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The 'method' of theoretical research

Quantitative research

❶Sep 12, In the above example, it would be important to make sure that the introduction of the music was not accompanied by other changes e.

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It helps you to consider other possible frameworks and to reduce biases that may sway your interpretation. As you develop your theoretical framework you will consider alternative theories that might challenge your perspective. You will also consider the limitations associated with your theory, and quite possibly, that your problem could be better understood by other theoretical frameworks.

The theoretical framework is how you conceptualize the nature of your research problem, its basis and the analysis you will choose to investigate that problem. This framework determines how you perceive, make sense of, and interpret your data.

Explanation of the theoretical framework helps the reader understand your perspective and context. The theoretical framework is developed from and connected to your review of the knowledge on the topic the literature review. This knowledge is likely how you initially formulated your research problem. You reviewed the literature and found gaps in the explanation of some phenomenon. The theoretical framework allows you to present the research problem in light of a summary of the literature.

Your description of the variables of interest in context of the literature review allows the reader to understand the theorized relationships. You should begin by describing what is known about your variables, what is known about their relationship, and what can be explained thus far. Essentially, your goal is to convey to the reader why you think your variables are related, so the inclusion of previous research and theories that support your belief are essential to defending your rationale.

You apply the theory to your problem, and state your hypotheses or predictions regarding potential relationships. You tell the reader what you expect to find in your research. There is a link between theoretical framework and quantitative research design. The definitions of substances as various configurations of atoms are theoretical definitions, as are definitions of colors as specific wavelengths of reflected light. The first postulate of special relativity theory that the speed of light in vacuum is the same to all inertial observers i.

Thus we have defined 'metre' according to other ideas contained in modern scientific theory. Rejection of the theory underlying a theoretical definition leaves the definition invalid for use in argument with those who reject it — neither side will advance its position by using terms the others do not accept [ citation needed ].

Heat explains a collection of various laws of nature and that predict certain results. In psychology, the concept of intelligence is meant to explain correlations in performance on certain cognitive tasks. Differing theoretical definitions of "thinking" have caused conflict amongst artificial intelligence philosophers , illustrated for example by the different responses to the Chinese room experiment.

Others believe that better theoretical and operational definitions are required. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Theory and Observation in Science. This is sometimes referred to as a top down approach. The validity of conclusions is shown to be dependent on one or more premises prior statements, findings or conditions being valid.

If the premises of an argument are inaccurate, then the argument is inaccurate. This type of reasoning is often also associated with the fictitious character Sherlock Holmes.

However, most studies also include an element of inductive reasoning at some stage of the research see section on qualitative research for more details. Researchers rarely have access to all the members of a particular group e.

However, they are usually interested in being able to make inferences from their study about these larger groups. However, the extent to which generalizations are possible depends to a certain extent on the number of people involved in the study, how they were selected and whether they are representative of the wider group.

For example, generalizations about psychiatrists should be based on a study involving psychiatrists and not one based on psychology students. In most cases, random samples are preferred so that each potential participant has an equal chance of participating but sometimes researchers might want to ensure that they include a certain number of people with specific characteristics and this would not be possible using random sampling methods.

Generalizability of the results is not limited to groups of people but also to situations. It is presumed that the results of a laboratory experiment reflect the real life situation which the study seeks to clarify.

When looking at results, the P value is important. P stands for probability. It measures the likelihood that a particular finding or observed difference is due to chance. The P value is between 0 and 1. The closer the result is to 0, the less likely it is that the observed difference is due to chance. Qualitative research is the approach usually associated with the social constructivist paradigm which emphasises the socially constructed nature of reality. It is about recording, analysing and attempting to uncover the deeper meaning and significance of human behaviour and experience, including contradictory beliefs, behaviours and emotions.

The approach adopted by qualitative researchers tends to be inductive which means that they develop a theory or look for a pattern of meaning on the basis of the data that they have collected. This involves a move from the specific to the general and is sometimes called a bottom-up approach. However, most research projects also involve a certain degree of deductive reasoning see section on quantitative research for more details.

Qualitative researchers do not base their research on pre-determined hypotheses. Nevertheless, they clearly identify a problem or topic that they want to explore and may be guided by a theoretical lens - a kind of overarching theory which provides a framework for their investigation.

The approach to data collection and analysis is methodical but allows for greater flexibility than in quantitative research. Data is collected in textual form on the basis of observation and interaction with the participants e. It is not converted into numerical form and is not statistically analysed. Data collection may be carried out in several stages rather than once and for all.

The researchers may even adapt the process mid-way, deciding to address additional issues or dropping questions which are not appropriate on the basis of what they learn during the process. In some cases, the researchers will interview or observe a set number of people.

In other cases, the process of data collection and analysis may continue until the researchers find that no new issues are emerging. This may mean adopting a less formal and less rigid approach than that used in quantitative research. It is believed that people are constantly trying to attribute meaning to their experience. Consequently, the methods used may be more open-ended, less narrow and more exploratory particularly when very little is known about a particular subject.

The researchers are free to go beyond the initial response that the participant gives and to ask why, how, in what way etc. In this way, subsequent questions can be tailored to the responses just given.

Qualitative research often involves a smaller number of participants. This may be because the methods used such as in-depth interviews are time and labour intensive but also because a large number of people are not needed for the purposes of statistical analysis or to make generalizations from the results. The objectives of the two types of research and their underlying philosophical assumptions are simply different.

The pragmatic approach to science involves using the method which appears best suited to the research problem and not getting caught up in philosophical debates about which is the best approach. Pragmatic researchers therefore grant themselves the freedom to use any of the methods, techniques and procedures typically associated with quantitative or qualitative research. They recognise that every method has its limitations and that the different approaches can be complementary.

They may also use different techniques at the same time or one after the other. For example, they might start with face-to-face interviews with several people or have a focus group and then use the findings to construct a questionnaire to measure attitudes in a large scale sample with the aim of carrying out statistical analysis.

Depending on which measures have been used, the data collected is analysed in the appropriate manner. However, it is sometimes possible to transform qualitative data into quantitative data and vice versa although transforming quantitative data into qualitative data is not very common.

Being able to mix different approaches has the advantages of enabling triangulation. Triangulation is a common feature of mixed methods studies. It involves, for example:.


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The Theoretical method has been applied by researchers who usually lived many years after the period of their research interest, and frequently not in the European sub-region being researched. Their information sources were of two kinds: Primary data (e.g., Hilchot Gitin books), and Secondary data -- gravestone readings, and names recorded in .

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Sep 13,  · In an experimental scientific research process, you could state the hypothesis and the methods you would use to conduct the experiment. The experiment gives you data. Then you use statisitics to check whether the data disproves or is unable to disprove the hypothesis. However, in a theoretical.

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The theoretical framework is the structure that can hold or support a theory of a research study. The theoretical framework introduces and describes the theory that explains why the research problem under study exists. Research Theory and Methods 19 our discipline-based teachers and our students represent a range: The teachers are two men and two women who teach in three different.

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Ξ Theory is based from theoretical research and empirical research. The good theorist stays with the problems and considers more than the data, the data here being the the cosmological redshift. Logically dark energy can not just pop up without origins to infinitely produce energy to oppose gravity. You are here: Home / Professional development / Knowledge and intellectual abilities / Research methods: theoretical knowledge and practical application Navigation Why focus on professional development?