Scientific method is defined as a process that is used to comprehend phenomena by developing a hypothesis, learning and experimentation in order to be able to forecast the phenomena again.
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There are different scientific inquiry processes. All these inquiries are based on three principles. These principles are making observations, forming hypothesis and hypotheses testing. The first step in scientific inquiry is spotting a problem, which are followed by carrying out an experiment.
After this, the next step involves analyzing the data collected from the experiment. Lastly, researcher makes a conclusion depending on the already collected and analyzed data. Every step in the scientific method inquiry process is of paramount importance as it reduces the chances of anyone carrying out research to influence the result due to personal bias (Kumar, 2008).
Research example of the scientific method and identify each step within your example
Street families, this becomes the problem identified. A researcher can ask how to alleviate street families in cities. Next researcher examines past studies about street families in the city. After this researcher collects data on the street families in the city after which he analyzes data and lastly makes a decision based on analyzed data.
Quantitative research is defined as systematic empirical inquiry of any social phenomena through mathematical, statistical and computational techniques. The goal of the quantitative research is to come up and use mathematical theories, models and hypotheses relating to a given phenomena. Quantitative research has to use measurement process to show how its findings can be expressed mathematically.
In simple terms, quantitative research does ask straightforward narrow questions. Data is then collected in numerical form such as a percentage and statistical. This is done with a hope that after analyzing data, analyzer will get unbiased results. Unbiased results enables researcher to make informed decisions. This eliminates the chances of making mistakes in decision-making.
Qualitative research is defined as a method of inquiry used in various academic disciplines in social science and market research. The primary reason to carry out qualitative research is to understand people behavior and forces that lead to such behaviors. Qualitative research tries to explain why and how a decision is made. Qualitative research gives information about the cases only studied and not for generalization.
This research is used to evaluate people’s attitudes, values, motivations, culture or aspirations. It usually uses interviews, surveys, photos, feedback forms and videos. Qualitative research does not entirely depend on numbers and statistical as with the case of quantitative research (Cris, 2008).
How to decide whether to use a quantitative or qualitative research methodology
For a researcher to identify, the method to use he is expected to know the result expected. One has to examine the information he need to get and how obtained information will be utilized. Qualitative research answers the question why while quantitative research answers the question how many.
If a researcher aims to find how many people like a certain product, researcher can use quantitative research method. This can be used when carrying out research to know the number of people who attends counseling centers.
Qualitative researches get used when determining the reason that makes individuals behave in a given way. This can be used to analyze why an individual attends a counseling session. What drives someone to behave in a given way. Mixed research method is a research method that combines both the qualitative and quantitative research methods approaches.
It allows the researcher to collect qualitative and quantitative data in the same research. Mixed method research uses different strategies such as development, triangulation, expansion and initiation. The researcher decides the strategies to combine depending on the goal of the study.
There are various strengths of mixed research. Researcher is able to generate and test a grounded theory. In addition, researcher has an opportunity to use pictures and narratives to add meaning to numbers.
In mixed method researcher can use strength of the combined method to counteract the weakness of another combined method. This leads to accurate results. This method adds understanding and insights that might be absent when one method is used. Moreover, this method increases generalizability of the result thus making researcher save research cost.
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Mixed research method is mostly used when researcher wants to have a broad overview of the study. It is necessary when one want to know the number and the aim or the behavior. In human service field, it can be used to find out the employees attracted to work in a given organization and how many seek employment in that organization.
Scientifically sound research does support the functions of a human service manager in that the information collected through research is based on facts. Through these findings, human service manager makes informed and accurate decisions.
Sound research being evidence based will be a reliable source of reference in making decisions. Any human service problem can only be well known through research thereby making research a must device in human service manager.
Cris, K. (2008). Research Methodology:Methods and Techniques. Chicago: New Age International.
Kumar, R. (2008). Reserch Methodology. New Delhi: S.B Nangia Publisher.