Methods Of Inquiry Essay
The method is usually based on gathering evidence that is observable, measurable and empirical. In other words, these are the ways that the investigator uses to gather information for a case that is being investigated. The information can be gathered from the witnesses or victims. The methods of inquiry include the following; the tenacity method, authority method, rational method and the empiricism method (Prunckun, 2010).
The second method is authority method. When this type of method is used, the investigator only relies on information given by an expert, but the information should be within the subject area. However, this method is accompanied by a number of challenges. First, the expert might be biased. Secondly, the answers given by the experts represent subjective opinion and not the true knowledge. Further, the expert’s statements are never questioned, and there is an assumption that people status is transferable in other fields (Bloesch, 2005).
In addition, the third method is rational method. This method involves finding of solutions following logical reasoning. The arguments that the method uses consists of premises as well as the conclusions. When the premises given are true and the reasoning follows a logic flow, then it is more likely that the conclusion is also true. The problems associated with this method are as follows. In order to have a conclusion, the premises must be correct, otherwise, there is no conclusion that can be drawn. Another problem is that it is difficult to find people who are good in logical reasoning.
The last method is the empiricism, which uses observations in order to make conclusions. The problems associated with this method are that it is not possible to actually believe in everything we see. The observations can as well be misinterpreted, the method is considered dangerous and one’s perception on something relies on knowledge, feelings, expectations and beliefs.
The Scientific Method
The method refers to an approach that helps in acquiring knowledge containing several elements of the already discussed methods above. The aim of this method is to avoid the shortcomings of the individual methods used. The science method involves a number of steps as outlined below.
The first step is observation of behavior and other phenomena. This usually involves informal observations and inductive reasoning. That is, use of very few observations to come up with the general statement. The second step involves formation of hypothesis. This refers to a possible explanation that intends to be tested and later evaluated. The third step is whereby the hypothesis generates a prediction that can be tested. The hypothesis is usually more concrete and specific when compared to the original hypotheses. The fourth step involves evaluation of the prediction by making both systematic and planned observations. This step involves collection of data. The fifth step entails the use of the observations to support and refine original hypotheses. Here, a comparison is made between the results obtained in step 4 and the prediction that were made in step 3. From the results obtained, decide whether the hypotheses made initially can be considered either true or false. In conclusion, after making a decision whether the hypothesis was true or false, a decision is made on what aspects of the hypotheses should be further tested. This actually starts the whole process again (Wilson, 1990).
Bloesch, D. G. (2005). A theology of word & spirit: Authority & method in theology.
Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press.
Prunckun, H. (2010). Handbook of scientific methods of inquiry for intelligence analysis.
Lanham: Scarecrow Press.
Wilson, E. B. (1990). An introduction to scientific research. New York: Dover Publications.