Lesson 1 – Meaning of Research
People have long been concerned to get familiar with their environment and to understand the nature of the phenomena it presents to their senses.
Human generally like to have knowledge of things in his environment. He want to find out about different phenomena and happenings.
The act of finding out about thing in our environment is as old as mankind.
The means by which they set out to achieve these may be classified into these three broad categories: experience, reasoning and research
The limitations of personal experience in the form of common-sense knowing, for instance, can quickly be exposed when compared with features of the scientific approach to problem-solving.
The second category by means of which people attempt to comprehend the world around them, namely, reasoning, consists of three types: deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, and the combined inductive—deductive approach. Deductive reasoning is based on the syllogism which was Aristotle’s great contribution to formal logic. In its simplest form the syllogism consists of a major premise based on an a priori or self-evident proposition, a minor premise providing a particular instance, and a conclusion.
All planets orbit the sun;
The earth is a planet;
Therefore the earth orbits the sun.
The limitation of reasoning method is that it can handle only certain kinds of statement. The syllogism formed the basis of systematic reasoning from the time of its inception until the Renaissance. Thereafter its effectiveness was diminished because it was no longer related to observation and experience and became
a mere mental exercise.
The third means by which we set out to discover truth is called research. Research
has three characteristics.
First, whereas experience deals with events occurring in a haphazard manner, research is systematic
and controlled, basing its operations on the inductive-deductive model.
Second, research is empirical.
Third, research is self-correcting. Not only does the scientific method have built-in mechanisms to protect scientists from error as far as is humanly possible, but also their procedures and results are open to public
scrutiny by fellow professionals.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, Bacon, Newton and Lock are scientist that developed a method of finding out about events in their environment.
Research is an academic activity and as such the term should be used in a technical sense.
The work “research” means searching again. It means to search for something new or to get more knowledge about it.
Kerlinger (1964) define scientific research as the systematic, controlled, empirical and critical investigation of hypothetical prepositions about the presumed relations among natural phenomenon.
Leady and Ormrod (2008) define research as a process through which we attempt to achieve systematically and with the support of data the answer to a question, the resolution of a problem, or a greater understanding of a phenomenon.
Mangal (2013) define research as a tool or means comprising a well-thought scientific process or method of investigation carried out through some definite steps for realizing the purposes or objectives of the research such as gaining new knowledge or bringing changes in the existing stock contributing towards some theoretical generalizations or solution of the confronting problems, and/or utilizing them for the needed practical application.
Research is a process of searching or finding solution to a problem through systematic and purposeful activities.
It is the process of arriving at dependable solutions to problems through collection of data analysis and interpretation of quantitative and qualitative data.
The scientific method is an approach or method used for discovering the facts and solving the problems by employing a series of logical objectives and systematic steps.