Nature and Attributes Of Scientific Research Methods.

Nature and Attributes Of Scientific Research is different from the traditional methods in a number of ways. In a number of ways, scientific research method addresses the drawbacks of the traditional methods.

In this article, we will examine that attributes of scientific research methods. We will consider also the procedure of empirical research method.

Kerlinger (1986: ii) defines scientific research as a “systematic, controlled, empirical and critical investigation of hypothetical propositions about presumed relations among observed phenomenon.”

Frey, Botan, Friedman and Kreps (1991) describe it as “a disciplined inquiry, studying something in a planned manner and reporting it so that other inquirers can replicate the process if they choose.”

These two definitions present scientific research as an investigative endeavour geared toward moving knowledge from mere presumption to that which is established through empiricism a process that could be replicated and verified by others.

Characteristics Of Scientific Research

Wimmer and Dominick (2000) discuss five characteristics of scientific research methods. According to them:

1. Scientific research is public.

It is not a private ownership of one person, and  no  researcher can plead private knowledge, method or data in arguing for the accruing of his/her findings.

Both the method and the findings must be freely communicated publicly among the community of researchers. Researchers must take great care to include in their publications details of the ‘what’s’ (the problem  investigated), ‘why’s’ (significance of  the study) and ‘how’s’ (the methodology) of their work.

Nunally and Berstein (1994) say “a key principle of science is that any statement of fact made by one scientist should be independently verifiable by other scientists”.

2. Scientific research is objective.

Science attempts to rule out the eccentricities of judgment by researchers. Explicit rules and procedures are constructed and the researcher is bound to follow them.

As earlier said, the outcome of a research should be independent of the researcher’s biases. Objectivity, for it to be achieved, requires many  cautions  and  rigorous steps.

One is that scientific research must deal with facts, not interpretation of facts. This is because interpretation is prone to being subjective.

An outcome of  objectivity is that two or more researchers working with the same instruments, subjects, and in similar environment will come up with similar.

3. Scientific research is empirical.

Scientists are concerned with a world that is knowable through the five senses, not esoteric or superstitious world. Empiricism derives from experience.

Scientists must be able to perceive, classify and measure the subject with which they deal. If a scientist deals with abstract notions and ideas, she must strictly define such ideas and notions.

4. Scientific research is systematic and cumulative.

A good researcher always builds upon previous studies. This requires doing a good literature review in the area of concern. In addition, science attempts to search for order and consistency among their findings.

Also, a research work is made up of many parts operating together as a system

5. Scientific research is predictive.

It is concerned with relating the present to the future. This is why scientists seek to develop theories because they are useful for predicting future.

Leave a Reply