By Miriam Schapiro Grosof
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Extra info for A Research Primer for the Social and Behavioral Sciences
You must accept the guidance and (perhaps very insistent) direction of the committee but at the same time be prepared to receive relatively little support should the project fail to yield acceptable results. Even very experienced mentors may be at a loss to suggest ways to save or repair the study. Sometimes they lack sufficient energy or commitment to try very hard on your behalf, and sometimes the problem is truly unworkable in ways that could not have been foreseen. Perhaps the only unresolvable problem a doctoral student has to face in dealing with a committee is that of the unresponsive advisor.
Nuts and Bolts Simon (1969, 1978): very practical, very basic; deals with many of the topics of this chapter. Allen (1960); Smith (1963): both of these discuss criteria for funding of research proposals. 3 The Background of the Problem: Review of the Literature Introduction You cannot begin your work until you know what has already been done. In your final write-up you must, at the very least, report on and discuss published material which supports your conjectures and is confirmed by your findings.
Medawar (1979, Chapter 11) has some instructive examples of exploiting negative results. The doctoral student may discover that his committee feels otherwise, and has quite different criteria for acceptability of a study. Editorial boards are usually unwilling to accept reports of negative findings: see Smart's (1964) survey of published articles. See also pp. 393ff. 20 Entirely apropos is the following: "Equality is not when a female Einstein gets promoted to assistant professor; equality is when a female schlemiel moves ahead as fast as a male schlemiel" (Ewald B.
A Research Primer for the Social and Behavioral Sciences by Miriam Schapiro Grosof