1) The scientific method is an organized approach used to explain why things happen or to predict what will happen. The scientific method aims to answer questions and problems objectively and accurately by conducting experiments. The first step in the scientific method is the definition of the problem. One has to have a specific problem which one wants to resolve. After defining the problem, questions must be asked. The purpose of asking questions is to limit the scope of the experiment. The questions will serve as a guide so that the experiment does not lose its focus. The question should be something which can be measured or observed. Formulating a hypothesis is the third step in the scientific method. In this step, an educated guess is given to answer the problem. The hypothesis is the initial explanation to the problem and it should be tested. The fourth step is the collection of data, both qualitative and quantitative. In this stage, one gathers information and documents the results of the experiment and observations. After the collection of data, the information gathered should be analyzed and the results are summarized. An analysis of the data will draw one to his conclusions. The conclusion will determine whether the hypothesis formulated is valid or false.
a) Operational definition is an explanation of a concept which will be used and measured by the researcher through various tests.
b) Hypothesis is an intelligent guess. It is the initial explanation given by the researcher to the problem posed.
c) Variables are the factors that will influence the result of the study. It could be changed and could affect the results of the experiment.
d) Independent variables are the variables that are changed and will possibly affect the dependent variable.
e) Dependent variable is the variable that is being measured. It is what will be measured by the scientist.
f) Casual logic is a cause and effect relationship between variables.
g) Correlation in an experiment is the relationship between two variables or phenomena. Correlation of two variables could either be inversely related or directly related.
h) Sample is only a part of the population that is to be studied in an experiment. Since it is impossible to study the whole population, only a sample is observed.
i) Random sample is a sample taken indiscriminately to represent a population in an experiment.
j) Reliability is one of the most important features of a research. It is the consistency in the results of the measurements taken after repeated trials in an experiment.
3) Major research design is a specific plan of how to conduct the research. It gives the direction and focus of the research. The samples to be taken, procedures and tests to be followed in the experiment are important parts of the major research design.
a) Survey is a research method used to gather relevant information from individuals. A disadvantage of a survey is it is time-consuming and is subject to misinterpretation.
b) Interview is a face-to-face or telephone question and answer interaction between a respondent and an interviewer. A weakness of this type of method is that the results may be biased because of the presence of the interviewer and the respondent might have some inhibitions because there is no anonymity.
c) Questionnaire is a form with a series of questions designed to elicit information from a group of people. The weakness of the questionnaire is that most people do not take the questionnaire seriously; thus, the reliability of the data is doubtful.
d) Quantitative research is when the data gathered is translated into numbers which are then analyzed statistically. The problem with quantitative research is that not all data gathered can be reduced to numbers. Other vital information needed for the research may be qualitative.
e) Qualitative research is more concerned with observations, characteristics and explaining a phenomenon through words. The major drawback of qualitative research is it is very subjective.
f) Observation is getting information through the use of the senses.
g) Experiment is a test used to determine whether a hypothesis is valid or not.
h) Experimental group is the group which is the recipient of the procedures of the research or study.
i) Control group is a group which is separated from the other groups in the experiment The independent variable is not exposed on this group.
j) Hawthorne effect is the tendency of an individual or group to change their behavior because they are aware that they are being observed or studied. An example of this is when individuals work harder when they know that they are the objects of a research being conducted by the company. To eliminate the Hawthorne effect, a scientist may not inform the participants that they are being observed.
k) Secondary analysis is when the data that previously exist are analyzed like census data or consumer data. A weakness of secondary analysis is one does not know the problems encountered in the original data collected; thus, some errors might be replicated.
l) Content analysis is examining the text of the document. The disadvantage of content analysis is it is subject to misinterpretation of the researcher.
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