Chapter 2 Notes - Chapter 2 Notes Empirical Research...

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Chapter 2 Notes Empirical Research Research: studious inquiry or examination: specifically: investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws. This definition implies that “research”: is the use of the scientific method to answer questions. An epistemology is a way of knowing. The two most important epistemological approaches in this discipline are scientific (also known as quantitative) and humanistic (also known as qualitative and/or critical). We generally refer to work conducted by most qualitative researchers as humanistic, but we should note that there are many qualitative researchers who are scientific. For a qualitative researcher to be considered scientific, he or she must follow the scientific method. Much qualitative research is subjective (knowledge arises out of the researcher’s own opinions and perceptions) and based on very small samples that cannot be used to explain larger groups or people. Quantitative research attempts to be very objective , or to create knowledge by examining facts through the scientific method without distorting the findings of personal feelings, prejudices, and interpretations. It generally relies on large samples of people that can help us understand what is occurring within a larger group. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks both created systems known as the scientific method. Advances were made in the scientific method as a result of Muslin philosophers who believed that experiments should be used to test opposing theories. Our current understanding of the scientific method was first theorized by Sir Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes. Scientific Method: there are four primary steps to the scientific process as it is commonly discussed by all scientists. Theories, predictions/hypotheses, observations, and empirical generalizations. First step to Scientific Method Theory: a theory is a proposed explanation for how a set of natural phenomena will occur, capable of making predictions about the phenomena for the future, and capable of being falsified through empirical observation. First, a theory should be able to either explain or describe a natural phenomenon. Appealing to Authority: any type of explanation that people give to observable events. The second
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2010 for the course COMM comm10 taught by Professor Klein during the Spring '10 term at West Valley.

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Chapter 2 Notes - Chapter 2 Notes Empirical Research...

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