As we have been marching onwards, research has become undeniably indispensable and essential for advancement in myriad fields. It has produced a lot of useful innovations in science and technology, and in all other fields such as in psychology, political science, and in economics. Hence, since it has become a great deal for humankind to produce knowledge, it has been a constant aspiration for us to enhance methods or processes of research. Although research results may appear promising, nevertheless, their reliability or validity has always been threatened with the presence of errors and biases in the study. Thus, it has been argued that there is no hope of doing a perfect research.
Research, as defined by the Research Council of Nipissing University, “is any original and systematic investigation undertaken in order to increase knowledge and understanding and to establish facts and principles”. In addition, it also means “studious inquiry; usually, critical and exhaustive investigation or experimentation having for its aim the reversion of accepted conclusions, in the light of newly discovered facts”. Research has several types—generally; it can either be qualitative or quantitative. Moreover, it can either be historical, experimental, quasi-experimental, causal-comparative, case study, or developmental. Among these types, there is definitely no assurance of perfection of neither the research process nor the results. In fact, there are two types of errors which have been associated with common forms of research—random and systematic. Random errors occur “in essentially all quantitative studies and can be minimized but cannot be avoided”. Such errors can occur due to sampling variability or measurement precision. Hence, apparently, quantitative researches are not devoid of flaws. Systematic errors, on the other hand, are “reproducible inaccuracies that produce consistently fake patterns of differences between observed and true values”. Furthermore, aside from those errors which threaten the reliability or validity of the results, biases also affect the results of the research study. Selection, measurement and intervention are different categories of bias. Having such errors and biases ever present in research, there is no hope of doing a perfect research.
In our undergraduate research study, entitled “The Effect of the (NFA) National Food Authority Rice Subsidy Program ‘Tindahan Natin’ on the Political Attitudes of the Rural Poor Household Beneficiaries in Barangay Caraudan, Janiuay, Iloilo”, we have realized that it was not a perfect research even if we tried so hard to made it such. As our study described the food security situation in a rural village where NFA is in operation, it was necessary for us to compare different respondent groups. The study employed the Quasi-Experimental Method, specifically, non-equivalent control group (NCGP). Later, it was found out during the research process that our respondents or subjects have been receiving benefits from other food subsidy programs of the Philippine government. Given the extreme particularity of the topic of our study, other government programs such as Gulayan na Masa, livestock, crop and irrigation productivity, and food-for-school program (FSP), threatened the validity of the results of the research. Since the study analyzes whether or not the Tindahan Natin Program (independent variable) affects the political attitudes (dependent variable) of its rural poor beneficiaries, the presence of other interventions have affected the validity of the results.
Furthermore, another instance of bias, now it would be researcher’s bias—is the selection of topic for research papers. Being environmentalists, me and my partner chose the topic “The Effects of Global Climate Change on the Status of Sinking States”. As our paper was definitely a qualitative research, we were then preoccupied of gathering facts or arguments in favor of our position. We have overlooked the scope of our research because of our personal biases.
Hence, with such foregoing experiences in my past research studies, I agree with the submission that there is no hope of doing a perfect research. As Scheurich (1994) puts it, “one’s historical position, one’s class (which may or may not include changes over the course of a lifetime), one’s race, one’s gender, one’s religion, and so on, interact and influence, limit and constrain production of knowledge”. With the constant threat of errors and biases, there is no hope of doing a perfect research.
Guyette, Susan (1983). Community-Based Research: A Handbook for Native Americans,
Retrieved [30 Mar 2010], from
Mehra, B. (2002, March). Bias in qualitative research: Voices from an online classroom.
The Qualitative Report, 7(1). Retrieved [30 Mar 2010], from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR7-1/mehra.html
Nipissing University (2008, Jan). Definition of Research used by the University Research
Council. Retrieved [30 Mar 2010],
 Nipissing University (2008, Jan). Definition of Research used by the University Research Council. Retrieved [30 Mar 2010],
 Guyette, Susan (1983). Community-Based Research: A Handbook for Native Americans , Retrieved [30 Mar 2010]
 Mehra, B. (2002, March). Bias in qualitative research: Voices from an online classroom. The Qualitative Report, 7(1). Retrieved [30 Mar 2010], from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR7-1/mehra.html