Using the Morris Water Maze to explain the Social Science Inquiry Method
The Inquiry Method for Social Science Research • Social science research looks for patterns in human behaviour as well as connections among those behaviours. • Most frequently asked questions are ‘What happens?’ and ‘Why?’ • You will learn the answers to these questions by using the research methods of social scientists. • Once you understand social science research methods, you will be able to read and analyze the results of research done by others.
How the Inquiry Method Works • 1) Identify the Problem – begin with the topic or issue you want to study. Determine what you already know or THINK you know. The problem states what you need to find out. • 2) Create a Research Question - This forms the basis for your investigation. A good research question states exactly what you want to learn and will suggest how you will conduct the research. • 3 )Develop a hypothesis – a statement of a possible answer to the question which the researcher will attempt to prove or disprove using research.
4) Gather Data - Do an Experiment or Research – Gather the data/information to answer your question. Use surveys, questionnaires, interviews, experiments and/or observations. • It is important to distinguish between fact and opinion. Facts are supported with evidence that everyone can observe. Opinions are based on individual observations or experiences. • 5) Analyze the Data – Organize the data so you can compare, analyze and summarize the information. Look for relationships between the data – these relationships between evidence will help your answer your research question. • 6) Formulate and Communicate Conclusions – Form the conclusions that state how your data answers your question or hypothesis and also how they answered the question ‘Why?’. Sometimes your hypothesis will not be true.
Morris Water Maze • How did you use the Social Science Inquiry Method in the Morris Water Maze Lab?
Research Question • This forms the basis for your investigation and all the evidence for your research report. • A good research question states exactly what you want to learn/research. • It will be based on a cause/independant and effect/dependant relationship of 2 specific variables • Examples from the Water Maze Activity – • Independent Variable? Dependant Variable?
Gathering Data • Methods of Gathering Data: • Primary research = creating your own research using the methods below • Complete an experiment • Interview, Survey, Questionnaire • Case Study, Observation • Gather research already created – called secondary research • Government statistics, research from other scientists experiments… • When you graphed all the timed trials, what did you notice about the relationship between your 2 variables? • Once you gather data, you analyzed the relationship of the 2 variable you were testing
Causal Relationships • Negative correlation --an increase in one variable is matched by a decrease in the other or vise versa Negative Correlation - variables move in opposite directions
Causal Relationships • Positive correlation -- an increase/decrease in one variable is matched by and increase/decrease in the other variable. Positive Correlation - both variables move in same direction
Causal Relationships • Null hypothesis -- no relationship exists. • Spurious correlation -- correlations that are not based on causal connections.
Spongebob Squarepants • Use the following example to create a research question, hypothesis and explanation of how you would gather data • http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20110912/spongebob-study-111209/