Hypothesis refers to proposed ideas that serve as reasoning to unknown questions. These are derived through a combination of experience, knowledge and limited available facts.
Researcher M hypothesized that the operational definition of the dud shell as, shells which do not explode when fired by a canon, nor when manipulated by humans through physical interference. According to her hypothesis, not all the shells which do not explode are dud shells. Some of the shells that did not explode might explode when manually tampered by locals in their attempt to salvage copper wires. Her hypothesis was based on her experience when once she encountered a shell blast off in the middle of the night. Also, another day she noticed that there were people with flashlights roaming around the vast firing range at night who could not be identified as army personnel. She connected both her observations to reach this hypothesis.
According to the army's hypothesis, dud shells were shells that did not explode when fired by a canon and are completely inert. The army had researched a shell that did not blow off when fired. They manipulated that shell in several ways but found that it was completely inert and would blow only when a live bomb blasted on top of it. Through this research, their operational definition for dud shells was all bombs that did not explode when fired by a canon. Their hypothesis was inconsistent, as later it was found out that not all shells fired were inert.
Important factors that affect the basis of a research are known as variables. Variables are of several types. Each variable needs to be identified by a researcher to create a research equation. Empirical verification of the research equation helps in confirming or discarding a hypothesis.
The variables in the case are:
1. Dud Shell: Dependent Variable, these are 5% of the total shells fired everyday in the range. This variable is dependent upon the total shells fired on any particular day.
2. Shells exploding: Independent Variable, these are shells that explode due to forced intervention by locals in search of salvageable parts. Some shells explode while some shells don't, hence they are independent.
3. People coming in contact with explosive shells: Extraneous Variable, can be assumed but cannot be stated accurately because the there are no evidence about the number of people coming in contact with exploding shells.
4. Death Rate of the locality: Independent Variable, as the death rate of the locality can be due various other reasons as well not not limited to exploding shells.
5. Airforce destroying the duds every night: Control Variable, to be monitored to check if the death rate of the locality is being influenced by them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.