Problem= something that isn’t working
• Think about what conflict creates this problem
Your Task= understand/define the problem
• solve/resolve it
5 STEPS FOR ANALIZING PROBLEMS:
1. Define the conflict or issue:
a. Stating a topic and defining a problem are different things:
i. Ex: topic= pollution
Problem= people want clear air vs. industrial productivity
o Conflict: between 2 legitimate needs & groups
? (look at the critical issues of each)
2. Place the problem in a context:
a. See it broadly
i. Put it in a category with similar problems
1. THE CONTEXT YOU CHOOSE IMPACTS THE SOLUTIONS YOU PROPOSE [& delimits the research you will do towards solving the problem]
o Context= technical?
? =developing technology
o Context= social?
? =educating people
3. Make the problem definition more operational:
a. State the problem in terms of goals and specific tasks/actions you could carry out [=VARIABLES THAT CAN BE ACTED UPON] :
i. Ex: smoking—? cutting down on smoking–?stop smoking at parties with friends….
Q: How do I break the habit of smoking around friends without feeling left out? [= OPERATIONAL DEFINITION]