Characteristics of Research
- Empirical: Research is based on direct experience or observation by the researcher.
- Logical: Research is based on valid procedures and principles.
- Cyclical: Research is a cyclical process because it starts with a problem and ends with a problem.
- Analytical: Research utilizes proven analytical procedures in gathering the data, whether historical, descriptive, experimental and case study.
- Critical: Research exhibits careful and precise judgment.
- Methodical: Research is conducted in a methodical manner without bias using systematic method and procedures.
- Replicability: The research design and procedures are replicated or repeated to enable the researcher to arrive at valid and conclusive results.
Gary Anderson outlined ten aspects of educational research:
- Educational research attempts to solve a problem.
- Research involves gathering new data from primary or first-hand sources or using existing data for a new purpose.
- Research is based upon observable experience or empirical evidence.
- Research demands accurate observation and description.
- Research generally employs carefully designed procedures and rigorous analysis.
- Research emphasizes the development of generalizations, principles or theories that will help in understanding, prediction and/or control.
- Research requires expertise—familiarity with the field; competence in methodology; technical skill in collecting and analyzing the data.
- Research attempts to find an objective, unbiased solution to the problem and takes great pains to validate the procedures employed.
- Research is a deliberate and unhurried activity which is directional but often refines the problem or questions as the research progresses.
- Research is carefully recorded and reported to other persons interested in the problem.
Video 1: (Language – English)
The characteristics of research according to John W. Best and James V. Kahn are:
- Research is directed toward the solution of a problem.
- Research emphasizes the development of generalizations, principles, or theories that’ will be helpful in predicting future occurrences. Research usually goes beyond the specific objects, groups, or situations investigated and infers characteristics of a target population from the sample observed. Research is more than information retrieval, the simple gathering of information.
- Research is based upon observable experience or empirical evidence. Certain interesting questions do not lend themselves to research procedures because they cannot be observed.
- Research demands accurate observation and description. Researchers may choose to use quantitative measuring devices when possible. When this is not possible or appropriate to answer the’ researchers question, they may choose from a variety of qualitative, or non quantitative, descriptions of their observations. Good research utilizes valid and reliable data gathering procedures.
- Research involves gathering new data from primary or first-hand sources or using existing data for a new purpose. The students are expected to read a number of encyclopedias, books, or periodical references and to synthesize the information in a written report. Merely reorganizing or restating what is already known and has already been written, valuable as it may be as a learning experience, is not research. lt adds nothing to what is known.
- Although research activity may at times be somewhat random and unsystematic, it is more often characterized by carefully designed procedures that apply rigorous analysis.
- Research requires expertise. The researcher knows what is already known about the problem and how others have investigated it. He or she has searched the related literature carefully and is also thoroughly grounded in the terminology, concepts, and technical skills necessary to understand and analyze the data gathered.
- Research strives to be objective and logical, applying every possible test to validate the procedures employed, the data collected, and the conclusions reached. The researcher attempts to eliminate personal bias. There is no attempt to persuade or to prove an emotionally held conviction. The emphasis is on testing rather than on proving the hypothesis.
- Research involves the quest for answers to unsolved problems. However, previous important studies are deliberately repeated, ‘using identical or similar procedures, with different subjects, -different settings, and at a different time.This process is replication, a fusion of the words repetition and duplication. Replication is always desirable to “confirm or to raise questions about the conclusions of a previous study.
- Research is characterized by patient and unhurried activity. It is rarely spectacular, and researchers must expect disappointment and discouragement as they pursue the answers to difficult questions.
- Research is carefully recorded and reported. Each important term is defined, limiting factors are recognized, procedures are described in detail, references are carefully documented, results are objectively recorded, and conclusions are presented with scholarly Caution and restraint. The written report and accompanying data are made available to the scrutiny of associates or other scholars. Any competent scholar will have the information necessary to analyze, evaluate, and even replicate the study.
- Research sometimes requires courage. The history of science reveals that many important discoveries were made in spite of the opposition of political and religious authorities. The Polish scientist Copernicus (1473- 1543) was condemned by church authorities when he announced his conclusion concerning the nature of the solar system-. His theory, in direct conflict with the older Ptolemaic theory, held that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system. Copernicus angered supporters of prevailing religious dogma, who viewed his theory as a denial of the story of creation as described in the book of Genesis. Modern researchers in such fields as genetics, sexual behavior, and even business practices have aroused violent criticism from those whose personal convictions, experiences, or observations were in conflict with some of the research conclusions.
The chief characteristics of educational research as described by Lulla, Murty and Taneja in their book ‘Essentials of Educational Research’ are presented below:
- Research is highly purposeful, dealing with the problems of immediate and remote concern to the teachers and educationists.
- Research follows a systematic process of investigation as precisely, objectively and scientifically as possible;
- Research involves determination of the problem to be studied, formulation of hypotheses, gathering of information and necessary data from the concerned sources and using different tools of investigation;
- Research employs scientific methods, objective procedures, logical arguments and inductive reasoning;
- Research attempts to organize the data in quantitative or qualitative terms to arrive at statistical inference;
- Research emphasizes the discovery of new facts or interpretation of known facts in a new perspective;
- Research has some underlying philosophic theory;
- Research depends on the ability, ingenuity and experience of the research for its conclusions and interpretations;
- Research demands interdisciplinary approach to solve many of its problem;
- Research demands subjective interpretation and deductive reasoning in some cases; and,
- Research uses class-rooms, schools and departments of education as the laboratories for conducting experiments studies and surveys.