By Miriam Schapiro Grosof
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Extra info for A Research Primer for the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Often a good question arises in response to a pressing and immediate need: in some sense, something doesn't work, or doesn't work well enough. Rapid social or economic changes in a population or in regulatory mandates can be expected to have manifold effects on community institutions. For example, the aging of the population, a result of increased longevity and decreased birthrate, is reflected in shifts in voting patterns for school-related budgets. Similarly, the study of Veroff et al. (1981) on mental health helpseeking patterns, described later in this chapter, is a systematic attempt to assess the impact of broad social changes.
Be of value in the attack on other, specific, problems; and c. generate other research ideas and investigations. As a beginning researcher, you must assign your highest priority to broadening and deepening your knowledge of your own field so as to place a possible problem in suitable theoretical context and to decide whether it may be researchable. You need to have access to recent dissertations, and it is also very desirable for you to be reasonably well informed about current 30 2. Choosing the Problem, Stating the Question research preoccupations in neighboring fields.
It is important not to confuse the decisions concerning methodology with those concerning procedures for analysis of data. The latter are dictated by the kinds of data you obtain and also by the goals you hope to achieve in your study. The major functional categories of methodology are based on problem characteristics. For each of the alternative research types described in Chapter 6, there is a conventional set of procedures, each with its associated strengths and weaknesses. Do not be intimidated by the many formal design models set forth in the standard research handbooks.
A Research Primer for the Social and Behavioral Sciences by Miriam Schapiro Grosof