This paper will offer explanation of how scientific research can be used in the Human Service field. The paper will also explain the steps involved in scientific inquiry and why the steps are of importance, and then provide an example a scientific method related to the Human Services field. Next discussed will be a brief description of quantitative research and qualitative research, explaining the differences in both models and how the methods relate to the human services field and the scientific method. Further discussion will concern quantitative and qualitative research methodology. Subsequently touched on will be definition of mixed method research. Finally the paper will summarize how scientifically sound research supports the function of a human services manager.
The Scientific Method
The scientific method is a method for research and study that is applied to investigate observations and to bring answers to questions. Researchers can exploit the scientific method to hunt for cause and effect relationships. Stated plainly, researchers can plan a study so that changes to an entity of the study influence something else in the study to vary in an unpredictable or expected manner. The Method Relates to Human Service Research
No matter what field of Human Service, research is needed. If there is an upsurge in homelessness or child abuse, or joblessness, replies offering results are required to answer the questions related to the upsurge. The path to those replies can only be found through research. In the "scientific method", according to Merriam-Webster (2010), "principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation to a problem", such as an upsurge in homelessness or another of the before mentioned issues, "the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses" may offer assistance in the field of Human Services.
Scientific inquiry usually comprises of looking for an answer or coming up with an initiative, then performing a search of prose's involving the issue. Next, identifying conceptions and variables involving the issue, creating an assumption, then developing research data and building up a study plan, followed up by a map to execute the study. Importance of the Steps in Scientific Inquiry
All of the steps inside an "inquiry" are of great importance. To begin with, there would be no need to initiate a study if there were no complicating issues in our world, again an example would be homelessness. To respond to that example in a study or research, one must use existing data to create a starting point in the research for the purpose of assistance and validation towards the hypothesis. Certainly as our history progresses, new variables arise for any issues, so we must add in those newly identified conceptions. With the present and new research information the study can begin to be executed. Example: Homelessness
o Do Background Research
o Construct a Hypothesis
o Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
o Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
o Communicate Your Results (Science Buddies, 2010)
As we see in the above cited table, we first ask a question. Obviously with the example being homelessness, our question would be; Step 1: "How to alleviate homelessness in our community?
Step 2: Next we search for any existing research which would offer background information regarding homelessness in the effected community. Step 3: Inside our background research we find evidence that multiple Factories have closed in the past few years in the effected community. We offer the hypothesis, "With many of the local population out of work, a new job training program may offer the effected population the opportunity to become autonomous in their housing needs. Step 4: Place 50 homeless individuals into the new job training...