Case Study on Research Methods

Case Study on Research Methods

Research involves the process of seeking additional information to increase the available knowledge. It employs a systematic technique of delving the creative work as it acts as a source of knowledge to the researcher. Different individuals conduct research for various reasons, such as solving an existing problem, gaining additional knowledge, and for adventure (Schiesser, 2015). Research is a fundamental activity for the human beings in their day-to-day lives. Therefore, people require a requisite way of undertaking or conducting research in the right manner. Several ways that are employed by the researcher in order to acquire information, and they are referred to as research methods. Research methods are of utmost importance because they aid in enhancing the validity of the study conducted. Various scholars have outlined the preferable research methods that researchers should use while conducting a research. One of the scholars is Cozby who authored the book Methods in Behavioral Research. This paper uses Cozby’s book as the case study in revealing the aspects of conducting research and the choice of research methods. It will also provide an analytical critique to the book based on a Christian perspective and the main ideas discussed in the book.

            As mentioned earlier, research is a systematic process that involves a framework or a well-developed structure designed to come up with information. It has to follow certain regulations for the research to become effective. First, Cozby (2012) defines the term research and its relativeness to the society; thus, it is the organized way of collecting, evaluating, and analyzing data in order to acquire relative information. The research can take practical applications in order to give more explanations and a clear understanding. Borgdorff (2012) asserts that the researcher should begin by making observations or identifying the area of interest that he or she requires to study.  An individual may make interesting information that he or she may need more details in order to get realistic materials or statistics. For example, a researcher may notice that the number of people in a certain region is increasing; hence, he/she foresees a population growth. The researcher is at liberty to conduct a study to evaluate the observations and proof the hypothesis of whether the population number is increasing. Cozby (2012) demystifies this analogy by stating that observations aid the research in identifying a topic. The area of study is not selected randomly, but based on the observations of the researcher. Cozby (2012) states that the researcher is always interested in a scientific understanding of the behavior. The skepticism or the nature to critique triggers the researcher in conducting a study.

            After making the observations and settling on the topic, the next step involves choosing the type of research method. Research design or methods aid in exploring the topic and testing the information acquired in order to enhance the viability of the research. There are two main forms of research methods that include qualitative research and quantitative research(Schiesser, 2015). Qualitative research is generally defined as the type of research that aims at examining a question without quantifying or coming up with statistical figures as the evidence. The researcher is limited to theoretical explanations that bring a broad knowledge regarding the topic or the area of interest (Borgdorff, 2012). In most cases, qualitative research is deemed as an introductory aspect that triggers the need of conducting a quantitative research in order to test its findings. According to Cozby (2012), qualitative approach focuses on natural settings like how people behave and describe the world in their own words. A case study is enshrined in qualitative research as it is an observation that describes a single case.  Quantitative research on the other hand involves a designed empirical investigation of the identified topics using variables, and situations with their relationships. It involves a descriptive method where a survey is carried to establish the affiliation between variables. It has to incorporate experimental methods that bring out factual findings and test; hence, it has empirical evidence. Quantitative research is fundamental as it tests the information gathered in theoretical form to verify its validity and relativity. It involves sampling or selection of participants in the study to influence the outcome.

            One integral aspect of a research is to gather more information of the previous works before conducting one. This is referred to as conducting a literature review of previous works. Actually, literature review is more profound in a qualitative research though it is a requirement in both research methods. There are gaps in the findings of the previous studies that the current researcher is entitled to fill. Similarly, a literature review is important in order to avoid duplication of work. From Cozby’s perspective, literature review enables the researcher to identify what has already been found by other researchers to form the basic foundation of the research question. Previously conducted literal works are important in designing the current research. A literature review is followed by the identification of the purpose of research; that is, explaining why the research is important (Borgdorff, 2012).

In cases of quantitative research, the hypothetical prediction is important because it prompts the relationship between the variables. At this point, the research questions are identified, which may be parallel to the hypothesis. The researcher then chooses the appropriate method of collecting data; that is, the research methodology. Thereafter, the researcher indulges into the most vital part of the study of collecting data from either the primary or secondary sources. The data is analyzed, evaluated, tested, and interpreted accordingly. After the evaluation, the researchers will come out with the findings and the recommendations, which are the results of the research.

            Conducting a research involves a morality conduct, which Cozby defines as science and values. In a social setting, there are moral conducts that the society expects people to uphold. These values vary from one culture, religion, race, and social class among other social divisions. Each of these settings has its own beliefs and regulations that guide how they relate to each other. Bargdorff (2012) states that there are certain things that are deemed to be taboos in certain societies: hence, people are restricted from talking about them. Therefore, conducting a research on this issue violates their beliefs and it is considered as breaking of a rule. For example, there is a current issue that has triggered a heated debate from the clergy people regarding the research about human cloning. They consider this as a socially immoral study that violates their beliefs and the respect accorded to the human beings. This is where Cozby talks of the ethical codes that are found in researching. There are controversial experiments that have been cited from the entire globe, such as the example mentioned above. These experiments leave the researcher with an ethical dilemma when seeking to conduct a study on these topics. One of the main purposes of conducting a research is to gain more knowledge in a certain area of interest for the purpose of the entire community. Therefore, it is ethically correct to conduct a research on human cloning for the purpose of enriching the society with knowledge. However, it is still wrong to go contrary to the rules of creation that limits people to creating another human being according to Christians. This argument introduces us to the question of how to evaluate Cozby’s book from a Christian perspective.

            The book Method in Behavioral Research will receive mixed reactions from the Christian perspective, as it touches on how human behave. Generally, religion tends to influence how people relate to each other in their social environment. There are ethical codes that are provided in the American Psychological Association Ethics Code that stipulate the rules and regulations of conducting a research (Schiesser, 2015). In most cases, Christians would argue that these codes are only interested in protecting the researcher’s rights and not the society. This is because they are much concerned with condemning plagiarism as opposed to restricting controversial experiments, especially the ones relating to human subjects. The book cites the two of the most controversial studies that have ever been conducted in psychology, which are the Stanford prison experiment and the Milgram obedience study. Such studies are contravening to the Christians way of life and they would be condemned for violating the rules against humanity.

            Conversely, Christians would still embrace part of Cozby’s book as it also advocates for fair treatment of human behavior. The study of a common behavior is usually important because it aids the society in understanding why a certain phenomenon occurs in a certain way. For example, conducting a study on why teenagers engage in drugs and other unpleasant behavior would be positively appreciated in the society. This is due to the fact that it identifies a real problem that is ailing the community, and it comes up with the probable solutions of curbing it. Similarly, the book outlines the ethics of conducting animal research (Borgdorff, 2012). Christians value animals as creatures of God, and they believe that they were endowed with the responsibilities of taking care of animals. Most research involves dissecting of animals and disrupting their self-peace. However, the ethical codes restrict researchers from unnecessary killing of an animal in conducting research. This would be a pleasant note for the Christian faithful, as they belief life is a gift from God that should be respected and not taken away.

            In conclusion, research is an important aspect of human beings as it cannot be avoided. It aids in adding knowledge to the society and improving the information that is available to the people. Researches are also used in solving human problems by bringing solutions that make their life habitable (Schiesser, 2015). For instance, research in the healthcare sector aids in providing drugs and treatments for diseases. These are some of the important aspects of conducting research. Although there are negative issues associated with conducting research, it should not be ruled out that research is not important. Therefore, researchers should read Cozby’s book to understand the requisite techniques and methods of conducting a research.

References

Borgdorff, H. (2012). The Conflict of the Faculties. Perspectives on Artistic Research and Academia (Chapter 11: The Case of the Journal for Artistic Research), Leiden: Leiden University Press

Cozby, P. C., & Bates, S. C. (2012). Methods in Behavorial Research. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Schiesser, G. (2015). What is at stake – Qu’estcequel’enjeu? Paradoxes – Problematics – Perspectives in Artistic Research Today, in: Arts, Research, Innovation and Society. Eds. Gerald Bast, Elias G. Carayannis [= ARIS, Vol. 1]. Wien/New York: Springer 2015, pp. 197-210