Discuss the steps involved in research process.

Discuss the steps involved in research process.



Step-I: Identification of the Problem
The first and most important step for identifying a problem is asking a question
or identifying a need that arises as a result of curiosity and to which it become
necessary to find an answer. The psychological studies are focused on one or
many of the following kinds of questions: What are the events that cause or
determine a given behaviour or response? What is the nature of behaviour or
action (i.e., its structure) and how it is linked with other actions and
behaviours? What are the relationships of internal psychological processes with
behavioural phenomenon? The research  process question determines the direction of
study and researchers have to struggle a lot in identifying and articulating the
same. Essentially two steps are involved in formulating the research problem,
viz, understanding the problem thoroughly, and rephrasing the same into
meaningful terms. The main function of formulating a research problem is to
decide what you want to find out about. It is extremely important to evaluate
the research problem in the light of funds, time and expertise and knowledge
available at your disposal. It is equally important to identify any gaps in your
knowledge of relevant disciplines, such as statistics required for analysis.

Step-II: Formulating a Hypothesis
When the researcher has identified the problem and reviewed the relevant
literature he formulates a hypothesis which is a kind of suggested answer to
the problem Hypothesis plays the key role in formulating and guiding any study.
The hypotheses are generally derived from earlier research findings existing
theories, and personal observations and experiences. From a careful
examination of relevant theory and previous findings, the psychologist would
be able to state one or more prepositions whose validity could be tested.
Ideally these hypotheses would be based on a deductive theory but they may
simply be new hypotheses or hypothesis based on previous research findings.
Hypothesis may be defined as a tentative statement showing a relationship
between variables under study. It is stated in the form of a declarative
sentence. For instance suppose you are interested to know the effect of reward
on learning. You have analysed the past research and found the indication that
the two variables are positively related. You need to convert this idea in terms
of a testable statement. At this point you may develop the following
hypothesis. Those who are rewarded shall require lesser number of trials to
learn the lesson than those who are not rewarded. For unbiased research the
researcher must formulate a hypothesis in advance of the data – gatheringprocess.

Step-III: Identifying, Manipulating and Controlling Variables
While talking about the hypothesis you will encounter this word i.e. variable in
the scientific literature in the psychology. Variables are defined as those
characteristics which are manipulated, controlled and observed by the
experimenter. At least three types of variables must be recognised at the
outset – the dependent variable, the independent variable and the extraneous
variable. The dependent variable is one about which the prediction is made on
the basis of the experiment. In the other words the dependent variable is the
characteristics or condition that changes as the experimenter changes the
independent variables. The independent variable is that condition or
characteristics which is manipulated or selected by the experimenter is order
to find out its relationship to some observed phenomena. A extraneous
variable is the uncontrolled variable that may affect the dependent variable.
The experimenter is not interested in the changes, produced due to the
extraneous variable and hence, he tries to control it as far as practicable

Step-IV: Formulating a Research process  Design
A research design may be regarded as the blueprint of those procedures which
are adapted by the researcher for testing the relationship between the
dependent variable and the independent variable. There are several kinds of
experimental designs and the selection of any one is based upon the purpose
of the research, types of variables to be controlled and manipulated as well as
upon the conditions under which the experiment is to be conducted. The main
purpose of experimental design is to help the researcher in manipulating the
independent variables freely and to provide maximum control of the
extraneous variables so that it may be said with all certainty that the
experimental change is due to only the manipulation of the experimental
variable. The main function of a research design is to explain how you will find
answers to your research questions. The research design sets out the logic of
your inquiry. A research design should include the following; logistical
arrangements have to made according to proposed research design , the
measurement procedures, the sampling strategy, the frame of analysis and the
time frame. For any investigation, the selection of an appropriate research
design is crucial in enabling you to arrive at valid findings, comparisons and
conclusions. A faulty design may derive misleading findings. Empirical
investigation is primarily evaluated in the light of the research design adopted.


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Step-V: Data Analysis and their Interpretation
After making observation the data collected are analysed with the help of
various quantitative / statistical and qualitative techniques .Careful scrutiny of
the data is a critical aspect of scientific method. The purpose of the analysis is
to make sense of the data and see what light they throw on the problem and
the hypotheses of the study and draws conclusion accordingly. Data analysis
can be done by using univariate analysis in which research deals with a single
characteristics of interest, bivariate analysis in which researcher deals with two
characteristics of interest and by using multivariate analysis in which more then
two characteristics are involves. Depending upon the nature of data and
purpose of the experiment, either a parametric statistic or a non-parametric
statistic is chosen for statistical analysis. In general, the purpose of carrying out
the statistical analysis is to reject the null hypothesis so that the alternative
hypothesis may be accepted.

Step-VI: Drawing Conclusions
The investigator, after analysing the results, draws some conclusions. In fact
the investigator wants to make some statement about the research about the
research problem which he could not make without conducting his research.
Whatever conclusion drawn, researcher generalises it to the whole population.
During this phase, hypotheses are accepted or rejected. At the same time the
conclusions of the study are related to the theory or research findings from
which the hypotheses originally came. Depending on the new findings the
original theory may have to be modified.

Step-VII: Preparation of Report and Publication
This is the last step in most of the research studies. The researcher documents
all the steps of his or her research  process in clear terms this report inform that what
you have done, what you have discovered and what conclusion you have drawn
from findings. If you are clear about the whole process you will also be clear
about the way you want to write in your report. This helps the reader to
understand the study and use it for various purposes. It allows one to replicate
the study. The publication of study in scientific journals or books and in public
domain makes the work available for wider dissemination.

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