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Posts tagged ‘Theory’

Research

There are three types of research: market, scientific and economic

Epistemology is the study of the origin, nature, methods and limits of knowledge

Knowledge is a description of the state or operation of some aspect

 

Research process

Phase 1 Clarifying:

Clarifying the issue to be researched, selecting a research method

 

Phase 2 Data collection:

Collecting, summarising and organising data

 

Phase 3 Analysis and interpretation:

Relating the evidence to the research question, drawing conclusions, suggestions for further study

 

 

Research as a discipline

  • Requires clear thinking, careful observation
  • Must ask researchable questions

 

Research questions have two properties:

  1. They are limited in scope to certain times, places and conditions. A small part of a larger question
  2. Or they are observable, tangible, countable evidence which is collected is relevant to the question (empirical evidence based on, guided by or using observation and experiment

 

Researchable questions

  • Questions of right and wrong are not answerable by empirical research. Questions that ask opinion can’t be answered with facts.
  • Questions of aesthetics can’t be researched….

 

Honesty and accuracy….

To maintain the reliability of the research requires:

  • Objectivity (No emotion)
  • No bias in asking of questions
  • No bias in the selection of the sample population
  • Accurate recording and representation of data
  • Accurate ….

 

Record keeping

Research must be documented so that:

  • Someone else can see what you did and why you did it
  • The reliability of the process is safeguarded….

 

Assessing the limitations

  • sample size and representativeness
  • Conclusions drawn from the data must be limited to the research question or objective

 

Research is a disciplined process for relating theory and data

 

What is theory?

  • An idea about how something works
  • An idea about what difference will be made by doing or not doing something
  • An idea about how things relate to each other
  • A theory asserts a relationship between concepts
  • We use research to test theories

 

Data

  • Information collected in the research process
  • Measures of specific thing as they were at a particular time
  • They only have meaning when related to theory

 

Questions

Quantitive – How much, how many, how often

Qualitative – Quality of events being studied, eg. images, feelings, impressions

 

Phase 1 Unpacking the theory:

  • General statement unpacked to produce a researchable question
  • Narrowing and clarifying the problem:
  • What are the main concepts?
  • What is happening here?
  • What are the issues?
  • Is one thing affecting or producing a change in something else?

 

Unpacking the problem

List the issues surrounding the problem

  • Use you own experience
  • Review the literature: Consult authorities, book, journals, the internet and previous research

 

What is a hypothesis

  • All theories begin with a hypothesis
  • It is a statement which asserts a relationship between concepts (cause and effect)

Concept

An idea that stands for something

An idea/thought process

Represents a class of things

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The meaning of life and research

*Disclaimer: I was lying about the life bit*

Research begins with a theory (or lack of one) which is sometimes based on an assumption and explains phenomenons.

There are five ways in which we gain knowledge:

  • Experience (although what works for one person may not work for another)
  • Asking questions
  • argument
  • Consulting authority
  • Research (Which actually may use all but experience)

Research is conducted for many different reasons and there are many different types, it will never give completely definite answers and over time some research will inevitably become void

We research to explain and understand things, to expand knowledge of subjects, to make or save money, for personal satisfaction or organisational research and development

Research is a process with a beginning, an end and some stuff in the middle.

Questions are refined

Data is collected

And most research opens up new questions and horizons

In order to conduct research to a standard it must be about:

The right questions

Honesty and accuracy

Record keeping

Accepting limitations

Over all

Attempt to seek answers

Draw conclusions from data

generalise conclusions

Add to existing knowledge and improve understanding of the world around us

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