All sociological research workers make usage of the informations collected to prove their hypotheses. but the manner and methods used differ from one sociological survey to another. There are four general techniques. the instance survey. the experiment. the experimental survey and the study. An experiment is a scientific method in which informations are collected to be tested to turn out a hypothesis utilizing either independent variables in a closed environment or dependent variables in an opened environment.
There are two types of experiment. the laboratory experiment that is as its name suggests conducted in research lab and the field experiment conducted in a natural environment. The advocators of positivism support the usage of experiment due to its many advantages. Karl Popper for illustration. believed that the experimental method is highly utile because it allows the kind of preciseness in the devising and repeated testing of anticipations that he advocates. Due to its truth in bring forthing scientific consequences. research workers can be more confident since their theories can be tested scientifically.
In the research lab experiments. independent variables can be controlled and manipulated nevertheless they wish. They can insulate variables and add variables to mensurate the consequence of the dependent variables they are analyzing. This enables them to do anticipations and set up correlativities. causal connexions and supposed Torahs between the variables. For illustration. if the research workers want to happen the redress for a disease for illustration malignant neoplastic disease he or she may insulate the dependent variables and add external elements. the independent variable to see the consequence of such action whether or non the independent variable can extinguish the malignant neoplastic disease cells.
The consequence will so be observed. measured and quantified. This is another advantage of the laboratory experiment. The consequence can be objectively observed and the researchers’ value judgement will hold less or no consequence on the consequence.
The research lab experiment besides facilitates reproduction so long as the precise nature of the experiment is recorded. other scientist can reproduce indistinguishable conditions to see if the same consequences are obtained. Other research workers are able to distort or verify the earlier consequence obtained. This is important to guarantee that all scientific consequences are dependable.
The usage of experiment reflects natural scientific discipline methodological analysis that advocates accuracy dependability and preciseness. Clearly by the usage of experiments. sociology can be considered as a scientific discipline.
There are nevertheless several restrictions and exclusions in the experiment method. The primary failing is that its consequences may non use to outside of the experimental scene. By making an unreal status. research workers are really presuming that the natural scene is similar to the experimental scene. This might render the result of the survey. The existent universe may non be every bit controlled as the experiment since there are other external factors such as human concision that must be dealt with. Therefore. the consequences have limited or unknown cogency.
It is besides impractical to transport out experiments in research labs on many topics of involvement to sociologist. Sociology is the survey of society. Every facet of persons in society must be considered. By choosing a group of people to stand for the full society. the consequences may be doubted. Research workers may utilize voluntaries that consist of pupils. This may non reflect the true nature of the phenomenon being studied. It is non possible to suit the full society into the research lab. The choice of voluntaries may non be diverse and personal judgement may come in the research.
Research workers on societies may take quite a considerable clip. It is non possible to transport out experiments over a sufficiently long clip span to analyze societal jobs such as societal alteration.
All experiments are constraint on a certain sum of physical restrictions be it the beginning of income. clip and current province of cognition. Research workers have to do usage of the limited sum of resources. This will render the consequences. Experimental methods are confined to little scale surveies.
Field experiments have the job of non being able to command variables every bit closely as in the research lab experiments. For illustration. in the Sisson’s experiment. it was non possible to transport out two or more experiments at the same clip and at the same topographic point due to many restrictions. Therefore variables such as conditions. the clip of twenty-four hours and the province of feelings and emotions of the capable affair have affected the consequences.
Political force per unit area drives experimentation and forces undependable consequences. Sometimes the research workers may hold the consent from the authorities before carry oning their experiment. The fact that the authorities may act upon the research made the consequence non wholly dependable. Specific support and support may drive the results of experimentation and do the consequences to be skewed. The reader of these consequences may non be cognizant of these prejudices and should near experimentation with a critical oculus.
Researcher’s biasness. involvement may change or render the consequences. Often. consequences that do non accommodate the researcher’s paradigm are altered or sometimes variables are added or manipulated to be in line with their involvement.
In some field experiments the fact that the experiment is taking topographic point may render the consequences. This is known as the Hawthorne Effect. The capable affair being tested will non move of course and this will make a false image of phenomenon being observed. The Hawthorne Effect was a term used in scientific surveies after a celebrated experiment conducted at the Hawthorne plants of the Western Electricity Company in Chicago. The experiment was intended to prove and step workers productiveness. The fact that they knew they were being observed made them responded to the trial.
Ethical issues may emerge during the procedure of experimentation. To avoid the Hawthorne Effect. research workers will sometimes be forced to transport out the experiment without the consent of the capable affair. The morality of transporting out such experiments can be questioned. Some experiments may withstand ethical and human rights.
Since scientific method is a affair of human building. it is capable to human mistake. The researcher’s Personal prejudice may irrupt upon the experiment. every bit good. For illustration. certain prepossessions may order the class of the research and impact the behaviour of the topics. The research worker does convey bias to experimentation. but prejudice does non restrict an ability to be brooding. An ethical research worker thinks critically about consequences and studies those consequences after careful contemplation. Concerns over prejudice can be leveled against any research method.
The capable affair of sociology. human being has consciousness. feelings and emotion. To analyze human behaviour with truth is non possible. When a human population is involved. experimental research becomes concerned if behaviour can be predicted or studied with cogency. Apologizing human behaviour through the procedure of experimentation. when a research worker is carry oning the experiment in a research lab and making an unreal status does non account for the procedure of idea. doing results of that procedure fallible ( Eisenberg. 1996 ) .
From my personal position. experiment is still the best method to be considered when carry oning sociological survey because of its truth comparison to other methods. To get the better of the restrictions of experimental method. research workers can believe of other ways. for illustration uniting their experimental method with other qualitative methods such as instance survey. descriptive anthropology. experimental research and interviews. These methods can be used as stipulations for experimentation or conducted at the same time to add cogency to the survey.