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What is Problem

When we have already collected some knowledge and that knowledge indicates that there is something we do not know.It may be that we simply do not have enough information to answer a question, it may be that the knowledge that we have in such a state of disorder that it cannot be adequately related to the question.In either case we have a problem .

Making Problem Research-able
Formulation of Research Problem

What is research problem?

An interrogation sentence or statement that asks;
"What relation exists between two or more variables".?

Kerlinger 1973 presents three criteria that good problems must meet.

1. The variables in the problem should express a relation.This was contained in the definition of problem.
2. The second criteria is that "the problem should be stated in question form...the statement should begin with what".
3. The third criteria one that most frequently distinguishes a research-able from a non-researchable problem states that "the problem statement should be such as to imply possibilities of empirical testing".

Specificity of the Question

In formulating a problem specificity of the research question is an important consideration.Think of the difficulties facing the experimenter asking the following question."What effect dose the environment have on learning ability? This question meets all the criteria of a problem and yet it is stated in such a vague way that the investigator could not pinpoint what was to be investigated.The concept of environment and learning ability are vague (What environmental characteristics? Learning of what?)
The experimenter must specify what is meant by environment and by learning ability to be able to conduct the experiment contrast this question which the following:

"What effect does the amount of exposure to words have on the speed with which they are learned?"

This question specifies exactly what the problem is.
A specific statement helps to ensure that the experimenters understand the problem.If the problem is vaguely stated the experimenters probably do not know exactly what they want to study and therefore may design a study that will not provide a solution to the problem. A specific problem statement also assists in the decisions that must be made about such factors as subjects, apparatus, instruments and measures.

Formulation of the Hypothesis

After the completing of four sources of hypothesis i-e Theory, Everyday life, Practical issues and Past research, then someone should record the statement of problem.The problem should be stated in question form.These someone should begin formulating the hypothesis.Hypothesis serve a valuable function.Always hypothesis derived from knowledge obtained from the theory, everyday life experiences, practical issues and past research.Such prior knowledge serves as the basis for the hypothesis.If the experiment confirms the hypothesis then in addition to providing an answer to the question asked, it gives to the additional support to the literature that suggested the hypothesis.
But what if the hypothesis is not confirmed by the experiment then either the hypothesis false or some error exists in the conception of the hypothesis.Failure to support a hypothesis may indicate that something is wrong and its up to the experimenter to discover what it is.Once the experimenter uncovers what he thinks is wrong, a new hypothesis is made to be tested experimentally. Even if the hypothesis is false, knowledge has been advanced we must formulate another hypothesis to test in order to reach a solution to the problem.

Characteristics of the Hypothesis
  • Must be testable.
  • Should be in general harmony with other hypothesis in the field of investigation.
  • Should be parsimonious.
  • Should answer (be relevant to) the particular problem dressed and not some other one.
  • Should have logical simplicity.
  • Should be expressed in quantified form.
  • Should have a large number of consequences and should be general in scope.
  • Hypothesis are never absolutely true or false but have a determine-able degree of probability.
  • Hypothesis are basically stated as general implications.

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