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Research methodology (459500) Lecture 2:Phlosophy of Research. Dr Jihad Abdallah Source: Research Methods Knowledge Base http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/. Philosophy of Research. Before the modern idea of research emerged, philosophers used to call research -- logical reasoning .
Dr Jihad Abdallah
Source: Research Methods Knowledge Basehttp://www.socialresearchmethods.net/
Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific ("top-down" approach).We might begin with thinking up a theoryabout our topic of interest. We then narrow that down into more specific hypotheses that we can test. We narrow down even further when we collect observations to address the hypotheses. This ultimately leads us to be able to test the hypotheses with specific data -- a confirmation (or not) of our original theories.
Inductive reasoning works the other way, moving from specific observations to broader generalizations and theories ("bottom up" approach).In inductive reasoning, we begin with specific observations and measures, begin to detect patterns and regularities, formulate some tentative hypotheses that we can explore, and finally end up developing some general conclusions or theories.
Deductive reasoning is more narrow in nature and is concerned with testing or confirming hypotheses.
Where the positivist believed that the goal of science was to uncover the truth, the post-positivist critical realist believes that the goal of science is to hold steadfastly to the goal of getting it right about reality, even though we can never achieve that goal!
At the narrowest point of the research hourglass, the researcher is engaged in direct measurement or observation of the question of interest.
- The Research Problem
- The Research Question
- The Program or treatment (Cause)
- The Units
- The Outcomes (Effect)
- The Design
“Is a program of supported employment more effective (than no program at all) at keeping newly employed persons on the job?”
“The Metropolitan Supported Employment Program will significantly increase rates of employment after six months for persons who are newly employed (after being out of work for at least one year) compared with persons who receive no comparable program”
There are really two realms that are involved in research. The first, on the top, is the land of theory. It is what goes on inside our heads as researchers. The second, on the bottom, is the land of observations. It is the real world into which we translate our ideas -- our programs, treatments, measures and observations.
We use the term operationalization to describe the act of translating a construct into its manifestation.