This paper is a research proposal to examine “The Salem Witch Trials,” particularly its causes and impacts on Massachusetts, Salem, United States.
For nearly 350 years, the “Salem Witch Trials” have captivated the public’s thoughts. The 1692 controversy is deeply entrenched in American awareness as a McCarthy-era metaphor. The phrase “witch hunt” is still applied to describe an unreasonable crusade against anybody or anything which has opinions that differ from the status quo. After the conflict had settled, Massachusetts residents wondered how the circumstance occurred so rapidly. Several studies have been produced in the centuries afterward to clarify the witchcraft case, but scholars have concentrated their attention on the accusers and the accused. The magistrates who presided over the trials were mainly ignored. Various notable researchers such as Young Nicole, Lombardo Jennifer, and Street Michael have written various accounts concerning the “Salem Witch Trials,” often highlighting the various events during the trials. Each author briefly discusses the elements of factors that possibly contributed to the witch trials. However, nearly all the authors fail to feature how the factors caused the trials, what was achieved, how Massachusetts residents were affected, and the consequences of the trials.
Leveling allegations without resilience and capitulating to fright has various hazards. In Lombardo Jennifer’s book, “The Salem Witch Trials,” the author provides an overview of the incident, accusations, trials, and killing of innocent individuals. He explains how the “Salem Witch Trials” contributed to the demise of 20 guiltless people. The researcher comments on how other authors provided countless explanations for this disaster but have not explained why the trials occurred. Lombardo argues how multiple influences converged to generate a twister of fear, doubt, anger, and radical tension. Lombardo creates ay for readers to discover attractive details concerning the captivating period in American antiquity. This proposal will answer the knowledge vacuum relating to the research topic and comprehend the motivations behind the magistrates’ activities, which aggravated a previously explosive condition. These gentlemen were among the colony’s most well-educated and well-liked residents.
The evidence acknowledged during the hearings was deemed inadequate by the foremost clergy, and renowned pastors and the accused repeatedly expressed their worries. The magistrates elected to disregard these warnings and continue with the hearings, personally responding to various critics in the courtroom to defend their actions. They did not attempt to contain the chaos because it promoted them individually. The trials provided some of these individuals an excellent chance to retake power, divert colonists’ attention away from more serious matters, and shift blame for the colony’s plight away from themselves and onto a suitable scapegoat. There is no proof that these men orchestrated the witch hunt, but some recognized an opportunity to benefit from it and took advantage of it regardless of its significance. The judges who presided over the prosecutions also served as consultants to the governor and militia leaders. They were in command of everything in the colony.
This research will provide adequate information regarding the causes of the trials and how they impacted the Massachusetts Salem United States residents. The questions this research will address include; “What were the causes of the “Salem Witch Trials”? How were the Salem witches killed? How did the killing impact residents, and how did the occasion impact religion and America? The hypothesis asserts that the trials arose due to church politics, false accusations, hysterical children, and family feuds. Since the Puritans were deeply religious, Christianity played a crucial function in the “Salem Witch Trials.” Puritans solely obeyed God’s commandments. Ann Putnam, Jr.’s allegation proves that a household quarrel may have caused the Witch Trials. Porter and Putnam’s families had a fierce feud in Salem, Massachusetts, and the majority of the citizens were somehow involved in it. This paper utilizes Lombardo Jennifer’s work, specifically “The Salem Witch Trials,” to test the hypothesis. It chronologically explores the incident, trials, accusations, and death of innocent people.
Definition of Terms
Various events took place during the “Salem Witch Trials,” including:
- The incident
- Salem struggling 1300-1600s
- Witch hunts March 1692-May 1693
- Trial February 1692
- Accusation June 1692
- Restoration January 1697-1711
Background of the Problem
The disreputable “Salem Witch Trials” originated in 1692 spring, after various young teenagers in Salem Community, Massachusetts, claimed being influenced by the evil spirit and suspected several local females of witchcraft. The accusation contributed to the execution of 20 individuals. Later, the colony realized the tribunals were mistakenly conducted and compensated the affected families. Since then, the story of the trial has become unidentified with injustice and paranoia, and it endures beguiling popular imaginations several years later. Numerous years ago, various active Christians and people from other regions believed the devil offered witches are harming powers to obtain loyalty. Several people, mostly women, imagined to be witchcrafts, were executed. Various regional circumstances explain the onset of the Salem trials, including the war between the American and France colonies, which English rulers Mary and William started. The war-ravaged various regions and displaced several people straining Salem’s possessions.
Various researchers have explored the “Salem Witch Trials” to understand the events that took place and caused or resulted in the trials. Young explores how the military, economy, and religion played significant roles in the trials as a wealth source, giving the researcher a brief understanding of the forces that encouraged the trials to answer the research question. A report by Cutler discovered that most individuals get accused of witchcraft falsely. Syphilis spread, and its consequences were thought to result from witchcraft. Devils who gained superiority through the demon caused syphilis, among other illnesses. Cutler further discovered that witchcraft is linked to erotic consequences, in which an individual has little command over their reactions. Keye’s study deploys the arguments and belongings of individuals directly elaborated in the trials, enabling the scholar to tell the events that stimulated the accusations. Invasion in the gloomy world of romantic dread and imagination culminated in the witchcraft encounter.
De Lis’s study argues that authoritarianism, religious fanaticism, and feminism play a position in the contemporary witch search. The author looked at the different reviews that people suspected of witchcraft faced in society, church, and the government. Whether evidence of partaking in such actions was available or not, the author claims that judges gave retribution to suspected people. The source reveals additional avenues to investigate when it comes to the technique of indictment and the type of punishment the modern Europe witches are given. Lombardo’s study asserts that various events occurred during the trials, but Karunakar argues the trials were unfairly judged towards women. Johnson further claims the origins of the “Salem Witch Trials” do not originate from worldly aspects. They start from a defiant act against society’s expectations, norms, and expectations set forth by females and children of the corresponding age, based on an analysis of primary sources such as court records. The author offers an overview of the factors that contributed to the trials and how the judgment was made, enabling the researcher to gain information on the study question.
Decarlo examined incidents relating to the Salem Witch Trials from various theological, historical, political, cultural, and mental viewpoints and concluded the aspects play a role in the practice of witchcraft. Decarlo’s findings contribute to eliminating ineptitude and negative stereotypes about witches in this subject, providing historical fairness. The political factors that contributed to the witchcraft hunt in Salem are shown in Denizarslani’s research. According to the scholar, witchcraft actions would cause European states to lose their supremacy. States convicted of sorcery, for example, might lose their sovereignty, necessitating witch hunts. Witchcraft would cause religious divisions, encouraging self-governance since people value ego over a disguiser controlling state. As a result, the author emphasizes that the witch hunt avoids political problems. This study differs from Peter’s research since Peter focuses on how observers used language elements to indicate the assessment of perceptions with purported witchcraft. It would instead focus on the activities that contributed to the accusations.
Michael investigated how Americans morally regarded and understood Salem’s past in Salem Magic. Geography determined how magicians were treated, particularly in religious revolt and societal control. Divine crises are discussed by Michael, who suggests that it is stimulating to those who have made allegations of witchcraft. Michael argues that society has witchcraft misconceptions and believes they are unworthy of pardon. Michael further contends that witchcraft was enigmatic, omnipresent, wicked, and worked intentionally or unknowingly for Satan. Tituba, an enslaved person in Reverend Samuel Parris’ household, was accused of practicing witchcraft to harm the daughters. Tituba confessed despite some initial reluctance. Grund’s research focuses on a specific interpretation of the “Salem Witch Trials.” Grund focused on the actual Salem Witch Trials, highlighting various witch trials. Hence, it is crucial to appreciate the motivations behind diverse processes, judgments’ efficiency, and their influence on distinct victims. Individuals can comprehend the characteristics of the witchcraft trial system and the chronology that lead to these executions.
Hwang described Salem as a festival dedicated to the discovery of witches. Anybody suspected of practicing witchcraft was punished by society. The prosecution of witchcraft in this section is centered on Tibuta, a Caribbean enslaved person linked to the start of the witchcraft hunts. Tibuta was mistakenly identified as an American when he was African. Tibuta deprives herself of the connotation of witchcraft, once recognized as one to try to entice persons in a good way. As a result of prejudices, this charge also includes the belief that only females were judged for witchcraft. Hwang’s study does not highlight the practices that possibly contributed to the witch accusations. Witchcraft tourism sites, according to Junod, were accountable for assisting the government in the Salem witch trials by informing the public about these locations. It facilitated the discovery of current practices and cultural actions that led to witchcraft. Junod explains how gender intersections were represented by tourism related to the Salem witch trials. However, Junod’s research is unreliable since it does not focus on the witch trials but emphasizes gender and tourism.
Laghi offers a comprehensive overview of witchcraft-related activities. Despite the growing frequency of these incidents, the author depicts how difficult it was to recognize a witch. As a result, numerous individuals began to have doubts because they had no notion of whether fairness would be applied by judges correctly. As a result, the findings will help the researcher explore the factors that stimulated witchcraft and exorcism. Focusing on the Salem witch hunts, Lindberg performed a demonstration concerning women. He illustrated how citizens’ jealousies could lead to misunderstanding and false evidence concerning innocent persons. In the case of false testimony, neighbors accuse women of witchcraft, while others are represented as greedy witches. The writer uses Elizabeth and Abigail’s actions to highlight women’s inadequacy. Their actions show how easy it is for women to associate themselves with magic.
According to McClain, some clergymen have turned their preaching into a business. As a result, society had to take action against these actions of inhumanity to ensure that devout priests performed # appropriately. His study is unreliable because it does not focus on the Salem witch accusations. Other than evaluating moral difficulties and social activities, McGreevy offers a novel hypothesis on the Salem witch trials. It displays elements that are linked to disorganized witch talks. Salem probably digested the fungus due to the community’s agriculture and food, resulting in ergot sickness. Ergot poisoning symptoms are comparable to those used to accuse someone of witchcraft. As a result, a new explanation for activities such as farming being linked to the Salem witchcraft trials emerges. The Salem witch trials were labeled as religious superstitions by society.
Mills asserts that the basis of witchcraft was viewed as a heinous crime and a rejection of God’s grace in the American state. According to the study, social tensions glinted the Salem witch trials, sparked by fears that evil was among Massachusetts’ saints. The author describes that sorcery is a heinous crime that society condemns. In the struggle against witchcraft, civilization has been on the front lines. These reactions are taken into account in the church because they are in charge of combating evil activities. The Salem witch trial arose from people’s intention to participate in religious activities. According to Obot, the church should be at the forefront of the fight against ungodly behavior. Everyone, according to Christianity, is liable for their acts, so they should act responsibly. Obot, however, focuses on the roles of the church rather than highlighting how the church contributed to the witch behaviors to help the researcher answer the research question. Thomson portrays a possessed child in Salem who exhibits behaviors such as howling like just a dog. The citizens were forced to demolish the society to combat witches.
The Incident, Trials, Accusations, and Death of the Innocent People
The incident began when reverend Parris’ offspring Elizabeth and niece Abigail started experiencing “fits” in January 1692. They shouted, threw things, voiced peculiar noises, and twisted themselves to outlandish situations, and a home-grown doctor censured the supernatural Another teenager, Ann Putnam, experienced similar incidents. Towards the end of February, under compression from judges John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin, the girls accused three females of bothering them: Tituba, an enslaved person in Parris’ Caribbean; Sarah Good, a dispossessed mendicant; and Sarah Osborne, an aging needy woman.
The three women were taken to the resident courts and interrogated for numerous days, beginning on the first day in March 1692. Good and Osborne appealed guiltlessness, but Tituba self-proclaimed the devil had recruited her to serve Satan. Tituba confessed that she engaged the manuscript and alleged numerous other witches were watching to abolish the Puritans; all three females were jailed. Afterward, the magistrates made a trial for the suspected victims. Nineteen were killed by being hung on Gallows Peak. A managed 71 was constrained to demise with heavy gravels. Several people perished in prison, and approximately 200 persons, generally, had been suspected of being involved in “the Devil’s magic.” The judges realized the victims were falsely accused and compensated the affected families.
Research methods provide an orderly and deep understanding of an issue and facilitate the abstraction of technical and logical clarification and assumption on it. It aids in building new knowledge frontiers. The results of the introductory study form the foundation for numerous applied research. This exploration uses quantitative approaches, which require the engagement of various data collection measures. The quantitative exploration method empowers the investigator to analyze dimensions of numerical information gathered from surveys. The technique permits the faster gathering of information from a significant sample scope. The motive is that quantitative methodology employs arbitrary data collection practices; it advances the dependability of the information as it reduces biases. The researcher aims to obtain different inferences from the statistics gained from the illustration population.
The study will utilize secondary sources, including journals, magazines, books, and other published studies relating to the research topic. Sources of secondary data are studies that use journal articles to examine, evaluate, or analyze an event in history, era, or occurrence. Secondary sources are created after the fact by an author who never witnessed or participated in the activities. Other investigators’ second-hand knowledge and commentary are found in secondary research. Secondary information provides researchers with an excellent overview of a topic, so they are precious if one is looking for information about an unfamiliar topic. They are also helpful because scholars may use them to identify keywords to characterize a topic matter and essential references for further research and learning.
The major limitation of this study is the specific region the trials took place. The researcher is not allowed to debate based on itch trials in areas other than Salem. The research is restricted to only the significant events that caused the trials and how the trials impacted the society members. Hence, the research’s findings are restricted to the causes of the “Salem Witch Trials,” how the Salem witches were killed, how the killing impacted residents, and how the occasion impacted religion and America. Another limitation is that the researcher is restricted to collecting data using only secondary sources such as books and magazines that have been published relating to the topic or the related studies that various authors have conducted since it is complex to obtain some of the historical data from primary sources. The third limitation is limited data relating to the research topic. Most of the authors have not emphasized the effects of the trial but its causes, limiting the researcher from accessing adequate data.
Apuke, Oberiri Destiny. “Quantitative research methods: A synopsis approach.” Kuwait Chapter of Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review 33, no. 5471 (2017): 1-8.
This source explores quantitative research methods and how they aid researchers in data collection. It enables the researcher to determine the appropriate methodology to answer the research question.
Burgan, Michael. The Salem Witch Trials: Mass Hysteria and Many Lives Lost. Tangled History, 2019.
This source outlines the various circumstances that contributed to the execution of different lives. It helps the researcher to understand the chronological events that stimulated the occasion.
Cutler, Sylvia. Salem Belles, Succubi, and The Scarlet Letter: Transatlantic Witchcraft and Gothic Erotic Affect. Brigham Young University, 2019.
The introduction of syphilis and its impact was regarded as a product of witchcraft. Syphilis and other diseases resulted from witches who gained powers through the devil. This article further explains that witchcraft was associated with erotic effects whereby a person had little control over a response. The experience resulted from possession in the gothic world of sexual terror and fantasy.
De Lis, Iris S. “Witches as Queer (ed) Comrades: How Patriarchy, Sexism, and Religious Fanaticism Fueled the Early Modern European Witch Hunts.” (2021).
Patriarchy, sexism, and religious fanaticism had a significant role in campaigning murder and attacks regarded as modern European witch hunts. This source examines various reviews through which individuals accused of being witches were subjected in society, religion, and the state. The author states that punishment was given to suspected individuals whether there was evidence of engaging in such activities. The source shows that there are more ways to explore the method of accusation and the form of punishment rendered to witches in modern Europe.
Decarlo, Josephine, and Grafton Eliason. “Salem Witch Trials.” The Encyclopedia of Women and Crime (2019): 1-6.
The witch trials of Salem have had various studies for interpretation. This article has examined these occurrences from various religious, historical, legal, cultural, and psychological perspectives. This aids in understanding whether any of these factors have a mutual relationship in performing acts of witchcraft. Further, it aids in avoiding incompetence and perceptions associated with witchcraft in this field, ensuring historical justice is achieved.
Denizarslani, Yonca. “Revisiting Americanus Novus: Anglicization crisis and Salem witch trials in seventeenth century new England.” Tarih İncelemeleri Dergisi 34, no. 2 (2019): 507-536.
This source indicates the political causes that led to the Salem witch hunt. The author states that European states would lose their superiority through witchcraft acts. For example, states accused of witchcraft would lose their supremacy, needing a witch hunt. Additionally, witchcraft would lead to church separations, hence attracting self-governance since individuals would consider self-control rather than a witched ruling state. Therefore, the author highlights that a witch hunt would prevent political woes.
Everton, Michael. “Which Ethics for Essex? Elizabeth Gaskell, Salem Witchcraft, and the Problem of Forgiveness.” The New England Quarterly 94, no. 1 (2021): 108-141.
In Salem witchcraft, Michael examines how Americans ethically viewed and interpreted the history of Salem. The geographic location is believed to align with how witches were treated, primarily through religious rebellion and social controls. Spiritual crises are expounded whereby it is seen as provoking to individuals who started accusations of witchcraft. The book further demonstrated how society had illusions about witchcraft and believed they did not deserve forgiveness.
Grund, Peter J. The Sociopragmatics of Stance: Community, language, and the witness depositions from the Salem witch trials. John Benjamins, 2021.
It focuses on how observers used language elements to indicate the assessment of perceptions of purported witchcraft, the increased frequency of those observations, and the inputs of the observers’ understanding during the trials from 1692 to 1693.
Grund, Peter J. “Writing the Salem Witch Trials.” A Companion to American Literature 1 (2020): 73-88.
This source focuses on the Salem witch trials under a well-defined interpretation. Grund highlights different witch trials focusing on the existing trials in Salem village. Thus, it is significant to understand the reasons behind various processes and comprehend trials’ effectiveness and impact on various victims. Thus, individuals can realize the features of the witch trial system and the account of events that led to these executions.
Hwang, Junghyun. “Tituba, “Dark Eve” in The Origins of the American Myth: The Subject of History and Writing about Salem.” CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 23, no. 4 (2022): 6.
Hwang describes Salem as a festival of finding witches. Anyone suspected of witchcraft was subjected to punishment. In this article, the persecutions of witches revolve around Tibuta, a Caribbean enslaved person associated with the origin of the witch trials. Tibuta was considered an American; however, he was considered African. Tibuta deprives her meaning of witch once she has been identified as one to try positively luring people. Therefore, this accusation further suggests that only women were accused of witchcraft because of stereotypes.
Johnson, Holly, and Holly Michelle Johnson. “Salem Witch Trials: A Psychological Manifestation Stemming from Gender/Societal Inequality?.” (2019).
The scholar contends that the origins of the “Salem Witch Trials” do not originate from worldly aspects but rather from a defiant act against society’s expectations, norms, and expectations set forth for females and children of the corresponding age, based on an analysis of primary sources such as court records. The source enables the researcher to acknowledge the causes of the trials.
Junod, Sarah Elizabeth. Manly Martyrs and Pitiful Women: Negotiating Race, Gender, and Power in Salem Witchcraft Tourism since 1880. University of California, Riverside, 2020.
According to Junod, witchcraft, tourist sites were responsible for aiding the state in the Salem witch trials hence alerting the community about these spots. Further, it aids in the identification of recent activities, events and cultural activities associated with witch acts. Junod explains how tourism associated with the Salem witch trials represented gender intersections. Therefore, it was easy to trace witchcraft activities mostly in their sites through tourism.
Karunakar, Deeksha. “A Study of Salem Witch Trial: A Gender and Religion Based Discrimination.” Annals of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology (2021): 9536-9552.
The paper focuses on the worldwide impression of the “Salem Witch Trial” to the females in current alongside the philosophies put forward based on the circumstance. It recalls the unfairness in this situation for periods and its impacts on people.
Keyes, Carl Robert. “The Salem Witch Trials 1692 by Dan Lipcan and Dean Lahikainen.” The Public Historian 43, no. 2 (2021): 128-130.
This source deploys the arguments and belongings of individuals directly elaborated in the trials, enabling the scholar to tell the story of those events.
Laghi, Simona. “Witchcraft, Demonic Possession, and Exorcism: The Problem of Evidence in Two Shakespearean Plays.” Journal of Early Modern Studies 10 (2021).
Laghi provides a detailed account of actions concerning witchcraft. Despite the increasing number of these events, the author portrays how it was complex to identify a witch. Therefore, this made individuals doubt since they had no idea whether social justice would be administered correctly. The author thus seeks to investigate representations that supported witchcraft and exorcism in the Shakespeare’s plays.
Lindberg, Marlene. “Patriarchal Princesses and Wicked Witches: A Feminist Reading of the Depiction of Women in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.” (2018).
Lindberg demonstrates women based on the Salem witch trials. He explains the consequences of jealousy among citizens, leading to misinterpretation and false testimony about innocent people. Concerning false testimony, women are accused of witchcraft by their neighbors, while others are portrayed as selfish witches. The author demonstrates women inferiority using Elizabeth and Abigail’s acts. Their acts depict the ease of women associating themselves with witchcraft.
Lombardo, Jennifer. The Salem Witch Trials. Cavendish Square Publishing, LLC. New York, 2020.
This source explores the Salem trials, including the incident, events, and how the judgment was done, enabling the scholar to gain sufficient data about the research question.
Lunney, Melissa. “What Is a Witch Worth? The Value of Men after the Salem Witch Trials.” Ph.D. diss., University of Kansas, 2021.
This paper analyzed the differences in compensation paid to fatalities and the relatives of the “Salem Witch Trials,” enabling the scholar to comprehend how the trials were made.
McClain, Lia. “Witchy Business: Witchcraft and Economic Transformation in Salem, Massachusetts.” Ph.D. diss., 2020.
McClain explains about ministers who had converted their preaching activities into business. Therefore, society had to act against these acts of inhumanity to ensure devoted priests acted accordingly. Social influence was vital in influencing this activity to eradicate witchy business, which was crucial in economic transformation since the church would only consider money acquired through the right channel.
McGreevy, Alan, Christina Fawcett, and Marc A. Ouellette. “The House and the Infected Body: The Metonymy of Resident Evil 7.” (2020).
McGreevy provides a new theory about the Salem witch trials other than analyzing moral dilemmas and social activities. It demonstrates components associated with disorganized witch speeches. The community’s agriculture and diet had fungus digested by Salem hence causing a specific condition called ergot poisoning. Studies confirm that the symptoms of ergot poisoning were similar to those used in accusing a person of witchcraft. Therefore, this creates a new explanation of activity such as agriculture was correlated with the Salem witch trials.
Mills, Stefanie Schnitzer. “The belief in evil and its redefinition during the Salem witch trials.” In Piercing the Shroud: Destabilizations of ‘Evil,’ pp. 126-142. Brill, 2019.
Society identified the Salem witch trials as religious superstitions. Mills states that the essence of witchcraft in the American state was seen as a wicked crime ad rejection by God’s grace. Engaging in witchcraft activities depicted a person’s weakness and forfeiture of their soul. The article explains that social tensions triggered the Salem witch trials due to fear that evil was among the saints of Massachusetts. The author explains that witchcraft is an evil act condemned by society.
Obot, Maimouna Jessica. “23. To End Child Witchcraft Accusations, A Task for the Whole Church.” OKH Journal: Anthropological Ethnography and Analysis Through the Eyes of Christian Faith 4, no. 1 (2020).
Society has been on the frontline to fight against witchcraft. The church considers these reactions since they are responsible for fighting against evil activities. Individuals seek to engage in Godly acts, hence the Salem witch trial. Obot explains that the church should be on the frontline to fight against ungodly acts. According to Christianity, everyone is responsible for their actions; hence they should act correctly.
“Salem Witch Trials.” 2022. History. Web.
This source explores the origin of the “Salem Witch Trials” after various girls claimed to be obsessed with the devils and accused three women who were later judged. This source enables the scholar to outline the origin of the trials.
Street, Michael. “Reading Satan between the lines: Changing historiographical interpretations of the Salem witch trials.” Teaching History 53, no. 1 (2019): 32-37.
The witchcraft was enigmatic, omnipresent, and wicked and worked for Satan, intentionally or unknowingly. Tituba, an enslaved person in Reverend Samuel Parris’ household, was accused of practicing witchcraft to harm the daughters. Tituba confessed despite some initial reluctance. This source enables the researchers to understand the various suspects and how they were accused of being witches.
Thomson, Connor. “Fearful Tension: The Salem Witch Trials.” Mystērion: The Theology Journal of Boston College 1, no. 1 (2021): 20-40.
Thomson demonstrates a daughter in Salem village who was possessed after displaying behaviors like barking like a dog. The residents were forced to destroy society to fight against witches. Following these events, the Salem witch trials were essential in history to fight against these scenes.
Young, Nicole. “Under an Evil Hand” A Reexamination of the Salem Witch Trials.” Ph.D. diss., Simmons College, 2020.
This source explores how the military, economy, and religion played significant roles in the trials as wealth sources. It gives a brief understanding of the forces that encouraged the trials to answer the research question.