Sept. 18, 2013
Theories & Paradigms in Research Methodology
Know how Theories influence Research
o Classical Paradigms – each make assumptions about the nature of social reality
-each paradigm suggest different kinds of theories and research
Learn how the person & field can influence Theory
Know how Theories can influence every step of research – from the choice of research
method to where to publish the findings.
Theories Reflected in Steps in the Scientific Method
1. Identify the problem. [lit. review & causal model]
2. Hypothesize the cause of the problem. [H1 & H0]
3. Provide clear definitions of the concepts [variables].
4. Operationalize the concepts [indicators].
5. Gather empirical data.
6. Test the hypothesis or hypotheses.
7. Reflect back on theory.
8. Publicize the results.
9. Replicate the results.
Quantitative Research Methods
Qualitative Research Methods
Classical Paradigms – Their Influence in Choice of Research Methods
Underlying different theories are paradigms, which are fundamental models or frames
of reference we use to organize our observations and reasoning. Each makes assumptions about the nature of social reality.
Each paradigm suggests different kinds of theories and inspire different kinds of
Paradigms – Early Positivism
Associated with researchers conducting Quantitative Research
Society is a phenomenon that can be studied scientifically
Marxism (class conflict)/Socialism (class, gender, ethnic, etc. struggles)
Social behavior was seen as the process f conflict – the attempt to dominate others and
to avoid being dominated.
Qualitative and some quantitative …
*Slides 7 & 8 not on exam*
Influence of Paradigms & Theories in Research Methods con’t
Whether to conduct research in an area at all or partner with another
Which research method to use (Qual. vs Quant.)
Which Research Design to choose.
How to define variables etc.
Field/Personal Variables & Their Influence in Choice of Research Methods
Political Party – depending on which party you work for you will see the world and
issues from a particular lens
Factional by Issue – researching a particular issue (gun control) you will have your own
personal opinion on it. Perhaps it is regionally influenced, etc.
Country Differences – developing countries, etc.
Power Relation – researching First Nation communities, etc.
Qualitative vs Quantitative Research Designs
Understanding the Steps in Research Design
Understanding how Qual. & Quant. Research differ by each Step in Research Design Understanding the difference between Quantitati