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SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH: Objectivity, Operational Definitions, and Why They Matter

Because informative abstracts need more detail, the regular backwards outline may not be as useful a strategy for this type of abstract. Instead, do a backwards outline on the left-hand side of a piece of paper. Then, on the right-hand side, answer the question "what does this paragraph say?" for each paragraph in the paper. Then complete the steps below:

1. Take your first column and generalize down to 4-5 sentences about what the paper does

2. Use these sentences as topic sentences for the paragraphs in your abstract.

3. Now, go to your second column and choose appropriate content for each section you outlined in #2. In other words, use the right-hand column to fill in details about what your paper says on each point outlined in #2.

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH: Objectivity, Operational Definitions, and Why They Matter

 

Research is a systematic and scientific inquiry done by a variety of scientists of different academic disciplines for a variety of purposes.

Research is a systematic process because it follows a general system whose elements are

(1) Identification of problems,

(2) Review of related literature,

(3) Data collections,

(4) Data analysis, and

(5) Drawing conclusions.

Research is a scientific process because it follows a general set of procedures through which a systematic approach is implemented, beginning from the encounter of some problems in the first step to the drawing conclusions in the final step.

Research is an inquiry which has two components: process and product. The process is about an area of inquiry and how it is pursued. The product is the knowledge generated from the process.

Research can be conducted in classrooms, laboratories, libraries, government offices, companies, in the streets, markets etc. It is, therefore, important for any researcher to gain adequate knowledge and skills about the nature of research, the paradigms, and procedures. It is also important for researchers to attain some technical and methodological competence so that they can go beyond the stage of general concepts and ideas to pursue research in a meaningful and correct ways.

Scholars believe there is a broad spectrum of research activities that utilize various research methods, ranging from a very simple research to a very complex one, both in positivist and interpretivist paradigms. Each brings methodological consequences and purposes. However, in spite of the complexity of methods and paradigms, in a general sense all research is oriented to one or both goals: the extension of knowledge and/or the solution of a problem.

What is objectivity?

The opposite of subjectivity; more specifically, ….

Subjective Objective
Personal opinion (“I feel…”) Fact (“The evidence shows…”)
Not directly observable: You have to interpret, read between the lines, to “see” it. Observable: Everyone can see it; even a video camera can see it.
Subjective descriptions may involve comments, adjectives, and labels that not everyone would say are accurate. Example: The fanatics are planning an extravagant party at a luxurious New York hotel. Objective descriptions are unbiased. People would agree that the descriptions are accurate (although they might argue that the descriptions leave out important aspects). Example: They are planning a party at a New York hotel.
In your head Out in real world

Operational definitions are objective recipes that other researchers can follow. Thus, just as a specific, clear, detailed recipe allows other cooks to recreate another cook’s dish, an operational definition allows other researchers to recreate a given researcher’s study. Operational definitions can be used to discuss some abstract, subjective concepts (e.g., “intelligence,” “love”) in objective terms. Note that operational definitions, because they are objective, are useful.



EXERCISE:

1. Which recipe is more objective?

Add one teaspoon of salt, one half teaspoon of pepper, and one teaspoon of garlic.

Flavor it so it tastes good.

2. Which recipe is more useful?

Add one teaspoon of salt, one half teaspoon of pepper, and one teaspoon of garlic.

Flavor it so it tastes good.

3. Which advice is more objective?

You can tell when someone is lying because they give off a lying vibe.

When people tell lies, they use fewer personal pronouns (e.g., “I”), and they use fewer words.

4. Which advice is more useful?

You can tell when someone is lying because they give off a lying vibe.

When people tell lies, they use fewer personal pronouns (e.g., “I”), and they use fewer words.

5. Which advice is more objective?

To improve your chances of telling whether someone is lying, clear your mind and focus on the person’s aura.

To improve your chances of telling whether someone is lying, don’t look at their face: Instead, listen to their words.

6. Which advice is more useful?

To improve your chances of telling whether someone is lying, clear your mind and focus on the person’s aura.

To improve your chances of telling whether someone is lying, don’t look at their face: Instead, listen to their words.

7. Which advice is more objective?

Have a nice day.

Tonight, write down three things you can be grateful for.

8. Which advice is more useful for helping you feel good today?

Have a nice day.

Tonight, write down three things you can be grateful for.

9. Which advice is more objective and more like an operational definition?

Be yourself.

Be early, turn your cell phone off, bring your resume, and ask the interviewer questions about the job.

10. Which advice is more useful for doing well in an interview?

Be yourself.

Be early, turn your cell phone off, bring your resume, and ask the interviewer questions about the job.

 

As you can see from the next three questions, operational definitions help us make testable statements.

11. Which statement includes a solid operational definition and is testable?

If you add good spices, they will love it.

If you add a bay leaf and cumin, most of your guests will ask for seconds.

12. Which statement includes a solid operational definition and is testable?

If you try your best, you will do well in the class.

If you study two hours a day and take the practice quizzes, you will get at least an 80% on the final exam.

13. Which statement includes a solid operational definition and is testable?

If we continue to average more than 4 yards on first down and we have fewer than two turnovers, we will win.

If we maintain momentum and execute, we will win.

 

 

READING

Pre-reading Question:

What is a scientific experiment?


Date: 2014-12-28; view: 910


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