When I was reading the online lecture this week I was thinking about social change and how important social changes can often begin with one person. Social change action researchers can make a difference in their communities by researching a problem and helping to make changes to reach a solution. (Penn State WC, 2014). Activist researchers on the other hand sound like opportunists to me. They are researchers who not only have a personal interest in the research but also have a personal interest in a particular outcome for the research. (Penn State WC, 2014). This type of researcher does not sound ethical. We learned earlier that research is based on hypotheses and if a hypothesis is not proven it is to be discarded and the research begins anew, this does not seem to be the case with activist research. The research is supposed to support whatever view the stakeholder holds and the public is to consider the source when reading the results. (Penn State WC, 2014). One of the questions I was left with after reading the lecture this week is; do social change researchers do different types of research or is an action researcher always an action researcher and is an activist researcher always an activist researcher or do they sometimes do action or participatory research?
Schneider, F.W., Gruman J.A., Coutts, L.M. (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems. SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.
Pennsylvania State World Campus. Applied Social Psychology. 2014. Retrieved from: https://courses.worldcampus.psu.edu/sp14/psych424/001/common/homepage.html