Research is a vital part of someone life because for the person to find information or wants to know anything he or she would need to conduct a research. People use other scientific approaches to conduct testing on data and research. The most common scientific approach people uses are scientific method because they can find the most reasonable solution to his or her testing. When working in the human services field research is one of the major tools used by case workers, managers, and counselors, and therapist. The scientific methods provide workers with enough information to make important decision on a regular base.
Before human services professionals enter the field they conduct research or gathered information from his or her research so they could have information about his or her client. This type of research helps human service professional on his or her cases. The description, definition, and explanation of the scientific method on how human services professional uses research to conduct business will be present in this paper. The definition of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method research will be presented and an example on when to apply mixed method research in human services works.
The definition of the scientific method is a “general expression for the methodology of science, or systematic research approach or outlook emphasizing the use of empirical reasoning” (Rosnow, & Rosenthal, 2008, pg. 1). Other books or dictionary defined scientific methods as the “principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypothesis” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, n.d.).
When people think of the word “scientific,” the first thing pop into people minds is the study of the human body, geography, chemistry, biology, or even natural sciences. In human services there is also some form of scientific method demonstrate by workers. Human services worker demonstrates social science when working with clients, organizations, business, and other professional working in the same field. Human services workers used scientific method to take survey, answer questions, and conduct assessments in human services work.
The scientific method provides statistic on children and elderly abusive, domestic violence, and teenage pregnancy, just to name a few. The scientific method helps human services workers find statistic or information on why children and elderly are being neglect and abusive by family members and friends. There are so much homeless veterans on the street, or even why sex-offenders are released from prisons back into society where they could harm children again.
The steps involved in the process of scientific inquiries are observation, research, testable hypothesis, experiment hypothesis, analyze results, and draw conclusions. The next few paragraphs will describe the steps in the scientific inquiry.
Observation provides information base on the real-world. Human service workers use social science to work on cases in the real world. The real-world provides workers with the knowledge they need, when working in the field. The information taken from the real-world is passed on to the research stage. The research stage allows case works to understand the basic information being observed. Some case workers may end-up finding the same information other workers has found already. It is the responsibility of the case workers to continue researching the information the case worker found. This process still has unanswered questions, which makes it easier to continue the research process and investigate into the information from the observation process. The next stage becomes the most vital stage in the scientific inquiries.
Next the testable hypothesis is basically the background information from the research work. In, this process case workers have an opportunity to explain the observation he or her has made and ensure accurate the testing is. Some time, the information from the research data case workers collected for the experiment might be off from the hypothesis. This type of demonstration allows case workers to gain some kind of knowledge about the areas they might need to investigate more. It does not mean the first experiment is not accurate but other testing needs to be conducted. This allows case workers to make knowledgeable experiments so he or she could find answers to the questions that were unanswered. This is how case workers conduct business in the real world-by working on finding reliable and accurate understanding of the world. The fourth stage consists of conducting an experiment to test the hypothesis.
This stage allows case workers to test their hypothesis to discover if the data they collected from his or her observation, research, and testable hypothesis is accurate. The steps followed according to the formula of the data for the experiment. It is important to identify the structure of the testable hypothesis. The variable from the testable hypothesis might be off so it is important to retest the experiment. Case workers take notes to determine any finding or mistakes that might happen, it is best to document the experiment so there is no repeat of the same experiment. This process ensures the data case workers collected is reliable and consistent to his or her hypothesis. One mistake could cause the whole experiment to go wrong. If the hypothesis is not constant the conclusions case workers draw from the observations, the research collected for the experiment will not have any type of meaning to the hypothesis.
The next two final stages are analyzing the data and draw the conclusions. In the analyzing stage case workers data are presented, the facts are organizes, relationships are built, and the information is calculated so it could be analyzed and interpreted. In this process case workers could take the information gathered and determine if the hypothesis could be approved, rejected, or revised. After this process human services worker could start preparing his or her report and summarizing each stage for discussion. If the report is good enough the conclusions will relates to the body of the research. The report should still have room to modify any new information needed. This opens up the door to unanswered questions and leave room for additional studies.
Human Services workers use the scientific method to conduct assessment and survey on domestic violence on women and children in the community. The problem here is how to conduct the necessary assessment to determine the number of women or children who are victims of domestic violence. The hypothesis should be to use the number chart with W’s representing the number of women and C’s to determine the number of children in domestic violence.
The experimentation is conducted within two facilities where women and children are held. There is four associated available to help out with the experiment. Each associated will have his or her data which will be used to answer the question. The hypothesis will be tested and if additional testing is needed it will be conducted. The case workers will have an opportunity to analyze the results of the assessment. Finally the conclusion could be executed in the proper way and everyone could agree on the findings.
Qualitative research is the studies in which the raw data exist in a non-numerical form (Rosnow, & Rosenthal, 2008, pg. 4). Qualitative research discusses the type of research human services workers used when working in the field on different type of psychology, social sciences, and sociology cases. Quantitative research is the studies in which the raw data exist in a numerical form (Rosnow, & Rosenthal, 2008, pg. 4). Quantitative research discusses the type of assessment or survey case workers used to conduct experiment.
The areas are Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics human services used to determine the hypothesis and draw conclusion using the natural science tools. Both could be used in the human services field for example, in the number of domestics’ violence cases among women and children on the number chart. Using the qualitative research the study would be the age of the women and children. Using quantitative research on the number chart is the study of children taken out of their homes. It depends on the situation or case being studies to determine, which research between the qualitative and quantitative to use.
The mixed method research is defined as the procedures for collecting both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study, and for analyzing and reporting this data based on a priority and sequence of the information (Creswell, 2008, pg. 552). The mixed method research demonstrates more of a complete indication of the study to any problems compared to either the qualitative and quantitative method. Mixed method research provides answers to questions and analysis statistic where qualitative and quantitative method cannot provide. An example of the mixed method research is the study of quantitative measurement to determine the impact of the treatment base on the outcomes. The qualitative part exactly comes before the experiment.
Researchers collect the data to qualitative to determine the used of the design for the treatment being conducted. The fundamental of research is to determine if the information gathered is accurate enough to advance to the next stage. This process in human services work is vital because case workers the information gathered must be observe, research, test the hypothesis, perform the experiment hypothesis, and analyze the results, and finally draw a conclusion. The research method is beneficial to any human services workers or facility. The accuracy of the experiment must be strong enough to stand on its own for human services organizations to offer this type of services. Once the scientifically area shows improvement services will advance and goals of the human services organization and workers will be accomplished.
Creswell, J. W. (2008). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved December 23, 2012, from Scientific method: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scientific%20method Rosnow, R. L., & Rosenthal, R. (2008). Beginning behavioral research: A conceptual primer (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.