Research and theories

essay on relationship between theory and research

Articulating the theoretical assumptions of a research study forces you to address questions of why and how. Do not leave the theory hanging out there in the introduction never to be mentioned again.

Theories used in research

Philipsen, Kristian. Explanatory power: How much does a given theory explain or predict reality? Reality is never accurately represented in such a simplistic way; if you imply that it can be, you fundamentally distort a reader's ability to understand the findings that emerge. A failure to produce the same results could also mean that the replication differed in some important way from the initial study. Writing CSU. Read the introduction and highlight in different colours descriptions of phenomena, theories, and hypotheses. The following list is a small sample of famous phenomena in psychology.

The explanations may be detailed, accurate, and valid, but they may not apply to other similar situations, even involving the same person, and are hence not generalizable.

Structure and Writing Style The theoretical framework may be rooted in a specific theory, in which case, your work is expected to test the validity of that existing theory in relation to specific events, issues, or phenomena.

Dissociative identity disorder: Multiple personalities, multiple controversies.

Relationship between theory and research examples

But how do researchers derive hypotheses from theories? Exercises Practice: Think of at least three different theories to explain the fact that married people tend to report greater levels of happiness than unmarried people. Constructs are abstract concepts specified at a high level of abstraction that are chosen specifically to explain the phenomenon of interest. For example, an alternative theory of dissociative identity disorder—the posttraumatic theory—holds that alters are created unconsciously by the patient as a means of coping with sexual abuse or some other traumatic experience. Strategies for Developing the Theoretical Framework I. These two examples suggest that theories have purposes other than simply providing accurate explanations or interpretations. Distinction between theoretical and empirical concepts Propositions are associations postulated between constructs based on deductive logic. Cherry, Kendra. The literature on dissociative identity disorder DID features two competing theories. Individual researchers usually replicate their own studies before publishing them.

Nevertheless, all constructs must have clear and unambiguous operational definition that should specify exactly how the construct will be measured and at what level of analysis individual, group, organizational, etc.

Typical contracts that are behavior-based, such as a monthly salary, cannot overcome these problems.

What is the role of theory in research proposals

Singapore: Springer Nature, , pp. There are many benefits to using theories in research. Among the very best hypotheses are those that distinguish between competing theories. One way to do this is to not rely exclusively on the theories developed within your particular discipline, but to think about how an issue might be informed by theories developed in other disciplines. Outside of science, referring to an idea as a theory often implies that it is untested—perhaps no more than a wild guess. Note that propositions may be conjectural but MUST be testable, and should be rejected if they are not supported by empirical observations. Theories are designed to be simple and parsimonious explanations, while reality may be significantly more complex. And this cycle of revising is how scientific theories become more detailed and accurate over time. Simpler, more parsimonious theories organize phenomena more efficiently than more complex, less parsimonious theories. It is probably more common, however, for a researcher to start with a theory that was originally constructed by someone else—giving due credit to the originator of the theory. Recall from Chapter 2 that constructs may be unidimensional i. Introduction to Research Methods: Theory and Hypothesis. Those that fare poorly are assumed to be less accurate and are abandoned, while those that fare well are assumed to be more accurate and are retained and compared with newer—and hopefully better—theories.

This practice does not mean that researchers are free to ignore disconfirmations of their theories.

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IS Research, Methods, and Theories