Research questions: how to approach a study, with examples

Research questions are the first step to take before starting to study something that intrigues us. In science, knowing how to specify the goal of a research is necessary to know in which direction the research should be designed and with what kind of methodologies can be explained.

In psychology and other similar disciplines, such as biology or sociology, many research questions remain unanswered. Below we will see some of them and how it is possible to propose new studies through which we increase our level of knowledge on the subject in question.

    Research questions: the starting point for any study

    The function of the research questions is to specify the unknown to be revealed (Or partially disclosed, in most cases). It is also important to know how to identify the problem and to specify what is not part of it, to avoid confusing similar concepts.

    For example, if we want to know what influence the fact of having lived in the same household with his biological father and mother during childhood has on the development of a person’s intelligence, we cannot ask the next question.

    How does living with a family during the first years of life affect intelligence in adulthood?

    In this case, the concept “family” it’s too ambiguous, And working with it can completely skew the search results. In addition, “the first years of life” is not an enlightening concept, it is much more convenient to materialize by proposing, for example, a period of 11 years from birth to puberty, approximately.

    The operationalization of the initial doubt

    Scientific research always having a necessarily reductionist point (we are interested in knowing a very specific plot of reality, and not others), the research questions give way to other sub-questions which further specify what to do. what we want to answer. like that, he goes from a general doubt to more specific doubts which, taken together, help answer the first.

    In this case, these lower hierarchy research questions than the first could be:

    • How does coexistence with birth parents in the first 11 years of life affect crystallized intelligence?
    • How does coexistence with birth parents affect fluid intelligence in the first 11 years of life?
    • How does living with birth parents in the first 11 years of life in IC affect?

    Examples of research questions to develop

    Given the logic and purpose of the research questions, let’s take a look at some examples of scientific mysteries that might surprise us in the future.

    Of course, these are strangers posed in a general and abstract waySo that everyone who wants to do research has to narrow it down further to fit what is of most interest.

    1. Are the mechanisms of memory based on synapses or the storage of molecules in neurons?

    Although the first theory is the most accepted, some researchers believe that our memories they are not models of articular activation of neuronsBut are individual elements that can be found in each nerve cell separately.

      2. Is there one intelligence or several?

      It is a doubt that lasts for decades, if not centuries, if we consider the work of philosophers. There are several propositions that there is not a single biological element that determines who is smarter than another, but a collection of these that function relatively independently. An example is found in Howard Gardner’s proposition on multiple intelligences or in Sternberg’s theory.

      3. What causes gender dysphoria?

      Many transgender people suffer greatly from the perception that their gender identity does not match the observable characteristics of their body. It is not known if the root of this problem is biological or cultural., Or how well the two components combine.

        4. Does decision making happen unconsciously?

        While we often associate decision-making with rationality and careful thinking about the intended consequences, there is evidence that we subconsciously make many important decisions and then justify that decision with rationality.

        5. Is male aggression a cultural thing?

        Around the planet, men they are more likely to commit acts of physical violence. This seems to suggest that this is a differentiated fact based on genes, but it is also possible that a universal trait is cultural.

          6. How do human pheromones influence our behavior?

          What we perceive through smell usually has a powerful impact on our mind, but in the case of pheromones, it’s not very clear how they act on us.

          7. What causes autism?

          Part of a mystery is autism spectrum disorder, and its cause is not well known. Of course, it is excluded that they are produced by vaccines, as it is sometimes still recommended today.

          8. How do great apes think?

          The group of primates formed by chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans they are the smartest non-human animals that exist today, and much remains to be known about their thinking.

          9. Can psychopathy be eliminated?

          There are people for whom psychopathy is not a problem, but in some cases it can be a psychological factor that predisposes to harm others. In these cases, how to remove this psychological attribute?

            10. What are the causes of falling in love?

            It has been said that falling in love with someone depends on the contexts in which they live together, and not on the personality and stable characteristics of people. Which of the two explanations prevails?

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