Scientific Research: Concept and Features
Concept of Scientific Research
Systematic investigation on the basis of specified methods and logic is known as science. There are some scientific methods and procedures to undertake the research. Thus, a systematic, controlled, empirical, and critical investigation of hypothetical propositions about the presumed relations among natural phenomena is known as scientific research. Generally, people understand scientific research as laboratory research, but nowadays, a systematic, organized, and logical study is made in social science to find the actual knowledge.
Scientific research is conducted for solving the problems. It analyses all the dimensions of the problems, collects and interprets the data, and finds out the solutions to the problems. Thus, scientific research is not undertaken based on intuition, experience, and estimation but it always remains purposive and comprehensive.
According to F.N. Kerlinger, “scientific research is a systematic, empirical and critical investigation of propositions about the presumed relationship among the variables.“
According to B. Ostle and R.W. Mensing, “Scientific research is an investigation followed by experimentation, observation and logical arguments from accepted postulates and a combination of these three in varying proportions.“
Thus, it can be concluded that scientific research is an act of conducting research following specified processes with rigor.
Features of scientific research
Scientific research is a systematic and empirical research that is conducted based on evidence and logic. In this regard, the key features of scientific research are explained below:
The use of a sound theoretical base and a sound methodological design is considered a rigorous study in research. The rigorous study refers to the carefulness and degree of exactness in research investigation. Suppose if anyone is doing research considering too few samples then such research is not rigorous research so that the results may not be conclusive. Thus, research should be conducted by taking a large sample and using numbers of the test so that the result will be correct and conclusive.
Research should start with a definite aim. If research is conducted without any aim, such research is useless. The purpose of research determines the process of sample selection. Data collection, and its interpretation. Thus, if a researcher can set the clear and operational objectives, then he/she can avoid the errors and come to the real conclusion.
If the same results are found while conducting the research again then the results obtained are considered replicable. Scientific research requires this quality. If observations are not repeatable, then our findings or results are considered unreliable. Thus, the research should be replicable.
Scientific research should enable us to classify facts accurately and carefully without any bias. The results of our data should be based on the facts resulting from actual data and not on our own subjective or emotional values. Non-data conclusions mislead the organization and support the reduction of performance.
The researcher develops hypotheses logically in scientific research. A hypothesis is the estimation of the relationship between the variables. Such a relationship is established logically. Relationships are tested using various statistical and mathematical tools in scientific research. Thus, testability is one of the qualities of scientific research.
Precision reflects the degree of exactness of the results. The conclusions drawn from scientific research must be nearer to the actual results. Accordingly, scientific research is based on evidence and objectivity.
7. Operational definitions:
The variables should be defined in such a way that they can be measured. This eliminates confusion in meaning and communication. Like, ‘Anxiety causes mistakes in the work’. Then there might be confusion about anxiety. So, a researcher should define anxiety by stating the measuring factors of anxiety.
It refers to the scope of applicability of the research findings in other organizations too. The wider the range of applicability of the solutions generated by research, the more useful the research to the users. For example, if a researcher finds that tension reduces performance is true in varieties of the organization then the chances of generalizability of findings are high.