By Nicholas S R Walliman
Learn tools: the fundamentals is an available, trouble-free advent to the several facets of analysis concept, equipment and practice.
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Additional resources for Research methods : the basics
As you can imagine, these are opposite ends of a spectrum, with many intermediate positions being held that balance the importance of the mind and material things in different degrees. Epistemology is the theory of knowledge, especially about its validation and the methods used. It deals with how we know things RESEARCH THEORY and what we can regard as acceptable knowledge in a discipline. It is concerned with the reliability of our senses and the power of the mind. As for the methods of acquiring knowledge, there are two basic approaches: 1 empiricism – knowledge gained by sensory experience (using inductive reasoning); 2 rationalism – knowledge gained by reasoning (using deductive reasoning).
This is called operationalization. Often, the first step is to break down the main hypothesis into two or more sub-hypotheses. These represent components or aspects of the main hypothesis and together should add up to its totality. Each sub-hypothesis will intimate a different method of testing and therefore implies different research methods that might be appropriate. This is a similar process to breaking down main research questions into sub-questions. For example: The intelligence of students can be measured.
Informal fallacies also come in many guises. These are misleading not so much because the logical steps are incorrect, but they make false analogies, use emotional and misleading claims, and jump to unjustified conclusions on evidence that is skimpy, irrelevant or untrue. The following example makes false analogies: The ship of government, like any ship, works best when there is a strong captain in charge of it. That is why government by dictatorship is more effective. Is a ship really sufficiently like a government to make this claim?