Four Ways of Knowing

Four Ways of Knowing
1. Methods of Tenacity: Superstition.
- Truth is true because one believes it even in front of
contradicting evidence.
2. Method of Authority: Religion
-Truth is true because an authority says so.
3. Method of Intuition: Philosophy
-Truth is true because it is logical. It derives from reasoning but
does not bear empirical support.
4. Method of Science
- Science is a method of seeking truth. This method only
accounts for solvable problems that have empirical solutions
based on observable events.
Norms of Science
Universal Standards
Common Ownership of Information
Integrity in Gathering and Interpreting Data
Organized Scepticism
Kinds of Research
• Exploratory
- Discover new phenomena and relationships among
phenomena that are missed by others. Qualitative research
plays important role here.
e.g., A counselling psychologist wants to know what things make
an effective counsellor.
• Explanatory
- Develop new theories or use existing theories to account for
the observations.
e.g., Dollard and Dobb (1939) theorized that frustration leads to
aggression from the observation that a child strikes out when
deprived of a toy.
• Validation
- Validating and replicating existing research and theory is an
important part of science. Using different samples, populations,
research methods.
Three Components of Educational
Research Methodology
Instrumentation, Reliability, Validity
– Sampling, Designs, Internal and External Validity
– Experiment, quasi-experiment, non-experiment
Descriptive statistics, Hypothesis testing, and
Various analytical techniques.
Research Report
• Title Page
• Abstract
• Introduction
– Problem
– Significance
– Justifications
– Hypotheses which are integrated in the literature review
• Method
– population
– sample
– procedures
– measurement
– designs
• Results
– Present the results in the order of the hypotheses
• Discussion
• References
• Tables and Figures
The Process of Research
1. Identification of a
research problem.(Why)
2. Consult the literature for
a solution. (Find out why)
3. Formulation of testable
hypotheses on the basis
of existing theory and
research. (Here is a
- Objectives and significance of
- Literature review
- Research questions and
hypotheses; Ind. and Dep.
4. Design a study to
minimize extraneous
factors that affect the
same phenomenon or
relationship you
hypothesized. (A plan to
test the solution)
5. Data collection. When the
behaviors are exp
manipulated or observed,
the outcome become
data. (carry out the plan)
- sample, design (exp.,
quasi., non), procedures,
validity threats
- Measurements, reliability
and validity
6. Data analysis. Data are
summarized in such a
way that the summary
bears on the research
questions and
hypotheses. (report it)
- Various statistical and
data analytical techniques
and procedures
7. Interpretation of data,
-Theory & explanation,
adding to the existing
limitations and future
body of knowledge. (Why?
This is why.)
Ways to Locate a Research Problem
1.Identify broad areas that are closely related to your interests and
professional goals and write them down.
2.Then choose among the areas that relate to your future career, an
area or a research topic that is feasible.
3.Collaborate with other people; join on-going projects.
4.Read text books where rather comprehensive topics in a field are
summarized, and problems and future research needs are identified;
journal article for the state of art of the field and authors
recommendations; review articles for both.
5.Test a theory.
6.Replication. Replicate major milestone study. Replicate studies
using different population, samples, methods.
7.Observations. Observe carefully the existing practices in your area of
8.Develop research ideas from advanced courses you take.
9.Get ideas from newspaper and popular magazines.
• An attribute or characteristic of a person or object that varies from
person to person, object to object.
Independent variable represents the research interest and is
manipulated (experiment) or measured (non-experiment) to see the
results of its change on the dependent variable.
– It is the hypothesized cause of something.
• Dependent variable is the observed outcome in response to the
independent variable.
– It is the outcome and is used to evaluate the independent
• Control variable is a variable that is either made into a constant or is
included in the study (even though it is not of interest) to control or
neutralize factors extraneous to the research question.
• State variable emphasizes ongoing behavioural response or the
current status of a behaviour. It is experimentally manipulated.
• Trait variable emphasizes stable personality and other individual
differences. It is mostly measured.
Operational Definitions
• Assign meaning to a construct or a variable by specifying the activities
or "operations" necessary to MEASURE or MANIPULATE it.
• Measured operational definition:
– Intelligence is defined as scores on the Woodcock-Johnson Test
of Cognitive Abilities.
– Vagueness of lecturing is defined as using the following words: A
couple, a few, sometimes, all of this, something like that, pretty
– School achievement is defined as one's GPA.
– Social Economic Status is defined by the number of years of
education and the amount of salary the head of a family receives.
– Popularity is defined operationally by the number of friendship
nominations a student receives from his/her school mates.
• Experimental operational definition:
– Recall is defined by asking subjects to recite items shown to them
from a stimulus list and assigning a point for each item that matches
one on the list.
– Recognition is defined by showing subjects items and asking them
to decide whether they were part of the stimulus list.
– Aggression is defined as the number of times a child hits a toy doll.
Distinguishing Between Two Types of
Literature Reviews
• There are two general types of literature reviews:
1. A critical review of a literature
2. A review of literature relevant to a research proposal
• Review of Literature Relevant to a Research Proposal
– Is an obligation to place the question or hypothesis in
the context of previous work in such a way as to
explain and justify the proposed questions and
– Is not a product to educate the reader concerning the
state of science in the problem area; nor is it to
display the thoroughness with which the author
pursued a comprehensive understanding of the
How to Write a Lit Review
• Break up the review into several topic areas.
• Organize all the findings under the various topics into a unified
picture of the state of knowledge in the area reviewed. The process
of combining and interpreting the literature is more difficult than
merely reviewing what has been done.
• Use two to three studies that are most pertinent and well done as
foundations of your review topics. Use similar studies as support.
• Write the review as if you are expressing your own thoughts and
developing and building your own arguments and themes but not as
if you are reporting others' work.
• Don't do article by article listing of things.
• Don't use the same format, e.g., Baker found...
• Rather than citing everything in an article in one place, cite an article
multiple times to fit different themes of yours.
• Write down your thoughts and paraphrase important points of the
articles as you read. It may not be a good idea to read all the
articles and then write.
• Look over the articles before copying them. Read several carefully
before looking for more.