Things to consider 04: does your research make sense or not ?

This absolutely for beginners. For those who has to start, in someway, their research for their final thesis or small research project, remember this : research is all about logic !

I know that starting a research project is daunting task for some students (or most of them?). You guys thinking too much. Start with the easy way. Step by step and move to bigger and detailed picture.

Well, actually, it help alot if you already read tons of papers (journal articles). I found that the beginner always have difficulties to swallow the fact and opinion, and also having difficulties in using their logic when it comes to discuss the research. It is like they think in separate dimension, in silo.
You should train this, use your logic, by questioning everything you think with the word “why, what, and how”. And then answer that questions by your self.

In the sample below, I will try to explain simple logic in starting a research for the first time. What need to be seen and consider …

Sample One
If you want to know how satisfaction rate of a zoo visitor, then for me, I would think about “how do i know the satisfied is the visitor”. Means that you need a tools to measure satisfaction, which is a questionnaire. This questionnaire have to be able to measure or exactly able to know the satisfaction. And it is always better to use the standardize measuring tools. Just like when you need to measure your height, use the measuring tape (either in cm or inches). I will avoid creating a new measuring tools for beginners, since it will take a lot of research it self.

The next thing you have to consider is, choosing the sample. Choosing the person that you will need to ask and fillin the form. Well, don’t choose it because you want to ask certain person only. That will make bias. Random choose is always the best. The chance that you will get all of the type of person (satisfied and also not satisfied) will be bigger. If you only choose 4 people that goes together in one car (because the park next to your car), the chance is they will have same experience and the same satisfaction level. You have to avoid this.
You should consider to choose randomly when the visitor is exiting from the gate. You can use, for example, asking every fifth person you meet.

After you got what you want, sumarize and check the global trend at the beginning.

Sample Two
This is about finding reading source. Or my student used to say literature review … , well most of the time, they failed to review because they are confused.
Let say they want to information regarding communication between physician and patient.
If you only look for with the key words “communication physician and patient”, you wont get a good result. Why ? Because you have to remember that when doctor doin communication is the part of anamnesis. So, you should consider “anamnesis” as the key word (don’t forget using BOOLEAN logic search).

What else ? Well, physician sometimes have to brought up a bad news for the family, therefor “breaking bad news” could be one of the keywords. And of course in anamnesis, they have to do with full heart, “empathy” and using “expression”.
See, now you know that in order to search about communication between doctor-patient, you can think about the activity process during the anamnesis.

Sample Three
I love this sample, the idea is coming from “MythBuster”. They want to know whether the perception of good looking of a man is depends on who he is, where his work at. And at the same time I remember one of my supv paper that measuring the effect of the nurse who taking care of patient while he/she measure the mouth opening. Turn out a person, who did the measuring procedure, can make different on the pain level on certain mandibular disorder. They are creating “error” in measurement (statistical terms, please don’t confuse).

Ok move to the method then, how do you know that there is a certain good looking level according to person in particular. It wont be the same for everybody. So, for the first step, we have to make a certain “standard”.
Take a picture of random male. Let say 10 persons. Put it up to the screen. While we invite 20 females randomly chosen to watch the pictures. Let them mark from the scale 1-10, with 1 is so-so, and 10 is very good looking. If you put the average of all of the ladies, we can say that we had the “good looking” level of the men.

Well, all in all, those three samples are just simple way of using our senses or logic in our research. It might still difficult for my student who is doing it for the first time. But don’t give, you can discuss that with your supv.

Enjoy your research.