Science begins with the observation of nature (Wilson, 1952, p.21), and with the belief that problems arising from those observations can be answered (Goldsteins, 1979, p. 19). SCIENCE IS A WAY OF THINKING THAT INVOLVES A CONTINUOUS AND SYSTEMATIC INTERPLAY OF RATIONAL THOUGHT AND EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION.
In scientific research, empirical observation and observed events constitute the facts of research. But the empirical observation of events and the resulting identification or listing of facts is not sufficient in science. We must go beyond the immediately observable facts, using them in rational processes of abstract thought to construct general principles and understanding and to make new predictions about nature. Science, then involves the CONTINUOUS SYSTEMATIC INTERPLAY OF FACTS AND RATIONAL THOUGHT
RATIONALISM as a WAY OF THINKING IN WHICH KNOWLEDGE IS DEVELOPED THROUGH REASONING PROCESS ALONE. In the rationalist approach, information is carefully stated and logical rules are followed to arrive at acceptable conclusions. Consider the following deductive syllogism: All cows are black. This is a cow. Therefore, this cow is black. The conclusion is logically derived from the major and minor premises. But the same logic would lead us to reject the following conclusion: All cows are black. This is black. Therefore, this is cow.
In the rationalist approach, the conclusion is reached through the logic of the PROCEDURE / PROCESS, - which is a more reliable way to arrive at knowledge than tenacity, intuition, or authority. - TENACITY (willingness to accept an idea as valid knowledge because that idea has been accepted for a long period of time; requires no evidence for a belief except that the belief is already accepted - önyargı) - INTUITION (sezgi) - AUTHORITY (the acceptance of an idea as valid knowledge because some respected source – Aristotle, the president, Sigmung Freud, etc.- claims it is valid)
However, using rationalism alone has its limitations. Consider this syllogism: All 4-years old children developed fears of the dark. Lisa is a 4-year-old child. Therefore; Lisa has developed fears of the dark. The logic is clear and the conclusion is correct, unless of course Lisa has not developed fears of the dark. i.e. Lisa might not have developed feras of dark..... What is the limitation then?
Suppose it is not true that all 4-years old children develop fears of the dark, or suppose Lisa is actually 7 not 4 years old, or suppose Lisa is a teenager not a child at all. These limitations will surely affect the conclusion derived from the assumption.
Although essential, rationalism alone has its limitations in science; that is, THE PREMISES MUST BE TRUE AS DETERMINED BY SOME OTHER EVIDENCE TO ARRIVE AT THE CORRECT CONCLUSIONS. ATTAINING KNOWLEDGE, THEN, DEPENDS NOT ONLY ON THE REASONING PROCESS BUT ALSO ON THE ACCURACY OF THE PREMISES. There is no provision for assessing their accuracy in the purely rationalistic approach.
In summary; the logic of rationalism is used in modern science to aid in developing hypotheses that then can be tested against external criteria. IN ORDER TO PERFORM THIS TESTING AGAINST EXTERNAL CRITERIA, SCIENCE MUST DEPEND ON STILL ANOTHER WAY OF KNOWING; THAT IS EMPIRICISM.
The word EMPIRICAL means– BASED ON OR GUIDED BY, THE RESULTS OF OBSERVATION AND EXPERIMENT ONLY. FROM THE GREEK WORD “EMPEIRIKOS” MEANING EXPERIENCED, SKILLED. (Shorter Oxford English Dictionary) EMPIRICISM is A WAY OF GAINING KNOWLEDGE THROUGH OBSERVATION OF REAL EVENTS; that is KNOWING BY EXPERIENCING THROUGH OUR SENSES.
It is a method as old as civilization. For the empiricist, it is not enough to know through reason (or intuition or authority) alone. It is necessary to experience the events through the senses – to see, hear, touch, taste and smell. “I won’t believe it unless I see it!” is the empiricist’s motto. EMPIRICAL RESEARCH IS THAT KIND OF RESEARCH WHICH SEEKS TO ANSWER THOSE KINDS OF QUESTIONS WHICH CAN BE ANSWERED BY REFERENCE TO SENSORY DATA.
EMPIRICAL RESEARCH cannot determine if a car is beautiful, or a girl is the most attractive; if god exists, etc. But empirical research can determine the percentage of young people who think god exists, for example.
To conclude; SCIENCE brings together elements of both RATIONALISM and EMPIRICISM. SCIENCE employs RATIONAL LOGIC and checks each step with EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION. The SCIENTIST is constantly shuttling between EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION, more abstract RATIONAL THOUGHT and generic principles, and returning again to further EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION of SPECIFIC FACTS.
To repeat once more: SCIENCE IS A WAY OF THINKING THAT INVOLVES A CONTINUOUS AND SYSTEMATIC INTERPLAY OF RATIONAL THOUGHT AND EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION.
IN VERY GENERAL TERMS WE CONDUCT RESEARCH WHEN THERE ARE ENDLESS ARGUMENTS WE DO NOT KNOW HOW OR WHERE TO STOP WE CANNOT DECIDE HOW TO KNOW WHO IS WRIGTH OR WRONG THEN HOW DO WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW?
WE ANSWER QUESTIONS IN A VARIETY OF WAYS: - LOOK OUTSIDE - ASK SOMEONE / TAKE SOMEONE’S WORD FOR IT - LOOK IN THE RIGHT BOOK, ETC. AND WE ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE BY: - TENACITY (önyargı) - INTUITION (sezgi) - AUTHORITY
CONSULTING AN AUTHORITY / SOMEONE WHO KNOWS HOW DO WE CHOOSE THE RIGHT AUTHORITY? THE KNOWLEDGE HE/SHE HAS POPULARITY POSSESSIONS POSITION THE WAY HE/SHE LOOKS
- THE OPINION OF A PERSON ON A SUBJECT IN WHICH HE IS NOT AN EXPERT IS OF NO MORE VALUE THAN THE OPINION OF ANY OTHER PERSON - THE AUTHORITIES SHOULD BE CHOSEN CAREFULLY - THE WORDS OF AUTHORITIES SHOULD BE ACCEPTED CRITICALLY
To sum it up: If we take RESEARCH AS A WAY OF KNOWING, then we can say that - WHEN THERE IS A DISAGGREEMENT ON A QUESTION BETWEEN DIFFERENT AUTHORITIES - WHEN A PERSON DOES NOT ACCEPT THE OTHER’S AUTHORITY - WHEN WE HAVE A QUESTION FOR WHICH THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO ANSWER (AUTHORITIES CANNOT ANSWER) - WHEN WE ARE NOT READY TO ACCEPT ONE AUTHORITY HAS TOLD US, WITHOUT QUESTION THEN WE DO RESEARCH.
SO THE QUESTION OF “WHAT IS RESEARCH?” ARISES. But before going into the definitions of research, let us practice our knowledge with a quick exercise: EXERCISE 3 (in class) 1. List 3 authorities which you may consult for 3 different questions you raise. 2. List 3 questions that you may find no authority to consult, therefore you need to do research.
Let us start this section again with a short exercise: EXERCISE 4 (in class) How do you view research? Complete the following sentence in no more than 20 words to convey your view of research. Research is……………..
Now let us look at the twenty views of research: Research is something done by academics or experts. Research is very expensive. Research is about establishing the facts. Research is objective.
Research is about justifying what your funder wants to do. Research can prove anything you want. Research involves a lot of jargon. Research serves the powerful. Research exploits the poor. Research is useless. Research is very difficult.
Research is time-consuming. Research is scientific. Research is a highly controlled activity. Research is removed from reality. Research cannot change anything. Research should always be policy-related. Research will break up your relationships. I could never do research.
And now let us look at the twenty things you did not know about research:
Research is very time-consuming. Research is subjective. Research can be undertaken by anyone. Research is often boring. Research can also be fun. Research can take over your time. Research can be much more interesting than its results.
Research is about being nosy. Research can be done in many ways. You can research anything. Research uses everyday skills. Research gets into your dreams. Spies do research; so do newspaper reporters. Research can be done by the people and for the people.
Research can turn a theory into action. Research can lead you in unexpected directions. Lots of women do research. Even hard men do research. There are no definite answers (or are there?). You can do research.
Now let us come to a more scientific definitions of research: In general RESEARCH, is A WAY OF ACQUIRING KNOWLEDGE / A WAY OF KNOWING / LEARNING A WAY OF PRODUCING KNOWLEDGE THE METHODOLOGICAL PROCEDURE FOR SATISFYING HUMAN CURIOSITY A SYSTEMATIC / DISCIPLINED WAY OF THINKING / A PROCESS OF INQUIRY A DISCIPLINE / A DISCIPLINED WAY TO GO ABOUT ANSWERING QUESTIONS.
RESEARCH AS A WAY OF ACQUIRING KNOWLEDGE / A WAY OF KNOWING / LEARNING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IS DONE TO TEST IDEAS ABOUT THE NATURE AND OPERATION OF SOME ASPECT OF THE UNIVERSE. WE ENGAGE IN RESEARCH TO SETTLE CONFLICTING CLAIMS OR DIFFERENCES OF OPINION OR TO TEST AN IDEA.
RESEARCH IS THE DISCIPLINED WAY WE COME TO KNOW WHAT WE KNOW. RESEARCH IS ONE WAY OF KNOWING AND LEARNING.
RESEARCH AS A WAY OF PRODUCING KNOWLEDGE FIRST WE GATHER INFORMATION, THEN WE ANALYZE IT. ACCORDING TO OUR AIMS, WE PUT FORWARD NEW HYPOTHESIS IN A CREATIVE WAY. WE GATHER AGAIN INFORMATION ABOUT THE METHODOLOGY SUITABLE TO TEST OUR HYPOTHESIS. WE SELECT OR DEVELOP OR CREATE A NEW METHODOLOGY FOR TESTING THE HYPOTHESIS. IF THE RESULTS SHOW SCIENTIFICALLY ACCEPTABLE, MEANINGFUL VERIFICATION OF THE HYPOTHESIS WE REACH TO A CONCLUSION: THIS IS THE KNOWLEDGE PRODUCED OR CREATED.
RESEARCH AS THE METHODOLOGICAL PROCEDURE FOR SATISFYING HUMAN CURIOSITY It is more than merely reading the results of others’ work; it is more than just observing one’s surroundings. The element of research that imparts its descriptive power is the ANALYSIS and RECOMBINATION, THE TAKING PART and PUTTING TOGETHER IN A NEW WAY, of the information gained from one’s observations.
RESEARCH AS A SYSTEMATIC / DISCIPLINED WAY OF THINKING / A PROCESS OF INQUIRY TO DO RESEARCH IS TO BE INVOLVED IN A PROCESS. A PROCESS CAN BE SEEN AS A SERIES OF ACTIVITIES MOVING FROM A BEGINNING TO AN END.
The research process is NOT A RIGID PROCESS. A rigid process is one in which Step 1 must be done and completed before Step 2 can begin. On the other hand, THERE IS A SENSE, in which, IF THE FIRST STEPS ARE NOT EXECUTED CAREFULLY THE REST OF THE RESEARCH PROCESS WILL BE WEAKENED OR MADE MORE DIFFICULT.
Those who have done a lot of research develop their own style of going through the phases of the research process. Each researcher will describe a pattern of his own. THERE IS A USUAL “SEQUENCE” IN THE RESEARCH PROCESS: Thus, this sequence is not an “this and then that” ordering. Rather, THERE IS AN ORDER OF BASIC STAGES AND SERIES OF INTERLINKED ISSUES IN EACH STAGE.
FAILURE TO ADDRESS THE RIGHT ISSUES SATISFACTORILY WILL UNDERMINE OR MAKE MORE DIFFICULT THE REST OF THE RESEARCH PROCESS. RESEARCH IS DESIGNED ACCORDING TO A PLAN OR DESIGN. WITHOUT CLEAR DEFINITIONS CONFUSION RESULTS. IF ONE KNOWS HOW AND WHAT FOR S/HE IS GOING TO ANALYSE HIS/HER DATA, S/HE IS CLEARER WHAT DATA S/HE NEEDS. AIMS, OBJECTIVES, SHOULD BE KNOWN / CLARIFIED BEFORE DATA ARE COLECTED.
PHASE 1: ESSENTIAL FIRST STEPS – CLARIFICATION OF THE ISSUES TO BE RESEARCHED AND SELECTION OF A RESEARCH METHOD 1.SELECTING, NARROWING AND FORMULATING THE PROBLEM TO BE STUDIED 2.SELECTING A RESEARCH DESIGN 3.DESIGNING AND DEVISING THE MEASURES FOR VARIABLES 4.SETTING UP TABLES FOR ANALYSIS SELECTING A SAMPLE
PHASE 2: DATA COLLECTION – COLLECTING EVIDENCE ABOUT THE RESEARCH QUESTION 1. COLLECTING DATA 2. SUMMARIZING AND ORGANIZING DATA
PHASE 3: ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION – RELATING THE EVIDENCE COLLECTED TO THE RESEARCH QUESTION ASKED; DRAWING CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE QUESTION, AND ACKNOWLEDGING THE LIMITATIONS OF RESEARCH RELATING DATA TO THE RESEARCH QUESTION 1.DRAWING CONSLUSIONS 2.ASSESSING THE LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY 4.MAKING SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
For its VALIDITY and USEFULNESS, research in science and technology depends on a concept known popularly as the SCIENTIFIC METHOD. This method covers all aspects of SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, so a research student should become familiar with its qualities and implications early in the process.
Scientific research involves at minimum: 1.Creating and posing a question 2.Determining how to go about answering the question 3.Planning for and making appropriate empirical observations 4.Rationally making sense out of those observations.
The scientific method covers the following steps: 1.Study and discuss 2.Recognize possible problems 3.Collect information, observe and describe 4.Clarify problem, divide into sub-problems 5.Hypothesize 6.Deduce consequences, make predictions, and design experiments 7.Experiment, analyse results, test hypothesis 8.Develop theory, publish results
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IS A PROCESS BY WHICH QUESTIONS ARE SHARPENED OR FOCUSED DATA ARE GATHERED IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE QUESTIONS CAN BE ANSWERED SOME OTHER QUESTIONS MIGHT APPEAR THEREFORE RESEARCH IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS. END OF ONE RESEARCH IS OFTEN THE BEGGINNING OF THE NEXT.
RESEARCH AS A DISCIPLINE / A DISCIPLINED WAY TO GO ABOUT ANSWERING QUESTIONS. RESEARCH PROCESS IS A DISCIPLINED PROCESS FOR ANSWERING QUESTIONS AND ALSO FOR RELATING THEORY AND DATA.
Asking the right question ASKING A QUESTION IS A CREATIVE ENDEAVOR. A QUESTION BRINGS TOGETHER TWO OR MORE IDEAS THAT AT LEAST FOR THE MOMENT, POSE SOMETHING NEW. THE FORMATION OF SOMETHING NEW PROVIDES SCIENTISTS WITH THE PERSONAL SATISFACTION OF INDULGING THEIR OWN CURIOSITY AND EXCERCISING THEIR OWN CREATIVITY.
SCIENTISTS AGREE THAT SHEER CURIOSITY IS ONE OF THE MAJOR MOTIVATORS AND ALSO A MAJOR COMPONENT OF THEIR WORK. “WHAT?”, “HOW?” “WHY?” AND “WHAT IF?” ARE AMONG THE SCIENTIST’S MOST BASIC VOCABULARY. “CURIOSITY MAY HAVE KILLED THE CAT”, according to an old saying, but “CURIOSITY ALSO SUSTAINS THE SCIENTIST”. ( OF COURSE SCIENTISTS’ CURIOSITY IS A DISCIPLINED ONE, SHARPENED AND FOCUSED BY LABOR AND FRUSTRATIONS AS WELL AS BY SUCCESS.)
MOVING FROM GLOBAL QUESTIONS TO “RESEARCHABLE” QUESTIONS. RESEARCHABLE QUESTIONS ARE: LIMITED IN SCOPE TO CERTAIN TIMES, PLACES, CONDITIONS; USUALLY SMALL FRAGMENTS OF LARGER QUESTIONS; NARROWED AND FOCUSED IN BROADER ISSUES BESIDES, SOME OBSERVABLE, TANGIBLE, COUNTABLE EVIDENCE OR DATA CAN BE GATHERED WHICH IS RELEVANT TO THE QUESTION.
One of the disciplines associated with doing research is to learn to ask questions which have measurable, sensory, countable answers. That is, questions which can be answered in terms of observation. QUESTIONS OF BEAUTY, TASTE, FASHION, MORALITY, RELIGION, POLITICAL IDEOLOGY…..
As mentioned before, EMPIRICAL RESEARCH cannot determine if a car is beautiful, or a girl is the most attractive; if god exists, etc. But empirical research can determine the percentage of young people who think god exists, for example. In scientific research, EMPRICAL QUESTIONS are to be asked. RESEARCHABLE QUESTIONS ARE EMPRICAL QUESTIONS.
You do research for; “FINDING OUT SOMETHING YOU DO NOT KNOW” or “FINDING THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW SOMETHING” INTELLIGENCE-GATHERING – THE “WHAT” QUESTION is generally asked For RESEARCH – THE “WHY” QUESTION – which GOES BEYOND DESCRIPTION and REQUIRES ANALYSIS / LOOKS FOR EXPLANATIONS, RELATIONSHIPS, COMPARISONS, GENERALIZATIONS, THEORIES / includes intelligence-gathering, decision-making, policy formulation.
INFORMATION in RESEARCH is used for the purpose of DEVELOPING UNDERSTANDING – by COMPARISON, RELATING TO OTHER FACTORS, THEORIZING, TESTING THEORIES.
RESEARCH IS BASED ON AN OPEN SYSTEM OF THOUGHT – the key approach should be to keep in mind that the classical position of a researcher is not that of one who knows the right answer, but of one who is struggling to find out what the right questions might be.
RESEARCHERS EXAMINE DATA CAREFULLY / CRITICALLY – a distinguishing character of research compared to other types of learning activities. The questions of “Have you got the facts right? Is your data relevant? Can the results be interpreted differently? Etc.” should be asked all the time Being SYSTEMATIC, VALID, RELIABLE should be the main task
RESEARCHERS GENERALIZE AND SPECIFY THE LIMITS ON THEIR GENERALIZATIONS Research should be REPEATABLE – VERIFIABLE – CLEAR
Honesty and accuracy TO BE HONEST AND ACCURATE ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ANY INTELLECTUAL ENTERPRISE. IT TAKES A DEGREE OF SELF-CONTROL. BEING DISCIPLINED AND REPORTING ACCURATELY BEING UNBAISED
Record keeping RECORDING WHAT HAS BEEN DONE, WHAT DECISIONS HAVE BEEN TAKEN, WHY, ETC. FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR OWN MEMORY AS WELL AS FOR THE USE OF OTHER READERS AND RESEARCHERS
Accepting limitations NOT TO OVER-GENERALIZE JUST CONCLUDE ON THINGS THAT YOU HAVE TACKLED IN YOUR RESEARCH DO NOT MAKE CLAIMS BEYOND YOUR LIMITATIONS OR BEYOND THE DATA ACTUALLY COLLECTED KEEP YOUR CONCLUSIONS AT THE LEVEL OF THE QUESTIONS ASKED
EXERCISE 5 (take home assignment 2) 1.Ask questions regarding (a) reading books and learning / education (b) user needs and space organization (c) factors effecting the architectural environment discuss these questions with your friends if they carry the properties of “researchable” questions. First start with more general questions and then try to narrow to focused issues. 2.Find a research paper or newspaper article or a research article in a recent periodical, and try to identify the research questions in it. SUBMISSION IN 2 WEEKS TIME!