The Inquiry Model for Social Sciences

Research does not happen overnight. Even the start of an experiment or research takes take. There are several stages a social scientists requires to go through to conduct thorough research. Of course every research and report requires a purpose and an ethical intent. The eight stages a social scientist goes through will be revealed in this post. It includes the initial experience, the inquiry questions, alternatives, data, forming a hypothesis, assessing the hypothesis, expressing the conclusion, and the final evaluation.

The Initial Experience

This is what draws the social scientist drawn to this topic or area of human behaviour. Their interest is piqued, thus creating the urge to learn and research ore about the topic of area of human behaviour. Without the initial experience, the idea of the study would not have came to mind. This curiousity about human behaviours will later develop into a formal study.

Inquiry Questions

This is when the researcher poses a question about the topic or area of human behaviour that is piqued. Without questions, the researcher would be taking down information that cannot be used for their own report. The research conducted would be aimless and unorganized. To conduct research or an experiment without an inquiry question would be a waste of time, money, and resources.


There will likely be a variety of ways to answer the question asked. Suggesting several alternatives allow the researcher to be confident in using the more reliable, ethical, and moral way to answer the question. Even if the first method ends up being the one chosen to conduct the research, having alternatives shows others you have thought out your research and thoroughly weighed the pros and cons. It may make people more confident in your research method.


Of course you cannot have a formal study – or any study – without obtaining any data. (Are we going to the moon or something?) In this stage, as the name suggests, the researcher collects and organizes the information obtained from every research method conducted. The researcher organizes the data by compiling tables and charts. They will observe and conduct surveys to gain this information. When that is done, they will tabulate the results into statistics.

Forming A Hypothesis

After receiving and organizing the data collected, it is time to form a hypothesis based on those results obtained from the observations. The researcher arrives at a possible conclusion about the behaviour or issues based on the information and evidence gathered. This is also when they decide which alternative gives the best answer to the question. Without the hypothesis, the researcher solely has information and nothing to do with it. The report cannot be written up if there is no hypothesis to approve or disapprove of.

Assessing The Hypothesis

This is when the researcher goes back to look at their evidence and information to see if the evidence supports the hypothesis. This stage is important to assure you do not look like a fool when you publish your findings. You would not want to claim the sky is grey if your research is testing the water quality in a nearby river. This step ensures your evidence acts as solid proof supporting your thesis.

Expressing The Conclusion

This is when the researchers organizes the presentation of the conclusion. This can be done in the form of a powerpoint, a lecture, a report, and/or an article. This is how you show others the purpose and result of your observations. It is also how you can be known and make your name in the Social Science community.


This is the final stage of the inquiry model. At this stage, the researcher assesses the conclusion and check if the conclusion is appropriate based on the evidence collected. They also check the appropriateness of the expression in the light of the original question. This stage essentially puts the whole report together and finalizes your findings.

It is important to follow this model to maximize your success at writing a report on your experiments to get funded for future experiments and research. This will also help you gain the respect of your colleagues. Be sure to choose ethical alternatives and all the methods follow your own morals.


Source: Psychology, Anthropology, and Sociology course

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