Applied research methods
Social scientists are normal people, often loaded with prejudices against or in favour of the subjects of their studies. In the course of their investigations they will meet people whose prejudices in turn prevent the expression of their real concern. Discussions on power will arouse strong bias and a study of power therefore requires a very high grade of objectivity and most careful checking of data. The experimental method is the best in such cases (cf. ref. 24, pp. 89–100 and ref. 53, pp. 34–46), the more so, because the aim was to analyze conditions and consequences of inequality in power and the struggle for power from the angle of carefully formulated hypotheses about relations between particular causes and effects. Many investigations were carried out in the laboratory, enabling us to simulate microsystems of inequality in power. A few studies were directed at microsystems (refs. 26 and 52) or macrosystems (refs. 32 and 38) in social reality. We also performed action research (change projects) which have so far rarely been suitable for publication (one single example: ref. 28). I believe that field studies should be included in a well-composed package of methods, the most important factor of a field study being the fact that it will corroborate the relevance of confirmed connections.
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