong life. This purpose is very obviously
demonstrated in pharmaceutical, nutritional, and medical research.
14.) To provide man with more of his basic needs – more and better food, clothing,
shelter, etc.
15.) To make work, travel, and communication faster, easier, and more comfortable.
Due to research airplanes are made to fly faster, land vehicles to run faster,
labor-saving machines have been invented and improved, radio and television
bring news immediately to the remote areas, and more wonders of electricity
are making life easier and better.

Characteristics of Research
1.) Research is systematic. It follows an orderly and sequential procedure that leads
to the discovery of truth, solution of a problem, or whatever is aimed to be
discovered.
2.) Research is controlled. All variables except those that are tested or being
experimented upon are kept constant (not allowed to change or vary) so that
the changes made on the subjects of the study can be attributed only to the
experimental variable. This is especially true in an experimental research.
3.) Research is empirical. All the procedures employed and the data gathered are
perceived in the same manner by all observers. For instance, one says that there
are five persons in the room, all agree to the existence of the five persons.
However, if one says that there are five ghosts in the room, one or none at all
may believe it because not all people believe in ghosts. Ghosts are examples of
data that are not empirical.
4.) Research is analytical. There is a critical analysis of all the data used so that there
is no error in their interpretation.
5.) Research is objective, unbiased, and logical. All the findings and conclusions are
logically based on empirical data and no effort is made to alter the results of
the research.
6.) Research employs hypothesis. This is to guide the investigation process. In
experimental studies, hypotheses are expressly stated but in descriptive
studies, the specific subproblems or specific questions serve as the hypotheses
and the hypotheses are tested and not proved.
7.) Research employs quantitative or statistical methods. Data are transformed into
numerical measures and are treated statistically to determine their significance
or usefulness.
8.) Research is original work. Except in historical research, data are gathered from
primary sources or first-hand sources and not from secondary sources (usually
printed materials such as books, or theses, etc.)
9.) Research is done by an expert. The researcher uses valid and carefully designed
procedures, valid data-gathering instruments, and valid data. He subjects his
data to expert scrutiny.
10.) Research is accurate investigation, observation and description. In fact, every
research activity must be done accurately so that the findings will lead to the
formation of scientific generalizations. All conclusions are based on actual
evidence.
11.) Research is patient and unhurried activity. This is to ensure accuracy. Research
that is hurriedly done or conducted carelessly due to racing against time may
lead to shaky conclusions and generalizations.
12.) Research requires an effort-making capacity. No research can be conducted
without the exertion of much effort. No one without any effort-making
capacity can conduct a research because research involves much work and
time.
13.) Research requires courage. Research requires courage because the researcher
oftentimes undergoes hazards, discomforts and the like. At times the
researcher encounters public and social disapproval. Also, disagreements with
colleagues may arise.

Ethics in Research

The following are some key ethical principles or standards that should underlie
any research endeavor:

1.) The Principle of Voluntary Participation

This principle requires that people should not be coerced into


participating in research.

2.) The Principle of Informed Consent

This principle requires that prospective research participants


must be fully informed about the procedures and risks involved in
research and must give their consent to participate.

3.) The Principle of No Risk of Harm

Participants of the research study should not be put in a situation


where they might be at risk of harm (whether physical or psychological)
as a result of their participation.
4.) The Principle of Privacy

This principle requires the protection of privacy of research


participants. There are two sub-principles under this, namely:

4.1. The Principle of Confidentiality. Participants of the research


study should be assured that identifying information will
not be made available to anyone who is not directly
involved in the study.

4.2. The Principle of Anonymity. This principle requires that


participants will remain anonymous throughout the study
even to the researchers themselves.

5.) The Principle of Equality of Service

Another ethical standard that researchers have to deal with is the


person’s right to service. This often happens in experimental studies
where a no-special-treatment control group is assigned. When the
treatment or program has beneficial effects, subjects assigned to the
control group may feel that the rights to equal access to services are
being curtailed.

6.) The Principle of No Deception

According to the American Psychological Association (1992),


participants should not be deceived about the purpose or nature of the
research unless justified by the study’s prospective scientific,
educational, or applied value and that equally effective alternative
procedures that do not use deception are not feasible.

7.) The Principle of Knowledge of Outcome

Research participants have the right to receive an explanation of the


result of the investigation. Explanation may be done orally, in writing,
or by informing them of the issue of the journal in which the research
report is published.

Adopted from Engr. Amber A. Paguray’s module


ACTIVITY NO. 1

Name____________________________________ Date______________ Score________

1.) Define research in your own words. Write your answer below.

2.) Explain why researches are conducted?

3.) Give five (5) characteristics of research. Write your answer on the spaces given.

Research 3
4

4.) Cite three hindrances to scientific inquiry and explain each.

Hindrance Explanation

1.

2.

3.

5.) Give three (3) DOs and three (3) DON’Ts in research writing?

DOs DON’Ts
1.

2.

3.