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THE MEANING OF

RESEARCH AND THE


SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Prepared by:
Ms. Gracey
Communication Research 1

COVERAGE
The Meaning of Research

Nature and Scope of Media Research


Concerns of Media Research

Methods of Acquiring Knowledge


The Meaning of Science
The Scientific Method
Steps of the Scientific Method/Research Process

THE MEANING OF RESEARCH


(Fr.) recherch

(Old Fr.) recerhier


to investigate thoroughly

search for knowledge again and again

THE MEANING OF RESEARCH


All research activities start from problems that require solutions

Idea, a puzzle or simply the wish to explore our knowledge about


simple issues, phenomena, situations or societies

THE MEANING OF RESEARCH


Research is a step-by-step process that involves collecting and
examining information.
Research is the systematic process of collecting and analyzing
information to increase our understanding of the phenomenon
under study.
Investigation or experimentation aimed to the discovery 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
(Babbie, 1998).

THE MEANING OF RESEARCH


A careful, systematic, patient study and investigation in some
field of knowledge, undertaken to establish facts or principles
(Grinnel, 1993)
Structured inquiry that utilizes acceptable scientific methodology
to solve problem and create new knowledge that is generally
applicable (Grinnel, 1993)
A systematic investigation to find answer to a problem (Burns,
1994)

THE MEANING OF RESEARCH


A systematic, controlled, empirical and critical investigation of
propositions about the presumed relationships about various
phenomena (Kerlinger, 1986).
Research is a careful, diligent and exhaustive investigation of a
specific matter, having as its aim the advancement of
mankinds knowledge. (Manhein, 1977)

THE MEANING OF RESEARCH


The research attitude presumes that first look and every later look
may be prone to error so we must look again and again
differently and thoroughly each time. Research allows us to
accumulate knowledge and make improvements without
discarding old wisdom in favour of new facts. (Ajala,1996)

RESEARCH IN A NUTSHELL
Application of scientific method to study a problem.

A way to acquire dependable and useful information.


To discover answer to meaningful questions through the
application of scientific procedures.

SCHOLARLY RESEARCH VS.


EVERYDAY RESEARCH

NATURE AND SCOPE OF MEDIA


RESEARCH
Media research is the application of scientific method to the
study of the functioning of the mass media i.e. radio, TV,
newspapers, magazine, etc.).

CONCERNS OF MEDIA RESEARCH


(Barzum & Graff, 1970)
Media messages and their origins.

Functions and purposes of media message.


Media channels, languages and codes.

Media content, references and information types.


Media audiences.
Effects of media messages, intended and unintended.

CONCERNS OF MEDIA RESEARCH


(Barzum & Graff, 1970)
Media noise and feedback

Media technologies
Media regulation

Media ownership and control


Media management
Perceptions of the media as instruments of power etc.

METHODS OF ACQUIRING
KNOWLEDGE
Tenacity

Intuition
Authority

Experience
Rationalism
Science

METHODS OF ACQUIRING
KNOWLEDGE
Tenacity: These are all superstitious beliefs people hold on to as
though they are fact. For example, wear your a lucky shirt when
making deals which you strongly believe will bring you good
fortune.
Intuition: An approach in acquiring knowledge that is not based
on reasoning or inferring. Intuitive knowledge is not scientific but
is knowledge that originates from gut feeling or predictions by
soothsayers, astrologers and fortune-tellers.

METHODS OF ACQUIRING
KNOWLEDGE
Authority: Knowledge that originates from persons or sources that
are highly respected. For example, various religions have a
sacred text that represents the facts, which are considered
indisputable, final and cannot be challenged.
Experience: This approach of acquiring knowledge is based on
the statement which says, If I have experienced it, then it is valid
and true. In other words, only facts that are in agreement with
experience are accepted, and those that do not are rejected.
However, reliance on experience has its shortcomings because
our perceptions of people, events and objects are affected by
many factors. For example, we constantly add, delete and
reconstruct our experiences.

METHODS OF ACQUIRING
KNOWLEDGE
Rationalism: This approach uses reasoning to arrive at
knowledge and assumes that valid knowledge is acquired
through correct reasoning.
Science: It is a process that is followed in generating knowledge
and has been accepted as the best method of acquiring
knowledge. It lists a series of steps to be followed when acquiring
knowledge using the scientific method.

METHODS OF ACQUIRING
KNOWLEDGE
The Iraqis believe that the U.S. is an agent of Satan

Go forth and increase and multiply.


The Philippines has a young population according to the census
of 1998.
In the Philippines, professionals are likely to have smaller family
sizes that non-professionals.

THE MEANING OF SCIENCE


The observation, identification, description, experimental
investigation and theoretical explanation of national
phenomena. (American Heritage Dictionary)
The whole of science is nothing more than a requirement of
everyday thinking. (Albert Einstein)
Trained and organise common sense. (Thomas Huxley)
Science is an attempt to make the chaotic diversity of our senseexperience correspond to a logically uniform system of thought
by correlating single experiences with the theoretical structure.
(Albert Einstein)

THE MEANING OF SCIENCE


CHARACTERISTICS OF SCIENCE (Cohen & Nigel, 1934)

1. Cumulative
2. Empirical

3. Non-ethical
4. Theoretical

THE MEANING OF SCIENCE


An objective, accurate, systematic analysis of a determinate
body of empirical data, in order to discover recurring
relationships among phenomena. (Manheim, 1977)

THE AIMS OF SCIENCE


According to Manheim (1977)
Description
Explanation
Prediction

THE AIMS OF SCIENCE


According to Kerlinger (1973) the main goal is to formulate a
theory. Sub-aims are:
Explanation
Understanding
Prediction
Control

THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD


a process of deliberate and controlled observation with the
distinctive criterion of objectivity
the most assured technique man has devised for controlling the
flux of things and establishing stable beliefs

STEPS OF THE SCIENTIFIC


METHOD/RESEARCH PROCESS
Define the question

Gather information and resources (observe)


Formulating the hypothesis
Perform experiment and collect data
Analyze data
Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for
new hypothesis
Publish results
Retest (frequently done by other scientists)

STEPS OF THE SCIENTIFIC


METHOD/RESEARCH PROCESS
Selection of the problem

Formulation of the problem


Review of the literature.
Design of the study
Collection of the data
Analysis of the data
Interpretation and qualification
Writing and publication of the research report

INQUIRY
the core of the scientific method

the systematic study of experience that leads to understanding


and knowledge
Three stages
Asking questions
Observation
Constructing answers or explanations

INQUIRY
an interactive process focused on questioning, exploring, and
posing explanations, to gain a better understanding of the world
through active engagement in real-life experiences

INQUIRY AND SCIENTIFIC


METHOD
Scientific Method

Inquiry Process

Question/Problem
Hypothesis
Experiment/Survey
Record
Data Analysis
Conclusion

Inquiry Phase
Data Gathering
(Hypothesis)
Data Gathering
(Data Collection)
Implementation

PHASES OF INQUIRY MODEL

INQUIRY PROCESS SKILLS


Observe
Experiment

Collaborate
Measure
Sort/Classify
Compare
Record
Analyze & Share

DIFFERENT TYPES OF INQUIRY


Type of Inquiry

Description

Example

Structured

Know problem to
investigate as well as
procedures and
materials, in
determining the
outcome.

Research on media
literacy with
samples/survey tools
provided to determine
outcome

Guided

Problem or question
and materials are
given and you have to
determine the
process and outcome.

Research agenda to
guide research
problem; directions
and thrusts given

Open

Determine the
problem,
investigation,
procedure, and
outcome

Thesis writing with


full expression of
what problem to work
on, e.g. academic
research

INQUIRY AS A HUMAN SYSTEM


Brain the seat of thinking/problem formulation and
reasoning

Body the substance of search for material evidence


Hands the working hands that implement and deploy

Heart integrity and sincerity of human inquiry including


ethics

PATH OF RESEARCH

RESEARCH LIKE AN HOURGLASS

RESEARCH LIKE AN HOURGLASS

THANK YOU!