There is no hope of doing perfect research (Griffiths, 1998, p.97)
Following the current advancement in epistemology, research has become critical in explaining various phenomena in different fields. Various innovations and inventions in science and technology are considered to have their basis on research. However, various scholars have largely been observed to employ their criticism on various works based on research, which seems to render such research works less valid and erroneous. As a result, the argument on whether there is any hope in doing perfect research has been greatly focused in the filed of knowledge. In this paper I will base my discussion on the statement, “There is no hope in doing a perfect research” (Griffiths 97).
My argument will start by focusing on what research is. According to Mehra (4), research is a systematically investigated inquiry meant to facilitate increase in knowledge and understanding. Further, Griffiths (1) considers research as an investigative inquiry of new knowledge on the basis of the already known or available knowledge. On the light of newly acquired facts and ideas, a conclusion is usually made afterwards. Research can either qualitative, quantitative of both depending on the subject matter. Using any of the research designs there is not ultimate assurance of accurate results or perfect outcome which can be verified in similar scenario without some errors occurring. These errors can either occur in the results or in the process of carrying out the research procedure. As a result, it becomes difficult to attain perfection in any research.
As noted by Mehra (11), some errors which usually occur in either research process or in the results occur due to sampling inconsistency, and thus the reproduction of inaccuracies in research outcomes are usually experienced. As a result, qualitative researches usually don’t lack some flaws which would otherwise interfere with the validity and reliability of the results obtained in the research. On the other hand, quantitative research designs are usually faced with systemic errors where observed values and true values prevail which produce inconsistencies in the outcomes of the research.
Besides these errors which reduce reliability and validity of the research outcomes, researcher biases have been found to interfere with research results as well. Particularly, the selection process, quantification and intervention are different sources of biasness in any piece of research. On this basis, it is evident that, there are no chances of having or doing perfect research in any field.
In a research carried out by Brown Malthus investigating on the relationship between language acquisition and social factors, it was realized that the results obtained in this research were different from another similar research by Sylvester Carlos (Kavale and Forness 229). Other scholars like John Bead have also tried to carry some research in the topic and have come up with varying results. In Malthus’ research quasi-experimental method of research was employed, whereas Carlos’ utilized causal comparative research.
After the results from the two researches were released, it was found that the samples used by Malthus in his research were from his family, which seems to significance of sample diversity in a research. On the other hand, Carlos utilized samples from his school. As a result, the outcome of these two researches on the same seemed to be erroneous in the way there was some disparities in the outcomes of the researches.
Though these two researches were ultimately qualitative, the disparities sin the results can be attributed to selection criteria of the research participants. Additionally, personal influence on the subject of the study can be considered as an influencing factor in the research process. Since Malthus utilized his children, it was evident that his personal influence on the outcome of the study was dominant. On the other hand, Carlos utilized his pupils, where his own influence on the children was also evident. From these researches, it can be concluded personal biasness on the process of the research could have interfered with the overall validity of the entire research (Kavale and Forness 231).
Since both Malthus and Carlos were psychologists, I was expected that their results would be consistent in the way their topic was similar. It was observed that, each of the researchers gathered information in the favor of his position before carrying out the research. As a result, the entire results were dominated by errors in the way each of them inferred in his research. Definitely, biasness and personal influence on the outcome of the research can be considered as the main causes of the differences in the research outcomes. According to Kavale and Forness (236), despite each researcher justifying his outcomes on the basis of existing psychological principles, it is evident that errors in both the results were inevitable.
Based on these experiences in various researchers, I thus agree with the assertion that, there is no hope of doing perfect research. This is on the basis that, individual’s interaction and influence impacts a lot in the process of knowledge production, which further interferes with the validity and reliability of the research outcomes. With the prevalence of errors and biasness while carrying out the results, it is evident that no hope if performing perfect research.
Griffiths, Morwenna. Doing qualitative research in educational setting. New York: Open University Press, 1998. Print.
Kavale, Karl and Forness, Richard. Social skills and learning abilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities. 29.1, (1998): 226-239. Print
Mehra, Brando. Bias in qualitative research. New York: Prentice Hall, 2002. Print.