Conceptual relationship and research process

conceptual relationship and research process

Terms to be discussed are 'research', 'research methods' and 'research The analytical research usually concerns itself with cause-effect relationships. Research and Development Methods: Model and the Research Process. of tried models and definite concepts you must start the exploratory study from what you have: Simplification continues by finding the relationships between separate. The aim of the ONTODIC project is to propose a systematic methodology for . The catalogue of conceptual relationships presented in this research integrates.

The validity of knowledge obtained through nonscientific methods cannot be subject to objective testing. The second method of obtaining knowledge is the scientific method. This method of gaining knowledge is learning by reasoning. It is considered today to be the most reliable method of gaining knowledge. In contrast with the scientific method, the validity of knowledge obtained by scientific method can be subject to testing. In all science, research proceeds within the framework of the scientific method.

According to Lastrucci, "science may be defined as an objective, logical, and systematic method of analysis of phenomena devised to permit the accumulation of reliable knowledge". First it defines science as the method of analysis. Second, it highlights three major characteristics of the scientific methods as objective, logical and systematic.

First, scientific method is objective, not in the sense of being value free. But it is objective in the sense that the analysts are not biased or prejudiced or subject to personal whims. Second, scientific method is logical in the sense that science follows logical reasoning.

Logical reasoning is thinking in reasonable fashion. It is sufficient to point out two types of reasoning process, namely deductive and inductive logic. A full discussion on the logical process will be presented below. Third and finally, the search for truth in science is systematic. This means that researchers follow a systematic set of procedures through which knowledge is gained.

Deductive and Inductive Logic Let us now turn our attention to the logical process in scientific method. First, note that there are two types of reasoning process, namely deductive and inductive logic. Deductive logic is the process of reasoning from general conditions or premises using assumptions to specific conclusions.

Economic theory rests largely on deductive logic. We establish a set of assumptions about conditions and behaviors to arrive at conclusions through logical process. Inductive logic is reasoning form the specific outcomes to a generalized conclusions. This is usually done by observing many individual experiences and cases to formulate a general conclusion. The inductive logic of reasoning is followed in most empirical economic research.

How is hypothesis related to theory? And theory to law? Hypothesis is a single statement that attempts to explain a single interesting or puzzling phenomenon. In other words, a hypothesis is a testable proposition on an interesting or puzzling phenomenon. It usually takes the form of an educated guess or conjecture.

Usually the hypothesis is based on facts and assumptions. Theory is a whole system of thought or systematic explanation that refers to many phenomena and whose parts are related to one another in deductive, logical form. A theory that has been subjected to extensive testing over time and across space, and that has won virtually universal acceptance, is called a law.

conceptual relationship and research process

For instance, the law of supply and demand refers to the commonly observed phenomena that, in a free market, the forces of supply and demand generally push the price toward its equilibrium level, the price at which the quantity supplied and quantity demanded are equal. Another example is the law of diminishing marginal returns.

Language of scientific method In the previous section, we first learned that the essential element of science lies in its method of analysis, and that the three main characteristics of the scientific method are that it is objective, logical, and systematic. Then we learned about the process of scientific method beginning from, say, deductive logic to hypothesis, from hypothesis to theory, and from theory to law. Now we need to learn the operational aspects of the scientific method by focusing on terms and concepts of research.

In particular, we need to learn basic concepts such as assumptions, variables, parameters, and functional forms. Finally, we need to learn something about ceteris paribus.

Assumption In our study of gasoline price hike, we first assume that consumers are "rational" in that their decision-making in the purchase of gasoline is consistent with maximization of consumer satisfaction.

conceptual relationship and research process

Likewise, suppliers of gasoline retail gasoline merchant are also assumed to be rational in that their decision-making in pricing, inventory, etc. We theorize that the retail gasoline price is jointly determined by the forces of demand and supply of gasoline.

On the demand side, the quantity of gasoline demanded depends inversely on the retail price of gasoline, positively consumer income, and a host of other factors. On the supply side, the quantity of gasoline supplied depends positively on the price of gasoline price, cost of production including price of crude oil and refinery costand a host of other factors, including the gasoline tax and environmental cost.

Once we introduce the role of assumption in the research, it appropriate to further introduce related basic concepts of research: Variables in General A variable is a quantity of something which varies and you are interested in.

conceptual relationship and research process

Price of gasoline is a variable to an economic analyst studying the recent gasoline price increase in but not to most motorists and not even to an economic analyst studying the relation between stock and bond prices. The researcher chooses his or her variables. Choosing variables correctly is one of the first essential step of carrying out research. Therefore, choose variables with extreme care. To choose variable correctly, one has to know the two types of variables: The Dependent Variable The dependent variable is that quantity whose change the researcher wants to find out, explain, or predict.

In the cause-effect relationship, the effect variable is the dependent variable. In the study of the demand for gasoline, the quantity of gasoline demanded is the dependent variable, because the quantity of gasoline demanded changes in response to changes in gasoline price, consumer income, and other demand side factors.

This researcher is ultimately interested in measuring the impacts of these changes on gasoline price In some cases, however, the dependent variable is not quantity, but represents a qualitative choice. An example of the latter is decision to buy or not; or marry him or her or not. The Independent Variable The independent variable is a variable whose effect upon the dependent variable one is trying to understand, explain, and predict.

In the cause-effect relationship, it is the cause variable. Using the study of the demand for gasoline, the independent variables are the price of gasoline, consumer income, and other variables such as fuel efficiency and population characteristics.

The Parameter The concept of parameter is a bit more tricky to define. A parameter is a quantity measuring the response of the dependent variable to change in the independent variable, and is usually assumed to remain constant during the period of study.

To illustrate, Figure 2. On the vertical axis, the quantity of gasoline demanded measured in gallons. On the horizontal axis, the price of gasoline is measured in U. The line is drawn through the scatter plot of the quantity of gasoline demanded and gasoline price as closely as possible. The line represents a best guess of the average relationship between the observed quantity of gasoline demanded and corresponding gasoline price during the period of study.

It is linear both in the parameters and variables. When there is a relationship between two variables, we say that " y dependent variable is a function of x independent variable " in the mathematical language. By this we mean to say that the magnitude of y depends on the magnitude of x.

But when the dependent variable y is determined by not only by x but also by other independent variables, we say that y is a function of x1, x2, and x3.

In the gasoline demand example, the quantity of gasoline demanded Qdg depends upon or is a linear function of price of gasoline Pg and consumer income Y. Since parameters a, b, and c enter the equation are linear, the relationship is linear. But the relationship may be other than linear functional forms.

They include the log-linear model, semi-log models, and reciprocal models. Most - but not all- economic relationship is the causal relationship between the dependent variable and one or more independent variable.

The value of the dependent variable y that is observed for subject in the study depends on three elements: First, it depends on the level of the independent variable; second on the influence of the independent variable s on the dependent variable, and finally on the influences of all other variables that may act upon the value of the subject but you are not interested in and thus excluded in the specification of the functional relationship.

These excluded variables are assumed to remain the same during the period of study. Two Types of Relationship: Correlation and Causation When variables are related in certain fashion, there are two kinds of relationships. When one variable is related with another variable, we say that there exists correlation between the two variables.

You will often need to gather quite a lot of material before you can define the final goal of your project, and a large part of this material will not be used in the final analysis.

The exploratory analysis of empirical field observations starts by checking that the field reports are written down intelligibly and without ambiguity.

Often the original reports have been made in hurry; in that case they should be clarified by the initial observer or interviewer.

Basic Concepts of Research Methodology | Saeed Anwar -

As soon as the invariance in the data becomes apparent you can omit all the material that is no longer relevant and compress the remaining, relevant information.

This compacting is usually done with the help of coding the typical and frequent elements, that is by assigning short names, letters or other symbols to them. By cross-tabulating the symbols you can get an overall view of all the material, and it will be easier to uncover its structure or rearrange it so that a latent structure becomes visible. Analysis in exploratory research is essentially abstraction and generalization. Abstraction means that you translate the empirical observations, measurements etc.

It will seldom be possible to divide exploratory study into such clear phases as is common in the case that the object has been studied earlier. According to Alasuutari p. Details differing from one individual to another at random are omitted or pushed aside so that the general lines of the data can be discerned more easily. Simplification continues by finding the relationships between separate observations or cases.

Some tools for this work are comparison and classification. The goal is to find the general rule or model that is valid in all or most of the observations. This model can be, for example, development or evolution, causalityor a conscious action to attain an outcome which is typical in normative research. Sometimes the most interesting questions are found at the end of the research, when the researcher has become an expert on the subject.

It is often said that "data teach the researcher". The purpose of descriptive exploratory research is to extract a structure from the source material which in the best case can be formed as a rule that governs all the observations and is not known earlier per the definition of exploratory study. Finding the unknown structure may need some creative innovation, because even the most sophisticated computerized analysis methods cannot automatically uncover which type of structure is concealed in data.

Usually you first have to formulate a tentative pattern for the assumed structure in the observations and then you can ask the computer to estimate how well the data corresponds to the model, cf. In normative studies the exploratory approach is unusual, because the normative target - improving something in the object - in general engages with a known theoretical background which you can take as a basis of your study, thus shifting to the usually more effective method of Research on the Basis of Earlier Theory which is explained in the next paragraph.

Nevertheless, sometimes it happens even in normative study that the direction of desirable improvement is initially unclear, and your only choice is to start with the exploratory approach.

Such is the situation when you know that the present state of the object of study is unsatisfactory but you do not know exactly what is wrong in it, neither do you know of any superior usable substitutes for it.

For example, in the initial stage of action research everybody perhaps agrees that the present mode of working is unbearable but all known remedies seem inapplicable, and the participants therefore start making from empty table a descriptive model of the work to be used as a basis of development.

Research on the Basis of Earlier Theory Many of the problems of exploratory research can be avoided if the researcher can start with a model, developed in earlier studies, which he uses as a "working hypothesis". The model can either consist of cases holistic model or of concepts analytic model.

Models in the Research Process

During the analysis, the researcher tries to see whether the collected material conforms to the model or must he correct the model or look for a more suitable one. Often the study simply proceeds by enlarging an earlier model. A good rule to be followed in such a situation is: Start from what is known.

Proceed by enlarging the mapped area, and connect the new intelligence to the known facts. Sometimes all that you need is only an adjustment of a few details in the existing model. This is often the case when the study shall give grounds for a forecast or new product development and the environment of intended application is slightly different from the one of the earlier study. The existence of a tentative model helps in selecting the logical structure of the entire research project and planning it.

The model helps you to decide which material has to be collected, from which cases or specimens and about which attributes or variables of these cases. Even the recording of observations is facilitated because often you will be able to utilize earlier definitions of variables. The same applies to analysis methods: In descriptive study the project is often arranged as distinct phases, like in the diagram above.

First you demarcate the population about which you need knowledge, then select a sample, gather the empirical dataanalyze them, perhaps with the same method as in the earlier study from which the model was taken, and finally assess the findings. Hypothesis of the Study Hypothesis is a tentative conjecture explaining an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further observation, investigation, or experimentation.

Hypotheses are testable explanations of a problem, phenomenon, or observation. Both quantitative and qualitative research involve formulating a hypothesis to address the research problem. Hypotheses that suggest a causal relationship involve at least one independent variable and at least one dependent variable; in other words, one variable which is presumed to affect the other.

Type of Hypothesis 1. The null hypothesis states that there is no association between the predictor and outcome variables in the population. The null hypothesis is the formal basis for testing statistical significance. The null hypothesis states that there is association between the predictor and outcome variables in the population.

The alternative hypothesis cannot be tested directly; it is accepted by exclusion if the test of statistical significance rejects the null hypothesis. One and Two-tailed Hypotheses A one-tailed or one-sided hypothesis specifies the direction of the association between the predictor and outcome variables.

A two-tailed hypothesis states only that an association exists; it does not specify the direction. Saeed Anwar, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh Basic Concepts of Research Methodology Characteristics of Hypothesis A hypothesis should state the expected pattern, relationship or difference between two or more variables; A hypothesis should be testable; A hypothesis should offer a tentative explanation based on theories or previous research; A hypothesis should be concise and lucid.

Variables of the Study Variable is observation that can take different values. It is a measurable characteristic that varies. It may change from group to group, person to person, or even within one person over time. A variable is an object, event, idea, feeling, time period, or any other type of category you are trying to measure. There are two types of variables-independent and dependent. An independent variable is exactly what it sounds like.

It is a variable that stands alone and isn't changed by the other variables you are trying to measure. For example, someone's age might be an independent variable. Just like an independent variable, a dependent variable is exactly what it sounds like. It is something that depends on other factors. Independent variable causes a change in Dependent Variable and it isn't possible that Dependent Variable could cause a change in Independent Variable.

Conceptual Framework Conceptual Framework is a written or visual presentation that explains either graphically, or in narrative form, the main things to be studied — the key factors, concepts or variables and the presumed relationship among them.

The main objective in forming a conceptual framework is to help the researcher give direction to the research. The conceptual framework identifies the research tools and methods that may be used to carry out the research effectively. Saeed Anwar, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh Basic Concepts of Research Methodology Theoretical Framework The objective of forming a theoretical framework is to define a broad framework within which a researcher may work.

The theoretical framework enhances overall clarity of the research.

conceptual relationship and research process

It also helps the researcher get through the research faster as he has to look only for information within the theoretical framework, and not follow up any other information he finds on the topic. This is founded on the theoretical framework, which lies on a much broader scale of resolution. The theoretical framework dwells on time tested theories that embody the findings of numerous investigations on how phenomena occur.

The theoretical framework provides a general representation of relationships between things in a given phenomenon. The conceptual framework, on the other hand, embodies the specific direction by which the research will have to be undertaken. Statistically speaking, the conceptual framework describes the relationship between specific variables identified in the study.

It also outlines the input, process and output of the whole investigation. The conceptual framework is also called the research paradigm. The theoretical framework looks at time-tested theories in relation to any research topic. The conceptual framework is the researcher's idea on how the research problem will be explored, keeping in mind the theories put forth in the theoretical framework.

The theoretical framework looks at the general relationship of things in a phenomenon, while conceptual framework puts forth the methods to study the relationship between the specific variables identified in the research topic. Conceptual framework gives a direction to the research that is missing in theoretical framework by helping decide on tools and methods that may be employed in the research.

It includes; research design, Study population, sample and sample size, methods of data collection, methods of data analysis and anticipation of the study. Research methodology refers to a philosophy of research process. It includes the assumptions and values that serve a rationale for research and the standards or criteria the researcher uses for collecting and interpreting data and reaching at conclusions Martin and Amin, In other words research methodology determines the factors such as how to write hypothesis and what level of evidence is necessary to make decisions on whether to accept or reject the hypothesis.

Research Methodology is the complete plan of attack on the central research problem. It provides the overall structure for the procedures that the researcher follows, the data that the researcher collects, and the data analyses that the researcher conducts, thus involves planning. It is a plan with the central goal of solving the research problem in mind.

Surveys involve collecting information, usually from fairly large groups of people, by means of questionnaires but other techniques such as interviews or telephoning may also be used. There are different types of survey. People who take part in research involving experiments might be asked to complete various tests to measure their cognitive abilities e.

The results of different groups are then compared. Participants should not be anxious about performing well but simply do their best. Saeed Anwar, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh Basic Concepts of Research Methodology The aim of these tests is not to judge people or measure so-called intelligence, but to look for links between performance and other factors.

Case study research involves an in-depth study of an individual or group of indviduals. Case studies often lead to testable hypotheses and allow us to study rare phenomena. Case studies should not be used to determine cause and effect, and they have limited use for making accurate predictions.

Observational trials study health issues in large groups of people but in natural settings. Studies which involve observing people can be divided into two main categories, namely participant observation and non- participant observation. This involves fitting in, gaining the trust of members of the group and at the same time remaining sufficiently detached as to be able to carry out the observation.

The researcher decides in advance precisely what kind of behaviour is relevant to the study and can be realistically and ethically observed. The observation can be carried out in a few different ways. Research Type or Nature of the Research 1. Descriptive research attempts to describe systematically a situation, problem, phenomenon, service or programme, or provides information aboutsay, living condition of a community, or describes attitudes towards an issue.

Explanatory research attempts to clarify why and how there is a relationship between two or more aspects of a situation or phenomenon. The emphasis of Quantitative research is on collecting and analysing numerical data; it concentrates on measuring the scale, range, frequency etc. This type of research, although harder to design initially, is usually highly detailed and structured and results can be easily collated and presented statistically.

Qualitative research is more subjective in nature than Quantitative research and involves examining and reflecting on the less tangible aspects of a research subject, e. Although this type of research can be easier to start, it can be often difficult to interpret and present the findings; the findings can also be challenged more easily.

Unit of Analysis The unit of analysis is the major entity that you are analyzing in your study. It is the 'what' or 'who' that is being studied.

Units of analysis are essentially the things we examine in order to create summary descriptions of them and explain differences among them. Units of analysis that are commonly used in social science research include individuals, groups, organizations, social artifacts, and social interactions. Population of the Study Population for study, such a population must be specific enough to provide readers a clear understanding of the applicability of your study to their particular situation and their understanding of that same population.

Sampling A sample is a subset of the population being studied. It represents the larger population and is used to draw inferences about that population. It is a research technique widely used in the social sciences as a way to gather information about a population without having to measure the entire population. The simple random sample is the basic sampling method assumed in statistical methods and computations.

The main benefit of the Md. Saeed Anwar, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh Basic Concepts of Research Methodology simple random sample is that each member of the population has an equal chance of being chosen. This means that it guarantees that the sample chosen is representative of the population. In turn, the statistical conclusions drawn from analysis of the sample will be valid Lottary Method. A purposive sample, also commonly called a judgmental sample, is one that is selected based on the knowledge of a population and the purpose of the study.

The subjects are selected because of some characteristic. Purposive sampling can be very useful for situations where you need to reach a targeted sample quickly and where sampling for proportionality is not the main concern. A stratified sample is a probability sampling technique in which the researcher divides the entire target population into different subgroups, or strata, and then randomly selects the final subjects proportionally from the different strata.

This type of sampling is used when the researcher wants to highlight specific subgroups within the population. In a systematic sample, the elements of the population are put into a list and then every kth element in the list is chosen systematically for inclusion in the sample.

For example, if the population of study contained 2, students at a high school and the researcher wanted a sample of students, the students would be put into list form and then every 20th student would be selected for inclusion in the sample. To ensure against any possible human bias in this method, the researcher should select the first individual at random. This is technically called a 'systematic sample with a random start'.

Cluster sampling may be used when it is either impossible or impractical to compile an exhaustive list of the elements that make up the target population. Usually, however, the population elements are already grouped into subpopulations and lists of those subpopulations already exist or can be created.

A snowball sample is a non-probability sampling technique that is appropriate to use in research when the members of a population are difficult to locate. A snowball sample is one in which the researcher collects data on the few members of the target population he or she can Md. Saeed Anwar, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh Basic Concepts of Research Methodology locate, then asks those individuals to provide information needed to locate other members of that population whom they know.

Difference between Pre-test and Pilot-Study Most of the times these terms are used interchangeably. Before planning a pilot census, the conduct of a series of pre-test surveys is highly desirable.

The objective of the pre-test surveys should be confined mainly to the formulation of concepts and definitions, census questionnaires, instruction manuals, etc. The pilot census, unlike the pre-test surveys, is a 'dry run' for the main census but on a limited scale. It should evaluate all aspects of the census operation including the concepts and definitions, the adequacy of the questionnaires, the training of field enumerators and supervisory staff, field organization, census methodology, sampling design and estimation procedure, data processing and data tabulation.

The results should be used when drawing up the final plans for the census and to provide a basis for the final calculations of resource requirements for the census. Methods of Data Collection 1.