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Fundamentals of Research

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Fundamentals of Research


September 17, 2012

Angela Head

Fundaments of Research

This paper will provide an explanation of how scientific method research can be used in the human services profession. The steps involved in scientific inquiry and why they are important will be explained and an example of a scientific method of research related to the human services field will be provided. A brief discussion of quantitative and qualitative research that touches on the differences between the models and how the methods relate to the human services field and the scientific method will also be presented. The research methodology for quantitative and qualitative is also provided in this paper. Mixed method research will be briefly explained. Finally a summary of how scientific research supports the function of a human services professional.

Scientific Method

Scientific method is basically a scientific investigation that employees the principles and empirical processes in which a problem is identified. Relevant data is gathered by observation of phenomena, a hypothesis is developed from the data, and the hypothesis is empirically tested and a conclusion to validate or modify the hypothesis (scientific method. n.d.). Scientific method as the center of scientific inquiry serves as the framework for all branches of science to assess their situations and to reach conclusions based on observation, concepts, experiments, and analysis. Steps in Scientific Inquiry and Their Importance

Science is a way of knowing more than facts, it is a way that scientists learn about the world and seek to identify and solve problems. Scientific inquiry is a process that involves developing questions so that one can devise answers. Researchers develop hypothesis based on observation of phenomena, and design experiments to test them, use technology to gather scientifically fact-based information in a systematic way, examine the experimental evidence, and interpret the data to prove the hypothesis to be true or not. Discover answers to questions, explanations, predictions, and finally to communicate the results. Scientific inquiry requires the investigator to identify any personal assumptions, also to take into consideration other possible explanations. This process also helps develop critical and logical thinking skills.

The steps in scientific inquiry are important because scientific investigation is a way to acquire knowledge of accurate information about the world in which one lives. The steps in the scientific inquiry provides a framework that serves as a guide to scientist, but also has helped scientists revolutionized the discipline of science and how researchers use scientific evaluate and the functions of inquiry as a whole. Acquiring an understanding of scientific inquiry is beneficial in all walks of life to help one evaluate the information one encounters in daily functions like reading a newspaper, or going to a doctor's appointment often we need critical thinking skills to help us analyze an understand information needed in our everyday problem solving.

Human services research example of the scientific method is as follows: 1) Purpose/question: What do you want to learn? Example Has the number of homeless individual and families increased in our city and what has contributed to this change in the number of homeless? 2). Research - Find information by conducting research on the internet, from books or public records. Information from reports like City of Springfield, Illinois 10-Year Strategic Plan To End Chronic Homelessness (2004-2014). 3). Hypothesis - After conducting research one would try to predict the answer or provide an "educated guess". Example The number of homeless has increased because of funding cuts for those at risk and the critical state of the economy in our community



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