The Scientific Method :The scientific method is not an organized and common method equal with any researcher and there is a universal and fixed way of working that makes a research not only scientific but determines its universality.
According to RT. Schaefer, “Scientific method is a systematic, organized series of steps that ensures maximum objectivity and consistency in researching a problem.”
Some norms have been fixed for this scientific method which is called the norms of the scientific community. Their detail is given below :
i. Universalism :
Without any discrimination of sex and place, the research should be tested according to the scientific standard and accepted.
ii. Organized skepticism :
Scientists should not accept, carelessly or without any criticism, any new idea or proofs without challenge and without any scrutiny but their aim should not be to discourage or to find fault unreasonably rather it should be the deep test of the idea or hypothesis.
iii. Disinterestedness :
A scientist should be of open mind, impartial, receptive to unexpected observations and should not adhere to specific point of view while receiving new ideas of highly researched status.
iv. Communalism :
Scientific knowledge should share with others taking it as a national heritage for the benefit of everyone. The detail of the research. should be made known and no hypothesis should be accepted unless other scientists should test it completely.
v. Honesty :
Though this is a cultural norm but this should be practical to the maximum limit and scientists are the people who demand this quality. Therefore, dishonesty should be a taboo in scientific method.
Steps of Social Researcher Scientific Method :Research demands steps for which a specific method is adopted known as scientific method. it has following steps.
1. Selection of Problem :
Every society of the world has numerous problems and to solve a problem, it is selected for solution and this should be under the general area of study so that:
(i) It should be clearly explained.
(ii) It should be limited to have a better research about it.
(iii) Its importance should be highlighted.
With reference to sociology, there are problems of crime, divorce, poverty, overpopulation and strangeness etc.
Research problems : In addition to the member of different areas of interest from which one can choose a research problem, there are distinct paradigms that consist within the same area. of specialization. As the term is used in social science, a paradigm is a perspective of frame of a set of concepts and assumptions. A paradigm is a mental window through which the research views the world.
2. Theoretical Framework :
This is the second ‘stage of the scientific method. All the data or information and theories relating to the topic of research should be studied for necessary guidance:
(i) The relation of research with the theoretical framework.
(ii) The relationship with the past investigation about the topic of research should be made clear.
(iii) To present alternative hypothesis with the theoretical frame work.
3. Hypothesis :
Keeping in view the research problem and theories, hypothesis or hypotheses should be arranged in view the following points :
(i). Hypothesis being tested should be clearly explained with null and alternative hypothesis.
(ii). The importance of the hypothesis being tested should be explained with reference to research and theory.
(iii). The concepts and variables used in the hypothesis should be clearly defined.
(iv). Possible errors and their consequences should be pointed out.
4. Design of Research :
i. Keeping in view the structure of hypothesis and the delicacy of the problem, such a design for research be selected as to provide a safety from the interference of the variables.
ii. The most of the hypothesis should be helpful for suitable tests.
5. Sampling Procedure :
This is an important stage of scientific method because a representative and suitable sampling increases the importance of research. Therefore, for sampling, the following points should be kept in view :
(i) The universe of proposition should be specified in which the hypothesis is to be tested.
(ii) The size and kind of the sampling under reference should be explained.
(iii) The way and selection of sampling should be specified.
6. Methods of Gathering Data :
According to nature and structure of hypothesis and size of sampling, method should be adopted which may be laboratory experiments, observation and surveys.
7. Analysis of Research :
The collected data should be analyzed in a specific way but it should be collected in the light of data just as:
(i) Calculator or computer should be used.
(ii) Group technique should used.
(iii) Tables should be used.
8. Preparation of Report :
This is the last stage of the scientific method. At this stage, the needs and demands of problem should be kept in view. The acquired facts should be used for the solution of the problem.
The results should be arranged in the manner :
(i) The consequences should be thought universal. It means that such terms should be used as to be understood in the whole world.
(ii) The consequences should help in the corresponding type problems
(iii)The research should be revisable to test its acceptance or rejection.