What is the purpose of research?

The intent of research is simple harmonizing to Francis Dane ( 1990: 212 ) in that it is a agency by which we seek to get cognition and apprehension by replying inquiries about the universe. ‘Knowledge ‘ is a really of import construct which is closely related to the construct of ‘epistemology ‘ ; defined as the survey or theory of the beginning, nature and bounds of cognition ( May, 2001 ) .

The theory of Positivism is an epistemic place that concerns the application of the methods of the natural scientific disciplines to the survey of societal world and beyond ( Bryman, 2004 ) . Smith ( 1998 ) states that ‘Positivist attacks to the societal scientific disciplines. . . assume things can be studied as difficult facts and the relationship between these facts can be established as scientific Torahs. For rationalists, such Torahs have the position of truth and societal objects can be studied in much the same manner as natural objects. ‘ The general elements of positivism, adapted from Bond ( 1989 ) , Easterby-Smith et Al ( 1997 ) , and Hughes ( 1994 ) are concerned with methodological analysis, value-freedom, causality, operationalisation, independency and reductionism ( cit May, 2001 ) . Basically, all research should be quantitative as it is merely such informations that can be the footing for valid generalisations and Torahs. In order for facts to be measured quantitatively, constructs must be operationalised consequently. The pick of what to analyze, and how to analyze it, should be determined by nonsubjective standards instead than by human beliefs and involvements. Positivism besides addresses that the purpose of research should be to place causal accounts and cardinal Torahs that explain human behaviour. Positivists besides believe that the function of the research worker should be independent of the topic under scrutiny and besides, if jobs are reduced to their simplest possible elements so they will be better understood ( Bryman, 2004 ) . Positivists hence most normally use close complete questionnaires and structured interviews when carry oning research as they best suit the demands embraced within this theory of cognition.

The theory of phenomenology can be used in contrast to Positivism as it concerns the inquiry of how persons make sense of the universe around them. Alfred Schutz ( 1962 ) provinces

“ The universe of nature as explored by the natural scientist does non ‘mean ‘ anything to molecules, atoms and negatrons. But the experimental field of the societal scientist – societal reality- has a specific significance and relevancy construction for the existences life, moving, and believing within it. By a series of common sense concepts they have pre selected and pre interpreted this universe which they experience as the world of the lives. It is these thought objects of theirs which determine their behaviour by actuating it. The thought objects constructed by the societal scientist, in order to hold on this societal world, have to be founded upon the thought objects constructed by the common sense thought of work forces, populating their day-to-day life within the societal universe. ” ( cit Bryman, 2004 )

This foremost illustrates that there is a cardinal difference between the affair of natural scientific discipline and societal scientific discipline. It asserts that human action is meaningful and it is therefore the occupation of the societal scientist to derive entree to people ‘s thought and actions to construe them from the individual ‘s point of position. Phenomenology places great importance on Weber ‘s construct of ‘verstehen ‘ and therefore has an empathic attack towards the research sample ( May, 2001 ) . Phenemenologists focus on significance and apprehension and hence do non bring forth or prove hypotheses ( deductivism ) as rationalists do ; nor do they concentrate on roll uping facts that provide Torahs. An illustration of a phenomenological survey is that carried out by Foster ( 1995 ) who used participant observation and semi structured interviews in the Riverside country of London. Official statistics, of which rationalists approve, illustrated highly high degrees of offense. Foster nevertheless, as a phenomenologist wanted to mensurate the human attitudes to offense in the country. Her findings can be contrasted to the country ‘s statistics as she found that occupants did non comprehend the estate to be of a high degree offense, nor did they experience insecure or insecure ( Bryman, 2004 ) .

Question Two

With usage of illustrations distinguish between qualitative and quantitative informations analysis. Distinguish between nominal, ordinal and uninterrupted quantitative informations and discourse briefly how these might wholly be used in a research undertaking.

Qualitative informations emphasizes words instead than quantification in the aggregation and analysis of informations. Qualitative information is chiefly carried out by phenomenologists and used for inductive logical thinking ( Bryman, 2004 ) . It involves roll uping written or verbal information of the variables that the research worker is interested in. This information is more descriptive than Numberss and can be obtained through questionnaires, focal point groups, interviews and treatments ( Fulcher and Scott, 2003 ) . As it emphasizes the ways in which persons interpret their societal universe, it is rejected by most rationalists. Although qualitative research is typically associated with bring forthing theories it can nevertheless be employed for proving theories as Adler and Adler ‘s survey ( 1985 ) on the geographic expedition of educational attainment and athleticss engagement illustrates this ( Bryman, 2004 ) . Qualitative informations can frequently be difficult to analyse as it involves analyzing frequently drawn-out and complex paperss but overall, it has a deeper profusion and significance than empirical informations.

In contrast to qualitative informations is that of quantitative informations. This information describes something in Numberss and therefore emphasizes quantification in the aggregation and analysis of informations ( Bryman, 2004 ) . This ‘numerical ‘ informations is carried out chiefly by rationalists and therefore embodies the position that societal world is an nonsubjective world. Quantitative information enables information to be easy tested and analyzed in order to supply statistics and facts such as official statistics. Questionnaires and telephone studies dwelling of structured and closed ended inquiries are ways in which this information is carried out. Although quantitative informations enables generalisations to be made and tendencies to be found, it does nevertheless lose the value of intending as it consists simply of Numberss instead than description and accounts.

Datas can either be nominal, ordinal or uninterrupted. Nominal information consists of a variable with no inexplicit order such as race, sex or faith. This information therefore can be counted but can non be ordered or measured ( May, 2001 ) . Nominal informations can be used in a research undertaking by for illustration, coding males as nothing, females as one or coding the matrimonial position of an person as Y if they are married or N if they are individual. This must nevertheless be planned and carried out carefully as confusion and deficiency of lucidity when analysing the informations can happen. Ordinal information nevertheless is different to nominal informations in that it may counted and ordered but it can non be measured. Ordinal values can hence be ranked as they have a natural order ; age or degree of satisfaction are illustrations of ordinal variables ( Bryman, 2004 ) . For illustration, if a group of people were asked to savor assortments of biscuit and sort each biscuit on a evaluation graduated table of one to five, stand foring strongly dislike, dislike, impersonal and so on, a evaluation of five indicates more enjoyment than a evaluation of four, exemplifying that such informations is ordinal. Continuous informations nevertheless concerns variables that can take any possible value. This information can be counted, ordered or measured uninterrupted and may include, for illustration tallness, weight or temperature.

Question Three

Discuss the importance of dependability and cogency in the operationalisation of constructs in research. Compare a focal point group, an single semi structured interview and study in footings of the easiness with which dependability and cogency may be assured.

Dependability refers to the extent to which a measuring instrument outputs consistent, stable and unvarying consequences over perennial observations or measurings under the same conditions each clip ( Fulcher, 2003 ) . Validity nevertheless refers to the truth and truth of the informations and findings that are produced. It refers to the constructs that are being investigated, the people or objects that are being studied, the methods by which informations are collected and the findings that are produced ( May, 2001 ) . A survey is valid if and merely if it tests what it sets out to prove. There are several different types of cogency which are face cogency, content cogency, criterion-related cogency, concept cogency, internal cogency and external cogency ( Bryman, 2004 ) . Datas can be dependable without being valid. Those that support qualitative methods argue that quantitative methods lack cogency but are frequently dependable. Qualitative methods are criticized for being undependable and unsystematic as there is no manner of retroflexing the survey and look intoing the dependability of the findings. Therefore rationalists whose constructs need to be operationalised in a manner that enables facts to be measured quantitatively, topographic point great importance on the dependability of informations as it enables them supervise tendencies over clip and to utilize them as a future secondary informations beginning.

Surveies such as questionnaires are considered as being dependable as there is a much lower hazard of subjectiveness or prejudice when compared to, for illustration, interviews or a focal point group. Surveys, whether they consist of closed complete inquiries or matrix inquiries, frequently lack in cogency nevertheless as the research worker might non hold measured precisely what was intended to be measured. For illustration, if a research worker posted out questionnaires on the perceptual experience of offense, appliers might non be able to reply to reply inquiries to the full merely by clicking certain boxes. On the other manus nevertheless, a semi structured interview would be more valid than a study as it specifically aims to let the respondent to ‘voice their sentiment ‘ and have an equal input into the conversation. Personal interviewing is besides better suited for hard or sensitive issues instead than for illustration a focal point group as an interview is more intimate and provides the respondent with the chance to ‘open up ‘ . A semi structured interview nevertheless can be undependable every bit good every bit unrepresentative as if the interviewer approached another person to take part in the same interview, their positions may be wholly different to that of the original interviewee ‘s. As there are a multiple people in a focal point group, nevertheless, the informations attained is frequently hence more valid than in an interview. An advantage of a focal point group is that challenges can be made to contrasting position points which can non be done in an interview. The cogency of a focal point group can be challenged nevertheless if a figure of people dominate the conversation as it does non supply everyone with an equal chance to talk. Focus groups are somewhat more dependable than a semi structured interview but non every bit dependable as a study. Therefore, for research to both dependable and valid many research workers employ more than one method of research such as transporting out studies and carry oning focal point groups. This is known as triangulation ( Fulcher, 2003 ) .

Question Four

Select one of the three sets of research instance surveies presented at the terminal of the faculty usher. Critically assess the research presented. Your reply should do mention to cogency and dependability of methods ; it should detail any extra information you might necessitate, why this may be required and what if any reserves you might hold sing the survey. ( Please refer to appendix One for the inside informations of instance 3 )

It is apparent that instance three entitled “ Do we necessitate to educate people to oppugn authorization more carefully given grounds of inappropriate obeisance ” is valid, as it rather merely tests what it was set out to prove. The mere fact that 90 per centum of topics were prepared to use dazes of up to 450 Vs because they were asked to make so by a individual of authorization of which over half ( 20 six out of 40 ) of them did merely that confirms the instance ‘s cogency. Internal cogency is outstanding in this instance as the independent variable that is the distribution of electric dazes, has an consequence on the dependant variable that is the topics. The cogency of the survey is besides increased as the sample is rather big since it consisted of 40 topics. Had it have been a smaller sample, there would hold been a high opportunity that a wholly different set of consequences could hold been obtained. Given that the reported information was qualitative as the research method employed was that of observation and therefore that the likeliness of stable or unvarying consequences being produced in a repeat of the experiment is low, it is clearly apparent that the survey lacks dependability. However, if for illustration the research worker had asked the topics to finish a questionnaire after the experiment, so the informations would hold been classed as being dependable.

There is one major ethical concern with this experiment as the topics were informed that they were required to give electric dazes to other human existences. This is clearly inhumane intervention ; therefore the research worker should hold altered the experiment in order to avoid this. Another concern with this experiment is that there is no reference of a control group as we are merely informed of the experimented group, that being the 40 topics. This is necessary to supervise the effectivity of the variables in an experiment. Another concern is that although some of the topics may hold been “ sudating ” and were “ nervous ” this may hold been due to the fact that they were being observed in an “ unnatural ” environment and non due to the effects of the transporting out of the experiment. Bing in such an environment may therefore impact the cogency and dependability of the information. Extra information on the remarks made by topics refering the experiment would be good as would more information on really educating people on oppugning authorization.

Overall, the survey was a success in that it sought sufficient informations in relation to ‘answering ‘ the proposal. The dependability of the experiment nevertheless was threatened because of factors such as the research method employed ( observation ) . More information could hold been disclosed in the information sing the topics ‘ reactions and remarks. The experiment should besides hold non focused on the unethical issue of giving electric dazes.