Is There No Hope of Doing Perfect Research
“The strict definition of scientific research is performing a methodical study in order to prove a hypothesis or answer a specific question. Finding a definitive answer is the central goal of any experimental process.” (Experiment-Resources.com.)
With this quote there seems to be a justification for the idea that perfect research is not only possible, but is being conducted continually, and on a widespread basis. While an opinion that is counter to the prevailing sentiment, it is certainly one that seeks exposure.
On the opposite side of this issue are the myriad of attitudes that concern themselves with the definition of the word perfect as justification for writing off an ideal that disproves their own inability to think in a global manner. Perfect is defined as: “a : being entirely without fault or defect : flawless <a perfect diamond> b : satisfying all requirements : accurate c : corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept <a perfect gentleman> d : faithfully reproducing the original; specifically : letter-perfect e : legally valid” (Merriam-Webster.com) It is in this definition that most go to for the expression of opinion that is necessary to conduct a dialogue about the nature of research. This author postulates the ideal that the view of research be delineated in scientific terms as it supplies all the necessary components needed to come to a conclusion on anything.
The focus and method of research has less to do with subjective ideas, and more to do with the true question that is being sought in the study. When a hypothesis is presented, and the actual mechanics of the research begins, it does not matter what the results are as long as there are, in fact, results. It is universally known without need for reference that there are basically two answers to any question, yes or no. Whatever the answer might be, it allows for further research of some type. Isn’t a better choice to have a direction to work in and not a stopping point? Most so-called “failed” research comes from a staunch opinion that the hypothesis is what is important instead of what the knowledge is that the evidence suggests. “Due to human bias, research might be preformed from the perspective of the researcher’s opinions and ideals relating to the subject.” (HubPages.com)
The same source states: “In conclusion, there is no hope of doing perfect research for several reasons. Humans are fallible and can be bias in the manner that they conduct their research. Even when perfect research is diligently sought, newly proven theories and the discovery of new facts, human error and bias will ultimately prove the fact, there is no such thing as perfect research.” (HubPages.com)
This author would postulate the ideal that it is in the vey fallibility of the human species that true “perfect research resides. Proving a hypothesis is where many researchers veer off the straight and narrow. Why do research? Is it for a specific purpose, or the gathering of knowledge? This author believes that the process has been subverted in the light of financial gain. When researching medicines for disease, doe not the first concern generally become of the financial boon to be gained, and not the attainment of knowledge. Evidence of this is certainly exhibited in the price of many lifesaving medications.
The type of research that is conducted is also a concern when it comes to deriving the question to be asked and, seemingly most important, how much it is going to cost. Social research is a necessary arm of the research paradigm, but what do those types of research really tell us that is of true value? Is there really any more need for paper studies on the subject of HIV/AIDS? Isn’t that money better spent in discovering a cure or vaccine?
In conclusion, it is the opinion of this author that the attainment of knowledge is the true nature of research. The ideal of perfection is unattainable, or so many would have one think. It is a curiosity that concise definition of an archetype has the ability to direct us out of the path of truth and into the quagmire that is personal opinion. It is in the perception that the answers are found. As Thomas Edison stated “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
BrainyQuote.com. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasaed132683.html. 3/25/2012
Experiment-Resources.com. Definition of Research. http://www.experiment-resources.com/definition-of-research.html3/25/2012
HubPages.com. The Concept of Perfect Research is an Impractical Expectation. http://aimdoll.hubpages.com/hub/Perfect-Research-is-an-impractical-expectation. 3/25/2012
Merriam-Webster.com. Definition of Perfect. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perfect. 3/25/2012
Scienceray. There is No Hope of Doing Perfect Research (Griffiths, 1998, P97). Do You Agree? http://scienceray.com/philosophy-of-science/there-is-no-hope-of-doing-perfect-research-griffiths-1998-p97-do-you-agree-2/#ixzz1qA74VgeQ. 3/25/2012
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