What is the difference between a problem statement and a purpose statement in social sciences research?
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Typically, a purpose statement comes out of a problem statement. The problem statement lays out the problem and the purpose statement outlines what you as a researcher intend to do to study the problem.
Let's say that you are a social scientist and you want to study the negative campaign ads in elections. Your problem statement might talk about how many campaign ads are negative. It might talk about how anecdotal evidence suggests that such campaign ads make people disillusioned about politics. You would then set out the purpose of your research. You might say that you propose to study the actual effects of negative campaign ads on people's attitudes towards the political process. You would then need to lay out the steps that you will take to measure those attitudes and the impact of the negative campaign ads.
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