Problem Identification: Definition, Examples, Parts, Steps

Problem identification – Problem identification is a very important first step in a research process. When a researcher captures a phenomenon that has the potential to be studied, the next step is to urge an identification of the problem of the phenomenon being observed.

In a social research, the process of identifying the problem itself can be done by detecting a social problem that is being observed. From there, the researcher will then take steps to find out more, either by making various observations, reading literature, or even conducting an initial survey.

Identification of problems in a study is a step taken by a researcher at the beginning of the research. Researchers themselves will identify problems by explaining in advance what problems are found and how these problems will be measured and related to a research procedure.

The following will explain how and what research problem identification is carried out. The explanation that will be conveyed is also a brief version of the explanation accompanied by examples. Check out the more detailed explanation below.

Definition of Problem Identification

Problem identification is part of the research process which can be understood as an effort to define the problem and make the definition more measurable as a first step in research. In short, by identifying the problem then is defining the research problem.

For example, when you observe children playing in the sand in the school yard. When observing them, ideas will usually arise about the level of intelligence or thinking abilities of children, which are generally different.

At first glance, some of these children look smarter than other children, for example when building sand castles or sandcastles. Curiosity that will lead to the desire to do research on different levels of intelligence of children.

The observed intelligence and intelligence are different is the problem to be studied. The process of identifying problems regarding children’s intelligence, as stated earlier, is a process of defining how children’s intelligence is.

In other words, you don’t have to just define different levels of intelligence and how that intelligence can be measured in a research study. At this point, it should be noted that the process of identifying problems in research always involves defining a concept (for example, intelligence) and trying to measure this concept.

To identify the problem, we can then define the problem at the different levels of intelligence of the children we observe.

How can the level of intelligence be measured in a study? This level of intelligence can then be measured in various ways, for example assessing fluency in speaking, IQ tests, communication patterns with other children, and so on.

Examples and Explanations About Problem Identification

After the research problem has been identified, that is defined and made measurable, it means that the researcher is quite ready to formulate research questions and collect the various data needed as well as a series of the application of the scientific method.

The scientific method itself can be applied once these problems have been identified. The steps of the scientific method after identifying the problem are making research questions and formulating the problem.

Sequentially, the next process is reading relevant literature, making research designs, conducting research and collecting data and processing data, formulating hypotheses or theoretical frameworks, making conclusions or research findings, the last of which is writing research reports.

Carefully the scientific method procedure itself will identify a problem which is generally located at the very beginning, or even before the problem formulation is applied or before the research questions are prepared.

That is, identifying problems can also be considered as a process of “concocting raw materials” and then “presenting dishes” in the form of problem formulations or research questions. If a problem identification is likened to a cooking process, then the food served is a problem statement.

Intelligence or intelligence in this case is then a concept. To conduct research, it is necessary to change the concept into an operational definition. Operational definitions are derivative concepts that are more specific when applied in the research process.

This explanation may sound complicated. In short is the concept of an intelligence, while the operational definition is at the level of intelligence. So that this level of intelligence can then be operationalized in a research process, we must make the derivative of the concept measurable.

In social research, by making conceptual derivatives that can be measured and called operationalization. There are two terms that need to be known, namely operational definition and operationalization. It should be noted that problem identification often involves efforts to produce operational definitions and operationalizations. Another term that has the same meaning as the operational definition is variable.

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Problem Identification Section

The following are the sections contained in a Problem Identification. Identifying a problem in research always consists of clearly identifying what is the root cause of the problem, and developing a detailed problem statement which then includes the effect of the problem on a phenomenon.

So that this subject and many sources will help a researcher in identifying a more meaningful research problem, including experience, technological change, social change, discussion, theory, literature, and dissatisfaction.

For a research problem to persist, there are a number of core elements that must be embedded. Among them:

  • An individual or in a community or institution or organization related to the problem will occupy a certain geographical area.

For example, factors on teachers or parents that will affect the performance of a student in a private high school in City A. In this study, there are individuals (parents, teachers, students), there are institutions (private high schools), and there are fields of study. (City A).

  • Several goals to be achieved in solving the problem, meaning that there must be several goals in solving the problem. If not, it will be “sick” for some reason and mutual understanding in conducting research.

For example, to find out the teacher or parent factors that influence the academic performance of students in private secondary schools in City A.

  • Some alternative way or way of action to be taken. There must be at least two lines of action, namely achieving goals.

For example, poor academic performance can be directly linked to negative teacher and parent factors. So that it will change the negative teacher factors as well as parents’ factors which become the line of action that must be taken.

Here, the question is “what is the cause of this problem, is it poor academic performance?” In answering this question you should then align several courses of action by previously stating several variables (teacher factors as well as parent factors).

  • On the doubts in the mind of a researcher with respect to the selection of alternatives. This means that research must then answer questions about the relative efficiency of the possible alternatives.
  • There is an environment related to the problem.

Steps to Identify the Problem

Identification of problems in a study is a procedure that is then carried out with the first and most important step and must be carried out by every researcher.

Sometimes the formulation will be a bit difficult for inexperienced researchers or novice researchers to conceptualize a characteristic of a research problem.

In short, the procedure that can be carried out by researchers to identify a problem is to first understand the theories, facts, and ideas raised in the field that has been studied. Researchers are also required to know about research in these fields.

This itself can be obtained through literature reviews, new knowledge that will be related to the interests of researchers can then be obtained through international journals, new books and magazines, target surveys on further research which are given at the end of the research report, as well as research project reviews. and life situations.

Also the relationships built in related research and progressive implications due to an advance in technology and the problem of curiosity in a researcher and the natural interest of the researcher.

To facilitate how the researcher can then choose a problem to build a research study by considering the following points.

1. Deduction from Theory

Deductions and theories are directly related to deductions made from social philosophy or generalizations that are generally contained in the life of people who are familiar with researchers.

This deduction itself consists of human behavior or human behavior which is then matched or adjusted in an empirical frame of reference through a study.

From a theory, the researcher can then formulate a research problem or hypothesis which states the expected findings in a particular empirical situation.

2. Interdisciplinary Perspective

By identifying a problem that forms the basis of this research study, it can then be derived from an academic movement and knowledge originating from disciplines outside the researcher’s main field of study.

This literature review should be related and should include an examination of research from related disciplines, which can then expose the researcher to new avenues of exploration and data analysis techniques.

This interdisciplinary approach used to select research problems offers an opportunity also in building a more comprehensive understanding of the complex issues any discipline may provide.

3. Interviewing Practitioners

Identification of problems regarding a particular research topic can then emerge from a formal or informal discussion with practitioners which will provide insight into new directions for future research and how to make the research findings increasingly relevant to practice.

Discussions with experts in the field, such as social workers, teachers, health care providers, and others. By offering the opportunity to identify practical, “real work” problems that may be understood or overlooked in academic circles.

This approach also provides some practical knowledge which can then assist in a process of designing and conducting research studies.

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4. Personal Experience

The daily experience of the researcher can also create a problem worth investigating. Researchers only need to think critically about their own experiences or are frustrated with the problems being faced by a community, society, or environment that is the object of research.

Examples of Problem Identification Based on Personal Experience For example, from intentional observation of certain relationships that do not have a clear explanation or witnessing an event that is harmful to a person or group or that is unusual.

5. Relevant Literature

Selection of a research problem can often stem from an extensive and thorough review of research related to the researcher’s entire area of ​​interest. This can then reveal where there are gaps in the researcher’s understanding of a topic. Research may also be conducted to:

  • Filling a knowledge gap by Evaluating whether the sample research methodology used in a previous study can be adapted to solve a different problem
  • Determine whether a similar study can be conducted in different subject areas or applied to different research samples, for example, to a different group of people.
  • In addition, researchers can also conclude their study by noting the implications of further research; this can be a valuable source of problems for a researcher to investigate,

Related Books

1. Quantitative Research Methods, Hypothesis Development

Hypothesis development is a crucial step in quantitative research. Hypotheses need to be built on the basis of strong arguments as the basis for proposing the hypothesis.

In practice, especially in theses and dissertations that are being prepared, hypotheses often appear suddenly without starting with strong arguments. After the hypothesis is made properly and correctly, and the data is available to test it, it comes to the step to test the hypothesis.

This book invites readers, especially those who do quantitative research, to develop hypotheses properly and correctly. The hypothesis is then tested using SmartPLS.

The hypothesis that is built is then modeled with a structural model that contains mediators and moderators. The case examples used in this book are taken from cases in the author’s dissertation.

2. Research Data Analysis Using Stata Software

This book is structured to help novice researchers, including undergraduate and masters students who are completing their final project. This book is devoted to discussing how to use Stata software in conducting research data analysis, especially in the social and business fields.

This book begins with a discussion of definitions and an introduction to various types of data in research, terms that are often used in data analysis, and an introduction to the Stata software.

The structure of the subsequent discussion of this book follows the flow of research data analysis as in articles in journals, namely data preparation, presentation of descriptive statistics, and inferential statistics for hypothesis testing.

This book is equipped with illustrated menus and commands for operating Stata software as well as sample datasets that readers can use to practice.

3. Qualitative Research Data Analysis

Qualitative data analysis is one of the difficulties often encountered in the use and practice of qualitative research.

This book tries to answer this problem by first introducing various methods and tools commonly used in the management and analysis of qualitative data.

Illustrations and brief examples are given based on the author’s experience when compiling a doctoral thesis and for the first time using a qualitative research approach. This assumption is used because the target of this book is researchers who have just started learning to use a qualitative approach and need references to management and analysis of qualitative data.

The contents of this book begin with a brief description of qualitative research, followed by a discussion of collecting and processing qualitative data. Presentation on Coding Techniques both in general and according to Grounded Theory gets quite a portion of the discussion space.

This is because Coding is a qualitative data analysis technique that is quite popular. Discussion of analytical tools is complemented by Content Analysis and Analytical Memos. The next section starts to touch on efforts to maintain the quality of qualitative research, namely by Triangulation and Mixed Methods.

The use of computer applications as a qualitative data analysis tool is discussed in the next section. This book then ends with a discussion of Qualitative Research Ethics and efforts to maintain the quality of qualitative research.

4. Analysis and Interpretation of Qualitative Research Data

This book was written especially to meet the needs of students who are completing their final project by carrying out a qualitative research approach. Apart from that, it is hoped that this book will also be useful for lecturers when guiding students in writing theses, theses and dissertations and especially also for researchers who carry out qualitative research.

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