? Describe the scientific method and the fundamentals of research. Address each of the following:
o Define the scientific method. How does it relate to human services research?
o Define mixed method research and describe its strengths. Provide an example of when it is appropriate to apply mixed method research in the human services field.
o Summarize how scientifically sound research supports the function of a human services manager.
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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones
In the social sciences, a theory signifies a conjecture or a hypothesis arrived at using scientific methods. When we say scientific method, it means that the 'hypothesis' of the theory was tested following set rules in terms of data gathering, testing and analysis (hypothesis > research planning/experiment design > data gathering/field observation > data analysis/data tests > retests/revalidation of results/results analysis > conclusion which includes validation/invalidation of the hypothesis> publication of results). In the social sciences though, the concern is to arrive at theories that 'can explain' phenomenon more than theories that can be 'universally used'. Unlike in mathematics where a theory can be universal, like x=c²+b² where all the variables can be accounted for, the Social World is an Open system, meaning, not all variables can be accounted for or controlled. Therefore, social theories are used to 'solve' social phenomenon - events that require an explanation to arrive at a solution. Take for instance the problem of migration. Migration is a social phenomenon that social scientists tackle to find solutions to it. This is why the social sciences are of great importance to governments & policy makers. From ...
The solution is an 815-word narrative defining and discussing what the scientific method is all about as a research and and inquiry tool. It also discusses the varied methods used in scientific research including mixed methods and its importance in human services. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing. References, both web and print are listed for easy expansion.