Quiz 3: Thinking Like a Researcher
While performing research, it is required to investigate, collaborate, and define phenomena. Such procedures require the establishment of certain common ideas and notions between researchers. a Concepts are particular ideas that give meaning to an abstract notion, situation, common understanding, or accepted beliefs. They are tools that help us to communicate a particular experience without the need to define them specifically. e.g. morality, good and evil are concepts of ethics. Abstract ideas that cant be simply visualized are grouped as constructs. Constructs consist of various concepts that can be termed together to communicate a specific idea. e.g. a construct employee happiness contains various concepts such as the amount of workload, work timings, and compensation to envision accurately. Concepts are measurable factors that can aid as building blocks to define a larger construct. They can be measured separately using techniques such as surveys, quantitative and qualitative studies to define a construct. Several constructs together can be analyzed to provide reasoning to a research objective. eg. employee happiness and employee productiveness together can identify the effectiveness of organization human resource policies. b A deduction is an inference derived from other premises that serve as reasons for the conclusion. These reasons are general and believed to be accurately known, but the deduction formed is specific to the case. Hence it is a specific conclusion. e.g. finding a general pattern and testing it for a specific case. Induction arguments don't have any associations between reasons and conclusions. These arguments are developed from a specific case and can be used to form a generalized conclusion. e.g. observing a pattern and extending it to other cases as a conjecture. Deductive arguments are always true if the reasons or premise is true. They are false even if any premise is false. Inductive arguments might or might not be true even if the premises are true. Even if all the premises are true, the inductive argument derived might not be correct. c Operational definitions are defined by researchers that include specific measurable procedures to quantitatively define a particular variable. This definition clearly explains the variable without any ambiguity. e.g. low-income group: group earning less than 3 lakhs annually. Dictionary definitions are often vague explanations to a variable that cannot be used in a research study. They are to provide a general understanding. e.g. low-income group: a group of people earning less than normal income. Operation definitions contain clearly defined criteria that can be modified by the researcher based on his requirements but its interpretation cannot be changed by the reader. Dictionary definitions contain general concepts and can be interpreted differently as required by the reader. d Concepts are a way of symbolic attachment to common ideas, abstract notions, and occurrences that help us define ideas without the need to explain them. They help in the mental imaging of perceptions and ideas. A researcher needs to operationalise certain concepts as measurable quantities to use them as indicators. The values of such quantities can change throughout the research based on certain observations. Such varying quantities are known as variables. Concepts are individual objects that help researchers to communicate a particular happening. Several concepts are used together by researchers to create a logical construct. Variables are placeholder constructs to which we can assign specific values and whose values can vary throughout the research based on logical conditions. e A proposition is a declaration regarding certain concepts that can be either correct or incorrect. It states the theoretical relationship between certain concepts together as a statement. A proposition that can be modified into a scientific test case using measurable variables to check its validity is known as a hypothesis. A hypothesis can be verified via empirical testing and proved either true or false. Propositions are ideas that cannot be tested scientifically. They have abstract relationships that cannot be tested empirically. A hypothesis is logical relationships between constructs and variables that can be measured using quantitative techniques to prove true or false. f For a researcher, a theory is often a representation of facts that define relationships between several variables with each other. Theory helps researchers to connect several variables to define a scientific construct as a fact. Models are used to represent a system or a specific part of the system that has been build to understand a logical structure. They help in depicting the theory by applying it to certain operational example. Theory is basic ideas that are used by researchers to build upon there studies together with facts to create a logical basis. Models are used to illustrate the flow of ideas in a system through visual representations. Models are useful in connecting different theories as an analogy in real-world scenarios. g Scientific method relates to the logical flow of research, to begin with, observation, stating facts, defining variables, laying valid hypotheses, and examining it to prove it true or false. Scientific attitude refers to a curious frame of mind that questions every observation to find out various possibilities of reasonings. A successful researcher needs to have a scientific attitude to analyze every small detail of the problem. Scientific method consists of a series of steps to guide a researcher from developing to empirical verification of the developed hypothesis and reaching a conclusion. Scientific attitude is a prerequisite spirit in a researcher that motivates and leads the way to his scientific discoveries.
The process of scientific evaluation of different constructs to reach a verifiable conclusion is known as the scientific method of problem-solving. Scientific method is described as a problem-solving process to reach an empirically tested conclusion. Characteristics of scientific methods are 1. Specific purpose 2. Highly accurate and rigorous 3. Scientifically Verifiable 4. Replicable 5. Highly objective 6. Easily Generalizable Let's discuss each of the characteristics in detail: Every scientific research activity must have a specific goal to achieve. Purpose provides the researchers with guidance and motivation to reach a logical conclusion. All the experimental conditions, processes, and procedures are followed by keeping in mind the purpose of the experiment. Research must be carried out under rigorous conditions to eliminate inaccurate results. It must follow logical methodologies, precise data collection techniques, and accepted analysis. The results obtained must be empirically accurate and rationally correct. The inferences and conclusion obtained in research must always be verifiable under conditions laid down by the experiment. The relationship between the dependent and independent variables must hold, as stated by the results. Replicability ensures that the results of the experiment can always be replicable under similar conditions. Thus, if someone follows similar guidelines and processes, the results obtained will be identical. Scientific research must be highly objective. There should be no bias or predispositions of the researcher attached while performing or interpreting the results. The researcher should always consider the absolute truth, and his beliefs or view must not clout his judgments. Generalizability ensures that the research results obtained must be relevant and fitting everywhere else in the world. This makes scientific research a self-correcting process through which other researchers can test and build upon the ideas for the advancement of human knowledge.
Concepts are accepted ideas and interpretations that help us to visualize specific occurrence, experience, object, and circumstance. Abstract phenomena that are difficult to communicate are presented as a group of simple concepts known as constructs. a The given idea is a concept. It is a job role that has the responsibility of overseeing the line workers of a production facility and smooth functioning of the equipment. They are responsible for implementing the production goals of the management to fulfill company objectives by tracking worker efficiency and productivity. b The given idea is a construct. A combination of job contentment, work conditions, the overall opinion of an employee towards his employer is known as employee morale. The inclination of an employee to work productively with motivation, zeal, and enthusiasm is known as employee morale. c The given idea is a concept. The systematic flow of semi-finished products from one workstation to another across a manufacturing facility until the final product is obtained is known as an assembly line. Step by step process of building products incrementally, starting from basic raw materials to final produced goods is known as an assembly line. d The given idea is a concept. Overdue account refers to accounts whose holders haven't paid back their debt. Missing the deadline for payment causes an overdue account. Overdue accounts result in payment extra of overdue fees which include penalty interest payments by the holders based on the overdue period. e The given idea is a concept Line management refers to the administration that acts as a connection between the line workers and upper management in a production facility. Line management is responsible for the working conditions, hiring of front line workers, attending to worker grievances and fulfilling the directives of the upper management. f The given idea is a construct. Leaders are passionate individuals who have the ability to motivate, lead, and provide guidance to a group of people towards the fulfillment of a particular goal. Leadership in business helps to improve organizational productiveness, growth, results, and stature. g The given idea is a construct. This refers to the state of trade union's election procedures that select leaders to responsibly represent the interests of the union. In a perfect union democracy, the selection of union leaders is completely transparent and free from any political bias. h The given idea is a construct. Practiced norms in an organization towards other related parties are known as ethical standards. These consist of principles the company follows while taking decisions concerning morality and conscience. Ethical code is composed of company directives and goals encompassing values such as honesty, honor, equality, unbiasedness, and accountability that help managers take decisions aligned to their company policies.