Social Research – Definition, Steps and Objectives

Definitions of Social Research

The term ‘social research’ has been defined by different scholars differently. The few definitions are as follows:

  • Prof. C.A. Moser defined it as “systematized investigation to give new knowledge about social phenomena and surveys, we call social research”.
  • Rummel defined it as “it is devoted to a study to mankind in his social environment and is concerned with improving his understanding of social orders, groups, institutes and ethics”.
  • M.H. Gopal defined it as “it is scientific analysis of the nature and trends of social phenomena of groups or in general of human behavior so as to formulate broad principles and scientific concepts”.
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Experimental research and it’s stages

Science revolves around experiments, and learning the best way of conducting an experiment is crucial to obtaining useful and valid results. When scientists speak of experiments, in the strictest sense of the word, they mean a true experiment, where the scientist controls all of the factors and conditions. Real world observations, and case studies, should be referred to as observational research, rather than experiments. For example, observing animals in the wild is not a true experiment, because it does not isolate and manipulate an independent variable.


With an experiment, the researcher is trying to learn something new about the world, an explanation of ‘why’ something happens.… Read the rest

Descriptive research and it’s methods

Descriptive research is used to obtain information concerning the current status of the phenomena to describe “what exists” with respect to variables or conditions in a situation. The methods involved range from the survey which describes the status quo, the correlation study which investigates the relationship between variables, to developmental studies which seek to determine changes over time.

Descriptive Research Methods

1. Case Studies

Detailed analysis of a single (or limited number) of people or events.   Case studies are usually interesting because of the unusualness of the case .The major problem with case studies is the problem of objectivity.   The person who is presenting the case usually has some theoretical orientation.  … Read the rest

Exploratory research and it’s methods

Exploratory research is conducted to clarify ambiguous problems. Management may have discovered general problems, but research is needed to gain better understanding of the dimensions of the problems. Exploratory studies provide information to use in analyzing a situation, but uncovering conclusive evi ­dence to determine a particular course of action is not the purpose of exploratory research. Usually, exploratory research is conducted with the expectation that subsequent research will be required to provide conclusive evi ­dence, It is a serious mistake to rush into detailed surveys before less expen ­sive and more readily available sources of information have been exhausted.

In an organisation considering a program to help employees with childcare needs, for example, exploratory research with a small number of employees who have children might determine that many of them have spouses who also work and that these employees have positive reactions to the possibility of an on-site child-care program.… Read the rest

The Basic Types of Research

Research is an academic activity and as such the term should be used in a technical sense. According to Clifford woody research companies defining and redefining problems, formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions; collecting, organizing and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions; and at last carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis. Research is, thus, an original contribution to the existing stock of knowledge making for its advancement. It is the persuit of truth with the help of study, observation, comparison and experiment.

Research may be classified into different types for the sake of better understanding of the concept.… Read the rest

Primary stages of research process

Research is a source which can be draw upon to make a substantial contribution to the body of the knowledge; research should be followed by some sort of original contribution. The primary stage of any research process includes:

  • Observation: Research start with observation, which leads to curiosity to learn more about what has been observed. Observation can either be unaided visual observation or guided and controlled observation. Sometimes a casual or associated observation leading to substantial research and a great invention. Deliberate and guided observation can also form the basis for research. While observation leads to research, research results in elaborate observation and convulsions; or even further research observation can either be subjective or objective.
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