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MGPE-015: Introduction to Research Methods

MGPE-015: Introduction to Research Methods

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MGPE-015/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: MGPE-015

Assignment Name: Introduction to Research Methods

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer five questions in all, selecting at least two questions from each section. Each question is to be answered in about 500 words. Each question carries 20 marks.




Q1) What are the difficulties a researcher faces in Social Science Research?

Ans) The difficulties a researcher faces in Social Science Research are as follows:


Problem of Finding Good Investigators: Without an honest investigator, no study can succeed. Finding competent social researchers is a serious challenge in this field. A successful researcher should possess both rational and emotional traits. He shouldn't let his biases influence the study. He needs to be committed to the cause he has taken on for himself. The biggest problem is actually that it's hard to locate scholars who can operate with missionary enthusiasm. It is a common complaint that social research researchers "do not take the trouble of going to the field for gathering first-hand knowledge" and "cook the material."


Problem of Collecting Information: The challenge of gathering information is another. A researcher's job is to gather data from people. Most of the time, the population is unwilling to work with researchers. They are not interested in either the research or the interest. They don't see any reason to reveal the information. A researcher can be mistaken for a government employee and end up misusing the data that was once given to him. He may find that the persons he is interested in are frequently unavailable to provide information. Since he is a person with prejudices of his own, he may withhold or inflate information, neither of which will further his objectives.


Dependence on Others: Another issue with conducting sociological research is dependence. A researcher cannot complete every task alone. He must work with the investigators. Similar to this, he is required to gather information from those who may not be eager to cooperate and supply information. He might not be willing to spend any time with the researcher and might not be ready to treat the researcher with the same respect as the investigator. He must likewise rely on others to tabulate, analyse, and interpret data.


Problem of Analysing Data: The challenge facing social researchers continues even after the data has been collected. The researcher's conclusions would always depend on how the data were interpreted. Typically, data is analysed through analytics in a way that meets the user's preferences and attitudes. Finding an analyst that does not introduce bias when reading and analysing data is typically tough.


Problem of Questionnaire: The issue of creating a questionnaire comes if the investigator is using a questionnaire to investigate a topic. The researcher is expected to create a questionnaire that can only receive a positive or negative response. Such words and phrases that create a communication gap between what is meant and what is communicated shouldn't be utilised in the questionnaire. Similar problems occur when a questionnaire is not designed with an eye on interpretation, analysis, or the data that will be gathered using it.


Temptation for Generalisation: When an investigator or researcher is tempted to generalise research findings, they often overlook that there are significant differences between investigators as well as between societies in terms of people's behaviours, social conditions, and settings.


Q2) What is the difference between Survey Research and Evaluation Research?

Ans) The difference between Survey Research and Evaluation Research are as follows:


Survey Research

These days, this kind of research is highly well-liked as a scientific tool for learning about the pertinent effects and interactions between social and psychological variables from certain populations. Survey research analyses samples taken from both large and small groups to determine the relative prevalence, distribution, and relationships between sociological and psychological characteristics. Using sampling techniques, survey research can be successful with populations of any size. It won't be incorrect if survey research is also referred to as sample survey research.


Along with the growth of sampling theory and its various techniques, survey research has evolved as a research activity. This form of research has the advantage of connecting sample investigations with populations, which makes it simple to examine population behaviour using sample survey research evaluations. The majority of survey research is devoted to examining the traits of the populations being studied.


For the goals of inquiry through the social groups from any chosen population, the inter-relationships of sociological, psychological, and attitudinal factors are framed in the field of social sciences. Individuals' beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours are recorded as part of this process, and their effects on the population as a whole are subsequently objectively investigated. Survey research can be expanded to incorporate economic variables in order to estimate the incidence and distribution of welfare activities from an economic point of view. Survey research is not only intended for sociological and psychological study alone.


Evaluation Research

The list of research kinds recently expanded to include evaluation research. This field of research might be considered a by-product of developmental programming, which has been widely used in recent years, especially following the Second World War, when the majority of Third World nations first entered the development arena. In order to accurately measure the impact of any such programmes, this type of research is mostly focused on evaluating the performance of developmental projects and other economic programmes that have already been put into place.


Project evolutions have increased in frequency over the past few years as a result of the definition of evaluation, which is regarded to represent a full idea of measurement. The evaluation is done in light of a program's main goals and more general modifications. In addition to focusing on a project's tangible results, evaluation also considers the extent to which it has affected the attitudes, interests, cognitive styles, work habits, sociocultural adaptation, and psychodynamics of the people it was launched in or around.


Q3) There are different types of approaches through which we can understand the Social Problems. Discuss the Gandhian approach to understand Social Problems.

Ans) Gandhi was a social scientist because he pursued social truth using the scientific process, which includes observation, intuitive and rational hypotheses, and experimental testing. He once admitted to Richard Gregg that he didn't think many Western scientists were particularly thorough since they weren't willing to test their own theories. The pervasive and challenging societal issues that he has worked particularly hard on are:


Poverty and Unemployment

Gandhi advocated the resurgence of hand-carding, hand-spinning, and hand-weaving textiles as well as the growth of other handicrafts as a solution to the issues of poverty and unemployment. Indians trained in Western and urban styles in India also strongly and widely condemn the validity of this proposal. The fact that the peasants in India are utterly inactive for periods of three to six months at a time due to the country's climate which has a concentrated brief rainy season, and a long period of heat and dryness is understood well in India but little elsewhere. They are unable to cultivate the hard soil, nor can they sow or reap, during the hottest part of the day.


Violence between Individuals, Groups and Nations

Gandhi was well aware of the violence that exists between people, organisations, and countries. He put all of his energies towards stopping this bloodshed. The force of non-violent tactics of resistance is the power of life, of the unquenchable spirit; to return violence for violence is to stoop to the level of the dictator, who knows power only in terms of death and ruin. Gandhi freed the soul of India via his teachings; from filthy and subservient slaves, they were transformed into men once more, walking toward their ultimate national liberation without resorting to the despicable methods of their oppressors and with their heads held high.


Disunity and Friction between Social Groups

Gandhi had accomplished much in convincing divided social groups to reconcile their differences, particularly in the case of the Harijan reform. There is no other country where the voluntary and genuine trend toward social unity has been as strong as it has been here. Gandhi believed that the issue of Hindu-Muslim unity was equally as essential as the fight to end untouchability. He frequently proclaimed that India would be covered in rivers of blood if this issue were not resolved. He also believed that our fight for liberation depended on the harmony between Hindus and Muslims. Gandhi's goal, according to him, was to directly encounter the Universal Spirit of Truth.



Gandhi started a programme called Nai Talim in the field of popular education. As a result, Nai Talim was defined as education for life, through life, and throughout life, and education became life-centred rather than text-book-centred. Pre-basic, basic, post-basic, university, and social education were created in Nai Talim. Pre-Basic education was the portion of nursery school for children aged 7 to 15; Post-Basic education was high school; and Social education evolved into adult education in its broadest and most applicable sense. According to this plan, all education will be delivered to students through some sort of handicraft, with all desirable knowledge being connected to or indicated by the actions and interactions of that specific handicraft.


Sanitation and Public Health, Nutrition

Gandhi firmly believed that the village's criminal neglect was the outcome of the separation of intelligence and labour. There are dung-heaps all over the place rather than lovely hamlets. Many settlements are difficult to approach, which is not a pleasant experience. There are times when the surrounding dirt and offensive scent make one want to close their eyes and stuff their noses. The communities should be made to be shining examples of cleanliness in every way.





Write a short note on each part of the question in about 250 words:


Q1) (a) Source of data in Social Science Research

Ans) Social research data can be obtained from a variety of sources. P.V. Young divided them into two categories:


Documentary Sources

  1. Books: In the books they have authored, several intellectuals have discussed their concepts and theories. For the researcher to understand what has been written about the subject by persons who have carried out a similar research in the past, a study of all such works is important.

  2. Report of Surveys: Governmental and non-governmental organisations occasionally conduct various surveys relating to social issues. Their reports offer the social researcher a wealth of information.

  3. Memoirs: Sometimes, memoirs, autobiographies, life histories, and letters offer helpful information on a variety of social issues. Important people's diaries can provide enlightening information on a variety of issues.

  4. Accounts of Travels: Travelogues are particularly significant in anthropology. The vivid descriptions of native societies and customs provided by travellers to Africa and other less travelled regions of the world can be a valuable resource for anthropological study.

  5. Historical Accounts: History may provide a wealth of data for social science studies. There are two categories of historical accounts: general history and history of a specific phenomenon.


Field Sources

  1. Direct Observation: This approach has the researcher observe the phenomenon and gather the information they need. An experiment or a natural field setting are both acceptable forms of observation.

  2. Information from the Informants: The only approach to gather information is through an interview if the phenomenon cannot be witnessed or if having an observer present is not feasible. You can obtain information through an interview by contacting the informant directly or by asking him to respond to a series of questions by mail.

  3. Information from Witness: Commissions and committees employ this technique. With this approach, the committee makes contact with those who are believed to have sufficient understanding of the subject rather than the individuals about whom the inquiry is being conducted.


Q1) (b) Field Investigation Research

Ans) A field experiment is a research study done in the actual world where the researcher manipulates one or more independent variables under the most tightly controlled conditions possible. There is a major load on the experiment because most field investigations must operate with less control than laboratory experiments. The independent variables may be significantly influenced by uncontrolled environmental factors, while the investigator himself works under a variety of conditions and may occasionally run into uncomfortable situations. A few advantages that are considered to be unique to this field of study are often attributed to a field experiment.


These benefits can be enumerated because the variables in a field experiment operate more powerfully than those used in laboratory research. This is as a result of field studies evaluating real-world natural processes. Field experiments also have the advantage of enabling researchers to explore the dynamics of interactions more extensively among small groups of variables. Field research is a great way to test hypotheses and identify answers to issues that arise in the real world. A practical issue in this research area is the randomization of units in the given population. If the area of interest has not been selected objectively and scientifically, investigations may not proceed in the direction the researcher wants. Dependent variables are frequently not responsive to changes in independent factors as a result of the interaction between dependent and independent variables.

Q2) (a) Poverty and Unemployment

Ans) Gandhi advocated the resurgence of hand-carding, hand-spinning, and hand-weaving textiles as well as the growth of other handicrafts as a solution to the issues of poverty and unemployment. Indians trained in Western and urban styles in India also strongly and widely condemn the validity of this proposal. Presumably, the existence of a technical system is for the advantage of the vast majority of those who live inside it. It is not foolish for a significant minority to adopt another method of technology that will actually enhance their economic situation if the given technology does not help that minority. When a particular technology no longer meets the material demands of millions of people, it becomes a dead end for them, and it would be foolish of them to continue along that path until they could find a genuine exit that was within their power.


The social purpose of labour is now much more primitive than it was when handicraft was the norm thanks to modern industrialism. If at anything, our practical practise of moral unity has advanced little from its handicraft level. We must acknowledge and act upon the belief that human society is a one entity, and we must select communication channels, tools, and procedures that would reflect this unity in our day-to-day activities. Gandhi's plan did not exclude technology or science. It attempted to introduce basic machinery to the unemployed, a pool of labour that is currently underutilised. In a time when there are already a lot of difficulties, using that specific form of machinery won't lead to too many severe new social and economic issues.


Q2) (b) Hypothesis Framing

Ans) Gathering as many observations as you can about the issue you're seeking to study is the initial stage. After that, reflect on your findings and determine how they might apply to the issue. Try to produce explanations for your observations. As soon as you have a theory, consider whether it may be refuted through an experiment. You have created a hypothesis if it could be disproven. Return to your data and attempt to develop a different hypothesis if there is no way to disprove it.

  1. Collecting Observations: Several observations have been made in the problem description up top. Reread this description and identify the sentences that constitute observations.

  2. Evaluating the Observations: Review the list you created in step 1, then. Consider the observations that might point to the source of the issue. Your hypothesis will benefit from these observations.

  3. Imagining Possible Explanations: Think of as many ideas as you can for why the flowerpot was pushed off the windowsill using the list you created in step 2. Keep in mind that neither one of the observations you provided in steps 1 and 2 can be refuted by an explanation.

  4. Judging Which Explanations are Hypotheses: Examine the options you listed in step 3 for solutions. Consider experiments that could show the solutions to be false. For instance, you could carry out the straightforward experiment of closing the window for a day if one of your hypotheses was that your plant was blown over by the wind. It is a valid hypothesis since an experiment might be used to refute this explanation.

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