3 The scientific methodIn its broadest sense science is any systematic knowledge that is capable of resulting in a correct prediction or reliable outcome.A scientific method seeks to explain the events of nature in a reproducible way, and to use these findings to make useful predictions.Scientific thinking is one of the ways to find answeres (besides practical thinking, professional thinking, religious thinking, ideological thinking…).
4 Possible definitions of research A way of thinking: a habit of questioning what you do a systematic examination to find answeressearch for knowledge via systematic investigationinvestigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws
5 Why doing research? A quest for knowledge and understanding An interesting and useful experienceA course for qualificationA careerA style of lifeA way to improve quality of lifeAn ego boost
6 Different fields of research The everyday researchProfessional research:EconomicManagementDevelopment, R&D (applied research)Academic research („blue sky” research)
7 Everybody is a researcher Looking for jobLooking for housingSearching a real bargain…
8 Typical research questions in marketing How much is the researvation price of the costumers?Which features of the product is not needed and which features should be improved?How much should I spend on advertising?…
9 DevelopmentApply scientific, engineering or technological knowledge in a systematic manner to improve performanceExploits knowledge created elsewhereHas a final product, service or processUsually strict time constraintsBudget constraintsTargeting profit increase
10 Research & Development Term used in the industrial/business sectorResearch is a process creating new knowledgeDevelopment is a process that applies knowledge
11 Academic research vs. R&D Academic research seeks truth vs. R&D seeks utilityIndustry can’t afford luxury of research vs. Academics don’t want to be bothered with financial problemsScientific vs. effective methodology
12 The scientific research The aim of scientific research is to establish facts.The classical model of scientific inquiry that forms of approximate and exact reasoning in a threefold scheme (Aristotle) :Abductive reasoningDeductive reasoningInduction (inductive reasoning)
13 Abductive reasoningIt is a process of choosing the hypothesis, which would best explain the available evidence.Usually a natural and instinctive process.Its role in the scientific research: it offers appropiate hypotheses built on observations and/or previous studies.Abduction is not necessarily correct, but enhancing or exploring different hypotheses will allow a systematic approach to scientific research.Occam’s Razor: the rule of thumb known as ‘Occam’s Razor’, where the simplest explanation is likely to be the correct one.
14 Deductive reasoning…is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises.An example of a deductive argument:All men are mortalSocrates is a manTherefore, Socrates is mortal
15 Induction (inductive reasoning) ‘the real science is inductive’ – positivist paradigmreasoning from a specific case or cases and deriving a general rule. It draws inferences from observations in order to make generalizations.Stages:Observation: collect facts, without bias.Analysis: classify the facts, identifying patterns o of regularity.Inference: From the patterns, infer generalizations about the relations between the facts.Confirmation: Testing the inference through further observation.
16 Definition of scientific research A research process is scientific, if it isundertaken within the framework of a set of philosophies (according to the specific field of science),using procedures, methods and techniques that have been tested for their validity and reliability,designed to be unbiased and objective.It is empirical.
17 Some notions form the definition Set of philosophies: paradigmReliability: the quality of measurementValidity: ‘Do we measure the right thing?’Unbiased: a built in error in sampling or in the method of analisingObjective: independent from the personal characteristics and attitudes of the researcher
18 Some specifications of the social sciences Hardness of controlling variables: the role of experiences is very limited.Subjectivity is harder to be eliminated.
19 Characteristics of research Controlled: to link the effect to the cause (and vice versa) one should minimize the effect of factors other than want to measure. Or in social sciences, you have to measure as many factors as you can.RigorousSystematic: one should follow a certain logocal sequence.Valid and verifiableEmpiricalCritical: process, procedures and conclusions have to be able to whitstand critical scrutiny.
20 Types of research Application: Objectives: Inquiry mode Pure (‘blue sky’) researchApplied researchObjectives:Descriptive: descibes the research object systematicallyCorrelational: discovers relationship/association/interdependence between research objects or factorsExplanatory: explaines the relationship between variablesExploratory: explores a research field that is undiscovered. If it succeeds, other types of research could follow.Inquiry modeQualitative: unstructured, flexible process, more able to explore or explainQuantitative: structured, strict process, more able to measure, quantify, compare and describe