Saturday, November 22, 2014

Is research perfect?

Research is one of the most essential sources of human growth into an advanced civilization. Time and again, man has used research as his tool to organize and optimize his resources, both as individual and as civilization. The research per se can be on any topic at all, regardless of the results being positive or negative; research is of as much benefits with negative results, telling the researcher either not to choose a specific route or to categorically prevent catastrophes. Research, being an iterative process, continues over time and has to be repeated while it corrects the previous data available and as well as providing new theories. The acceptance of this fact alone is enough to say that research is not only “not-perfect”, but also not supposed to be perfect in order for more research to occur.

The reasons for a research not being perfect can vary from simple facts and figures themselves, their accuracy, the proportions of them being used in the samples, present theories and relative science to mere possible existence of the facts and scientific processes physically.

It is the most often made unavoidable error in population research that the sample size and group being used from the population can not be perfect. The data obtained from a sample size can not accurately represent the whole population even if taken in the same proportion and group format. The reason for this can simply be human diversity, if it is about a human population, or mathematical variability in probability. Perfection in this respect can only be assumed if the research takes into account the whole population of things/species into account and yet other types of imperfections will be there.

Human error is the next most repetitive one. A scientific research done by different individuals often yields different results and this kind of error is curbed by comparing results and doing further research, hence going in to the same iterative cycle of research. This might also tangentially involve deliberate bias from the researcher. Such imperfection, though not known as “human error”, is attributed to humans for not having a neutral point of view as each individual and then each society see things from their own perspective be it morality, politics, sociology or simple interpretation as a society. Such diversity in human societies and individuals results in the research being non homogeneous but on the contrary it provides break-through in ways that a homogeneous research could never have provided.

Systematic errors from the equipment and tool issues are often there as well which can be easily removed in case of simple tools having zero errors but are much more difficult to track and eliminate in complex algorithms involving space and computational technology. Such errors have further amounted to imperfections in research mostly in the modern and information age. From the start of time, human use of tools is significantly notice able and the research work has been continued and repeated by civilizations often while others diverge into their own unique ways.

Imperfection is the beauty of the universe. With nothing created perfect and imperfections making everything stronger, starting from the micro level of the materials physics to the macro study of the human diversity, research’s very own imperfection makes it a perfect process to develop in to uniquely diverse directions where mistakes develop into new foundations of a different branch of science. Evidence from these facts not only support the fact that research can not be perfect but also provide insight on the perspective that imperfect research is the bases of leaping ahead.


Fink, Anne. "The Role of the Researcher in the Qualitative Research Process. A Potential Barrier to Archiving Qualitative Data." Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 1.3 ( 2000): n. page. Web. 16 May. 2012.

Mehra, Beloo. Bias in qualitative research: Voices from an online classroom. The Qualitative Report, 7(1). 2002. Web. 22 August 2010.

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