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Research Designs and Methods - Term Paper Example

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The author concludes that the use of scientific research and its techniques is invaluable to our understanding of our world. But the choice of the technique should be made carefully; and not in an arbitrary manner. A well-chosen technique that is applied to a properly sample will yield results.  …
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Download file to see previous pages If we were to not use scientific research, we would have to rely on intuition, guess and whims. All through history, one can see examples of how important decisions can go wrong because the decision maker relied on these. Intuition is often influenced by a few events that are not representative of the norm. The decision maker may not even realize how much weight a particular incident may be given simply because it has had an emotional impact on them; and not because it is really relevant. Statistical studies have shown that any one of a number of guesses has exactly the same chance of being right as any other in the set. Nevertheless, we often make the mistake of believing that a particular guess has a greater probability of being right. This is a fallacy that motivates every gambling situation. The whims and ideas of monarchs have often been their downfall. Major decisions of corporations, countries and even individuals, if taken without the backing of facts and research can often lead to costly mistakes – sometimes irreversible...
(Baily, 1994; 76-83). A majority of the type of research mentioned is conducted by using mathematical and statistical functions. But when the object of study is a human being, a quantitative measurement of phenomena is not always possible. The human experience is inherently qualitative, and often it is best reported thus. A number of researchers have understood this, and choose to study phenomena from a qualitative and descriptive point of view. While such research is often criticized for not being able to present hard data, the insight it provides into the human experience makes it well worth the effort. It is, of course, difficult to generalize from subjective data; a strength of objectively collected data. In some cases, there is no attempt at all to apply the findings in a larger context. Qualitative research is also more fallible in its interpretation. But in spite of all its flaws, qualitative data – especially in the Social Sciences – can provide an understanding and a perspective that empirical data cannot afford.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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