BEHS 300 6380 Research Methods in the Social Sciences (2222)
Scientific Method Exercise — 10% of your grade
You are required to complete a scientific method worksheet/table which outlines the standard steps social science researchers must take in conducting good research. Complete both columns of the table by adding as many rows as you need to. Save the table as a MS WORD document, and submit it to your Assignment Tab by the end of Week 3. Column 1 asks you to name each steps in the Scientific Method, and Column 2 asks you to explain the purpose of each step. Good references to consult when completing this table are the Hunt and Colander text that some of you may have used in BEHS 210 (chapter 1) and you can also search the Internet for “Steps in the Scientific Method.” The Hunt and Colander text discusses 9 steps in the Scientific Method whereas the number of steps found on other web sites may vary because some collapse the 9 steps used by Hunt and Colander. You can also use the class textbook: 2012 Social Science Research: Principles, Methods, and Practices by Anol Bhattacherjee http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=oa_textbooks
Look at your textbook Chapter 2 where Bhattacherjee walks you through how a research study is conducted. Bhattacherjee, Anol, “Social Science Research: Principles, Methods, and Practices” (2012). Textbooks Collection. Book 3. http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/oa_textbook/3
Some people use 9 steps some use fewer and some use more steps. You do not have to stick to 9 as a fixed number. Also look at the following article at http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_scientific_method.shtml This article will give you a good idea of what should go on the table. However, note that although this article has a lot of interesting information, this is more focused on natural science research and not social science. You are looking at conducting a social science research activity. It keeps out the following important steps:
Develop a theoretical framework and form a hypothesis
Choose a research design
Develop a sampling plan/ Develop survey instrument/s/ pilot test survey instruments These are 3 steps that you need to add to your table. On the right-hand column, you need to say why these steps are important. Here is how the first 2 lines of the table will go:
Steps in the Scientific Method
Explain the Purpose of Each Step
1. Identify/develop Research Questions
Research starts with asking a question about something you observe or about an idea on a topic of interest. Your question might relate to a specific behavior, event, or phenomena. Questions can include who, what, where, why, how. Selecting specific questions is important for further observation to pursue a topic.
2. Conduct Literature Review
Once you select your area of focus, it is important to conduct background research on your topic. The literature review helps you become familiar with relevant authors, literature, related studies, and any gaps in the area of research to date. Look to see if your research question has already been addressed. A thorough literature review will help you determine if you should modify your research question.
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