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Research Methodology - Introduction

Qualities Of A Researcher

   Posted On :  20.05.2018 09:16 pm

It is important for a researcher to possess certain qualities to conduct research.

Qualities Of A Researcher:
It is important for a researcher to possess certain qualities to conduct research. First and foremost, he being a scientist should be firmly committed to the ‘articles of faith’ of the scientific methods of research. This implies that a researcher should be a social science person in the truest sense. Sir Michael Foster cited by (Wilkinson and Bhandarkar, 1979) identified a few distinct qualities of a scientist. According to him, a true research scientist should possess the following qualities:

1. First of all, the nature of a researcher must be of the temperament that vibrates in unison with the theme which he is searching. Hence, the seeker of knowledge must be truthful with truthfulness of nature, which is much more important, much more exacting than what is sometimes known as truthfulness. The truthfulness relates to the desire for accuracy of observation and precision of statement. Ensuring facts is the principle rule of science, which is not an easy matter. The difficulty may arise due to untrained eye, which fails to see anything beyond what it has the power of seeing and sometimes even less than that. This may also be due to the lack of discipline in the method of science. An unscientific individual often remains satisfied with the expressions like approximately, almost, or nearly, which is never what nature is. A real research cannot see two things which differ, however minutely, as the same.

2. A researcher must possess an alert mind. Nature is constantly changing and revealing itself through various ways. A scientific researcher must be keen and watchful to notice such changes, no matter how small or insignificant they may appear. Such receptivity has to be cultivated slowly and patiently over time by the researcher through practice. An individual who is ignorant or not alert and receptive during his research will not make a good researcher. He will fail as a good researcher if he has no keen eyes or mind to observe the unusual changes behind the routine. Research demands a systematic immersion into the subject matter by the researcher grasp even the slightest hint that may culminate into significant research problems. In this context, Cohen and Negal cited by (Selltiz et al, 1965; Wilkinson and Bhandarkar, 1979) state that “the ability to perceive in some brute experience the occasion of a problem is not a common talent among men… it is a mark of scientific genius to be sensitive to difficulties where less gifted people pass by untroubled by doubt”.
3. Scientific enquiry is pre-eminently an intellectual effort. It requires the moral quality of courage, which reflects the courage of a steadfast endurance. The process of conducting research is not an easy task. There are occasions when a research scientist might feel defeated or completely lost. This is the stage when a researcher would need immense courage and the sense of conviction. The researcher must learn the art of enduring intellectual hardships. In the words of Darwin, “It’s dogged that does it”.
In order to cultivate the afore-mentioned three qualities of a researcher, a fourth one may be added. This is the quality of making statements cautiously. According to Huxley, the assertion that outstrips the evidence is not only a blunder but a crime (Thompson, 1975). A researcher should cultivate the habit of reserving judgment when the required data are insufficient.


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