Presentation on theme: "Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH TECHNIQUES Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of."— Presentation transcript:
Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH TECHNIQUES Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of Hong Kong Visiting Fellow, Australian National University http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/......Res /52-Sci.ppt ebs, 16-20 January 2003
Copyright, 1995-2002 2 The Conventional Scientific Research Process
Copyright, 1995-2002 3 Conventional, Scientific Research Key Features Investigates Research Questions within a Domain Is driven by theories that: are founded on axioms comprise trees of deductive inference generate refutable Hypotheses Is designed to test the Hypotheses Exercises control over confounding variables Leads to theory extension or refinement
Copyright, 1995-2002 4 Conventional Scientific Research Meta-Physical Assumptions There is a Real World The phenomena in that Real World are stable Data gathered by observing the Real World are factual, truthful and unambiguous The domain of study is not affected by either the research, or the researcher The language in which Theory is expressed is unambiguous, and contains no value judgements
Copyright, 1995-2002 5 Conventional Scientific Research Data Assumptions Data must be Objective Objective means relatively proximate to Truth Subjective means relatively distant from Truth The notion of Objectivity presumes: the existence of Truth its accessibility by humans Objective Data is Quantified Data, i.e. expressed in terms that place it on a scale
Copyright, 1995-2002 6 Conventional Scientific Research Process Assumptions Research projects are driven by Theories Theories comprise Axioms that are unchanging Inferences from Theory are operationalised as explicit and unambiguous Hypotheses Results from empirical tests are replicable Most results confirm or articulate the Theory Gradually, Anomalies accumulate A more general Theory is formulated, the Anomalies are accommodated, and a Paradigm Shift occurs
Copyright, 1995-2002 7 Conventional Scientific Research Corollaries Rigour is paramount, in order to build theory Because the primary purpose is Rigour, Relevance has to be a secondary consideration Unstable phenomena are highly inconvenient Perturbable phenomena are too Anomaly accumulation should be gradual
Copyright, 1995-2002 8 Conventional Scientific Research Corollaries A Theory may draw on Reference Disciplines, but it relates to Phenomena in a particular Domain, and is intended to be understood within a particular Discipline Testing of Ad hoc Inferences and Hypotheses (i.e. those that are not derived from some more or less formally expressed Theory) does not constitute Scientific Research
Copyright, 1995-2002 9 Scientific Research Techniques A Taxonomy (3+5) Laboratory Experimentation Field Experimentation and Quasi-Experimental Designs Forecasting...
Copyright, 1995-2002 10 Laboratory Experimentation An artificial environment, designed to: capture a Relevant Real-World System establish a Model of a Real-World System sufficiently similar to it that its behaviour will enable inferences to be drawn about the behaviour of the Real-World System under similar circumstances
Copyright, 1995-2002 11 Experimental Method Independent (Environmental) Variables are controlled, or isolated (to avoid Confounding Variables) One or more (Strategic) Variables is manipulated Dependent Variables (Outcomes) are measured The Results are compared with Hypotheses that were generated by inference from some relevant Theory
Copyright, 1995-2002 12 Field Experimentation and Quasi-Experimentation Designs Opportunities are sought in the Real World to isolate and control for confounding variables Method: Observe a relevant Real-World System Contrive controls over Environmental Variables Manipulate one Independent Variable Measure the Dependent Variable(s)
Copyright, 1995-2002 13 Forecasting Projection / Extrapolation of future data from trends inherent in past data Can cope with regular variations (daily, seasonal), e.g. using smoothing techniques Can discover the existence of relationships through regression techniques Implicitly assumes all other Environmental Variables are fixed Embodies no sense of systemic reasoning
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