By Miriam Schapiro Grosof
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Extra info for A Research Primer for the Social and Behavioral Sciences
3. Can the problem be investigated in a time interval compatible with your answer to Item 1 above? If you have 2 years available, a longitudinal study which requires you to take data over a 2-year period is unsuitable, because no time will be available for analysis and writing-up of results. A survey instrument may take many months to develop and validate, and so forth. 4. What delays can you realistically anticipate? You must allow time for such things as return of questionnaires, replies to inquiries by mail, delivery of equipment, and training of subjects.
If you feel that you must reassess your personal and professional goals, remember that research is a high-risk endeavor in that there is no guarantee in advance that any particular problem will yield a satisfactory solution. You can only do your best. ) • Conflicts arise when mutually incompatible demands are made on the individual. , you must put in so many hours in the library but your family makes demands which must be met) may be unresolvable except on an ad hoc basis. Don't expect any extra consideration from your mentors because you have extra obligations; the most you can expect is an acknowledgment that you have a reason for failing to perform, not an excuse for the failure.
TROUBLE: THE BEST LAID PLANS . . Despite your best efforts and the most meticulous attention devoted to the anticipation and resolution of every possible difficulty, your project may prove, once under way, to be unworkable. 17 The procedure may develop unforeseen difficulties. Sometimes these have theoretical resolutions: a slight shift in the problem formulation, with a corresponding shift in focus to so-called secondary phenomena, or a further refinement in the procedure to eliminate excessively rich and confusing observations, may well permit you to continue within the overall framweork of the original problem.
A Research Primer for the Social and Behavioral Sciences by Miriam Schapiro Grosof