RESEARCH

METHODS

Lecture 4

THEORY AND RESEARCH .

. •  Theory building is the means by which basic researchers hope to achieve this purpose. and • To make prediction. • The discovery of truth. The purpose of science concerns: • The expansion of knowledge.

. A scientist poses questions like: • What produces inflation? • Does student teacher interaction influence students’ performance? Looking for: • Explanation • Prediction • Understanding the process to reach prediction • These are the purposes of theory.

A systematic and A suggested general attempt to explanation for explain something… something… “Theory” “Why do people “Why do commit crimes?” people get married?” “How does the “Why do kids play truant media affect us?” from school?” “Why do some people believe in God?” “How is our identity shaped by culture?” .

• Key element in this definition is proposition. Theory • A coherent set of general propositions used as principles of explanation of the apparent relationships of certain observed phenomena. .

• Logic (argument) abstracted from observed reality. . • Theory is the highest level of abstraction. • Theory is a network of propositions. Proposition • A statement concerned with the logical relationships among concepts.

Theory Building Is A Process Of Increasing Abstraction Increasingly more abstract Theories Propositions Concepts Observation of objects and events (reality ) .

that represents a class of objects. occurrences. Concept • An idea that stands for something. • A generalized idea about a class of objects.” “motivation. or processes that has been given a name • Building blocks of theory that abstract reality.” “productivity.” “happiness. Examples  • “leadership.” “banana” . attributes.” “morale.” “inflation.

Concepts are Abstractions of Reality Abstract Level CONCEPTS Empirical OBSERVATION OF OBJECTS Level AND EVENTS (REALITY) .

A Ladder Of Abstraction For Concepts Increasingly more abstract Vegetation Fruit Banana Reality .

empirical world of hard. • Theory and fact (research) contribute to each other. • Are facts and theories different? • Soft mental images vs.Theory and Research • Research produces facts. and observable things. settled. .

• Theory as conceptualization and classification. Empirical generalizations. • Theory in summarizing role. Phenomenon may be studied in different ways. Framework. . Extrapolation. Provides concepts. • Theory points gaps in knowledge. • Theory predicts facts. Role of Theory • Theory as orientation. Narrows the range of facts to be studied. Study of football.

Role of Facts • Facts initiate theory. Provide further clarification. Alteration and expansion. . • Facts lead to the rejection and reformulation of theory. New facts redefine theory. • Facts clarify theory.

• Researchers weave together knowledge from different studies into more abstract theory. . Theory and Research: The Dynamic Duo • Theory and research are interrelated. The dichotomy is artificial.

Thank you .