Looking Beyond Social and Behavioral Research
Writing a social and behavioral research is a method used in conducting studies to different fields of social sciences and humanities. It uses variety of methods in determining the possible theory that holds into some phenomena. In connection with this, different techniques had been introduced to meet the essential components of the expected research outcome. Thus, this kind of research is important in dealing with the subjective part of the society as well as the concrete evidences that was rooted in it.
Although social and behavioral research rooted to the natural science way of collecting, interpreting and analyzing data, as time passed by, it had developed its own way of using methods in determining precise and coherent explanation of the things that’s happening around us. This is one of the things that make this kind of research unique from other fields. It does not only present and collect data but look into the context wherein certain situation might have been given another meaning. The subjective analysis of the researches had given this a better touch since it based all its subjective assumptions mostly with objective evidences and data. Moreover, the use of the natural science technique in researching in this kind of research had developed more concise and systematic way for the researchers using this kind of technique to have a better understanding and methods to be used in this field.
The use of this kind of research had been developed after the natural science introduced different techniques and methods used in showing their discoveries and inventions to all. Although, the use of this technique in conducting social and behavioral analysis undermined the context wherein the real situation happened, it also give way for the social research to explore more in discovering areas in which natural science can not offer any explanation. This kind of breakthrough had flourished when many social scientists adopted this kind of techniques and used this as a basis of their discoveries presented. Moreover, this also gives them the chance to critically analyze the validity of their findings and set a more rigorous standard on their part. That is why most of the social studies and behavioral research that had been done provides an empirical or objective support and also, a critical analysis and definition of context of the field of study. (Collins, 1994)
Since most of the social sciences rely on the data manipulation, it is important to learn some important factors that may affect the outcome of their study. In doing so, they can have a near to perfection result in which the study they want to explore will give the desired output.
The reliance on this data does not necessarily mean the independence of this to the researcher. Since the main goal of the social and behavioral studies is to define things beyond the context of numbers, the careful use of this data in organizing explanation of a certain situation makes social research different from the others. (Healey, 1996)
That is why it is no surprise that many of the social researches done today is actually focused on the techniques and the improvement of social researches, the flaws and the shortcomings as well as the strength and the usefulness of this kind of research. It is important to look at every dimension for us to have a better perspective in making our implication and assessment.
As seen in the researches and studies used in comparing the level of analysis and knowledge in using different methods, as well as their variations from each other, different techniques and recommendation had been made in order to attain the optimum level of satisfaction and nearness to the ideal situation being assessed.
In this view, we will see the difference of this kind of research from the different techniques being used in it, and as well as to the other research methods being used. This will give us a better preview of the importance of using such technique in understanding human social and behavioral context.
Social and Behavioral Research: A Deeper Analysis
Most of the studies being done in order to attain the desired explanation are mostly based on the logic and empirical data being presented. However, social studies had used this technique not only to quantify the cases being analyzed but also to relate these findings to the relevance of the phenomenon to the social situation they currently experiencing. Aside from that, since the quantitative approach of social research does not explain the behavior and the inner cause of that, they had developed another method in which they relate the phenomenon of certain social issues to the behavior and the meaning attached to it by the people involved in it.
Dealing with this, the social and behavioral researches and the technique of writing studies provide a wider space in which an individual can explore more on his social side and his own perception of his experiences in the society and his environment. This quality of writing give an utmost explanation of the real deal behind the numbers and the common explanation brought to us by false beliefs and fake ideologies that we keep in our daily lives as our basis.
While there are may variations in the techniques that are being used by different researchers, a unique factor that binds them into one goal is their systematic approach in relating the relevance of theory to the outcome as supported by the gathered data. In this view, they consistently established the relationship that occurs or the support that the theoretical background can give in determining the possible explanation of the situation. Moreover, they also use this kind of theoretical framework in formulating another theory in which they can provide a higher level of expertise and explanation in the said field of interest. The use of different approaches vary I different situation as they see fit and as the situation calls for it. But, whatever technique they will use, the result of their study will greatly deal upon the generalization that will be made.
Since many of the studies were directed in determining the flaws and the strength of different methods used in researching, for the sake of this analysis, we will analyze how the qualitative and quantitative approach differ from each other and their relevance to finding results and outcomes of different studies. It is important to see these two approaches in a better perspective for us to be able to have better understanding on the area we analyze. Therefore, establishing the relationship between the two will give us a clearer view on what the two of them offers in the writing of studies and researches.
For us to be able to understand the primary difference between the two approaches, we must define them in which they are being used as a useful tool. Qualitative research, as explained earlier in this paper, uses experimental methods in which it devices hypothesis and uses different ways to test its validity. It illustrates the relation of the numbers and the data to the explanation and relation of these given facts to the social life of the people being involved. On the other hand, Qualitative research offers us a naturalistic view in which we assume things based on their cultural and social context. It primarily gives importance to the individual reflection and understanding of the situation rather than the numbers involved. Through this, it gives a wider scope of explanation in dealing with the natural phenomenon that’s happening within the range of the societal meaning.
After we had defined the context in which the two primary approaches define their usability and their importance in the field of the study, it is important also to assess the purpose of the two in doing research. The qualitative approach aims to discover the relationship between the data and the social meaning it should have whereas the qualitative approach on the other hand aims to discover the deeper cause of a certain situation that rooted behind the man’s perception and his understanding of what should be done in that specific instance.
Both of the approaches offer us a venue to connect the relationship between certain social phenomena that is happening and the theory behind that. Since they rely too much on the data that were being presented, it is assumed that both of the approaches use an effective data management in which they manipulate data to the extent that it will go beyond the expected behavior of certain instances.
The question between the approaches lies in the acceptance of the qualitative research in the research field. It is generally accepted to use qualitative research in dealing with some explanation as to why certain situation arises. It became a habit to assess the validity of a research paper based on the number it presented. In the field of psychology, wherein they tested the acceptance level of researcher in using qualitative approach in dealing with their findings, they found out that there is an increase in the level of awareness as well as the interest of researchers in using this kind of approach in dealing with their studies. Particularly in the American Psychological Association, in which it is accepted to use quantitative approach in doing there studies, but later found out that many of the researchers there used qualitative approach in their researches. Based on the conducted thorough paper examination and content analysis of the papers done, they assessed whether they are ready in accepting wholeheartedly the qualitative method as one of their ways in developing systematic organization of knowledge. The caveat on this is, due to the subjectivity of the qualitative research, and it does not give importance to the number of cases, the possible error and overgeneralization might occur leading to a false discovery and outcome of the scenario. Since they based their assumption to purely empirical data to show the strength of their discovery, it has been shown that the frequency of the researches done in qualitative approach are increasing in number these past years giving us a notion of the start of the wide acceptance of the researchers in the way qualitative methods conducts and make explanation of some social issues. (Kidd, 2002)
Since the qualitative approach provide us with a greater background of the problem in terms of the human understanding of the perceived experiences, it is also important to look at it as a method of eliminating our biases and our prejudices towards our field of study because of its effect to the data and the interpretation of this. Since we are aware that these biases might lead to distortion of the result, qualitative approach deals with this flaw in the way that it develops a safe space environment wherein the researcher gained a deeper background of the scenario for him or her to assess the contingency and the validity of the information he or she gets. (Heath, 1997)
In contrast with the quantitative research, qualitative research has no defined guideline in outlining because of the variation of the topics it might include. The researcher reserves all the right to present and explain his or her findings in the way he or she sees as fit in the study. Although there are no defined rules in outlining, the subjectivity of the approach helps the researcher to define the flow of his or her research study for the other people to understand and get the same point the researcher wants them to understand.
Moreover, since this process of research involves the interaction between the researcher and the subjects, it also gives importance to the diverse cultural society that we came from and therefore adds to his or her understanding on why there are person deviates from the common understanding and meaning of certain scenarios. In order to attain this, they develop certain methods in which they address the gap between the beliefs of the people and later have their common definition of the same thing that they have been going though and therefore give a higher level of perspective in looking at the process in which they are involved. In addition to that, the integration of the knowledge pre imposed to the both party have been addressed by the way qualitative approach understands the common belief of the people. This will result to a better relationship and result of the studies wherein they develop certain distinct approximations.
Since the first evolution of writing research papers began when there is a call to explain why certain behaviors of people reflect the characteristics of the society. The natural science can not provide an explanation why this phenomenon is happening that is why, the struggle to develop a new kind of discipline evolved. This gave way to the process of writing researches and study of social sciences and behavioral studies. But since, it evolved from the natural sciences, the objectified reason for certain situation should persist in order for it to be reliable and valid. This is one of the problems encountered by the qualitative approach in dealing with their research because of the current defined version of reliability and also the validity.
It is important to see that because the root of the social science research started in objectifying things, the need for redefinition of such term should be applied in order to give a new perspective to the qualitative research especially the outcomes and the analysis being made. This is one of the major differences of this approach to the quantitative because of the strict doubt to its validity and reliability. Although the term reliability usually explains the repetitiveness and the quality of certain researches, especially quantitative, this term is also used in explaining different concept especially the concepts that explains the result of the qualitative assessment.
Reliability and validity is equally important in dealing with the qualitative way of studying matters because of the crucial assessment of the truth and the lies that can be made because of certain biases and the social desirability bias made by the respondents who wants to make themselves look good in the eye of the researcher. But, the qualitative research offers ways of distinguishing fake answers and false ideas from the true one through a series of tests and interaction between the two. In this sense, the possible findings of the researcher can be deemed as valid and reliable and therefore should be recognized as a good data in the research. (Golafshani, 2003)
On the other hand, the use of quantitative methods provides us the objective criteria in analyzing things and situation that defines the issues being studied. The empirical data being used in establishing relationship between variables and the test for every hypothesis provides us a greater scope of knowledge in dealing with statistical facts and determine the fallacies it hid whenever numbers tried to manipulate the direct meaning of the things. Since then, the important manipulation and the constant checking of the updated files and data should be regularly implemented.
One of the irregularities that arises from the use of such method is the gap between the research theoretical background and the actual application, it had been seen that aside from the application of different statistical method in establishing facts and data, there still exist a deviation from the natural shortcomings of the researcher in the field of explaining the actual result of the study. In view of this, the preciseness and the accuracy of the research method had been undermined.
So, to address this, it is equally important to sustain the level of accuracy in behalf of using quantitative measure in explaining social phenomenon. They should consistently examine and analyze the results of different studies to find out whether certain factors had been affected by these. In writing research paper, it is important to understand the precise context of the variable being tested for us to be able to fully understand and not be confused with our own ideas and knowledge being presented. Since this topic is important in making a wholistic research project that primarily deals with the behavior and its outcome, and its social impact, the regular assessment should be improved to bridge the gap between the theory and the actual experience, where the researcher can feel the real action behind and therefore, making him or her ready and knowledgeable in dealing with the endeavors that they may encounter in making the study, thus making the research more comprehensive and better. (Davis, Sandifer-Stech, 2006)
Aside from the assessment of different statistical methods and its implication in doing research projects, and the experience of doing the actual research and the theory behind the project, it is also important to look at the way the literature assessment, had been used in analyzing and relating different studies to the present research that they have been doing. In contrast with the qualitative approach, and in any other research technique, the way social science quantitative approach uses different findings to define the situation they are in is also primarily based on the written empirical studies that can provide sufficient amount of numbers to be used as hard core evidence to the results and the findings of the study that they will have.
Since most of the studies are based on the related literature analysis, in social science, however, the concrete manifestation of the research outcome should be seen as the analysis of the integrated result that will help in determining the exact outcome of certain events. It is not merely analysis of the results but also the integration of this to be a help in determining the possible outcome of the study. It is important in this field of research to interpret the data based on what is the context of it as the data shows and not as the prerogative of the researcher. In addition to that, the concrete scientific analysis of the problem will be a help in pursuing higher level of technicalities of the paper. (Roecker, 2007)
The evaluation of such literature is important to have a better analysis of the study being made, in order to fully understand what is being meant by the studies previously done and the results they have, the assessment of the following criteria should be accomplish in able to differentiate the possible discrepancies between the presented data and the data used in determining the outcome of the study. The monitoring of the analysis of variables is important to make a better analysis and to prevent data mismanagement that often results to the bad quality of data analysis and presentation.
In writing social sciences and behavioral research, the complete analysis of the dimensions presented is important in making the detailed interpretation of the data being used. Unlike from the other field of expertise, the social and behavioral writing is unique because it adds the social context of different issues and phenomenon that is happening to the effect of the study and the variables being tested. Aside from the definition of the intervening factors being taken into consideration, the sue of different theoretical framework that will lead to a better assumption or better interpretation of the things that are being studied is widely look as a possible venue of discovering different level of association that might exist between the underlying variables,
The definition of the situation and the cultural background of many situations that being studied is important to have a better understanding on the real situation that is happening. We just can not assume or approximate certain actions that we are doing but rather look for a venue of improvisation and realization of certain things that were being discovered by different methods of research and interpretation of the data gathered in the course of the research.
To sum up, social and behavioral research is unique from any other scholastic way of researching because of its capability to look behind the meaning and the context of certain social phenomenon and at the same time, look for a possible explanation that might affect the outcome of the study.
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