In 1998, Griffiths (97) asserted that there is no hope of doing perfect research. This statement has remained a contested one with forces in its support as well as against it advancing their views. In order that this paradox is effectively explored, it is important to understand the true meaning of the word research. The term research is defined as the careful inquiry or investigation by searching or looking for unknown facts about a particular category of knowledge (Lichtman 7). On the other hand, the word "perfect" simply means the completeness of something. In its literal meaning, researching refers to the act of looking through a previously done study in order to come up with new findings that had not been identified in the previous search of knowledge. When the statement by Griffiths (97) is critically evaluated, one can conclude that there is no hope of one conducting research that can be said to be perfect.
The main goal for carrying any research is to find the hidden truth that has not yet been discovered and documented. Therefore, this means that if after the initial research is done and the truth is found, then there would be no need for another research which would then dispute the original truth. This further implies that the original research was not perfect since, even if not disputed, it did leave something out that would later be found during the next research. It may also be argued that since human beings are not the same, there will always be a different way of doing research. Every researcher brings his individual traits into the research which makes the research results to be biased. This further implies that human beings will always leave something out to be discovered by other people. This can heavily be attributed to the way we think and the way we perceive different things. The process of doing research and documentation of findings is always informed by the way the research itself and the research findings there after are perceived by the individual undertaking the research.
The differences in perceptions caused by personality differences are the main influences on the different controversies on different pools of knowledge, and in the quest to put these controversies to rest, research is done by the different people who are in dispute (Lichtman 124). Therefore, the problem still remains that these different people conduct their research with the sole aim of proving their own theories right or those of others wrong hence the continuous need to do more research in the quest to voice a different or a collaborative opinion on what was previously done. This implies that all research is done with the bias of basing it on previous studies, which is then carried on to future studies. The process of doing research is always started with the notion that any previous information on a particular topic, no matter how expansive or informed it was, still lacked perfection, hence research is done to perfect it, but we still find more research being done to further improve what we have done.
It is also important to note that there are many types of research, for instance, qualitative, quantitative, empirical, conceptual, descriptive and analytical research (Lichtman 48). Each of these types of research has its own limitations and pitfalls that make different researchers to come up with different specific information by using different methods of research. However, the problem arises when it comes to proving which type of research is accurate, which is again next to impossible hence the conclusion that none can be said to be perfect. In conclusion, the continuing nature of research where whenever a specific research is done, it leads to further research resulting in a vicious cycle of counter research initiatives. This is an indication that previous research problems had failed to some extent to be classified as perfect hence the need for newer research. Therefore, it is true that there is no hope of ever doing perfect research (Griffiths 97).
Griffiths, Morwenna. Educational research for social justice: getting off the fence. Doing qualitative research in educational settings. New York: Open University Press, 1998. Print.
Lichtman, Marilyn. Qualitative Research in Education: A User's Guide. California: Sage, 2009. Print.