Research Paradigms And Philosophy

  • The research paradigm (beliefs) and research philosophy (develop knowledge) influences the outcome of the product and thus its findings
  • The beliefs of a non-religious student may be very different to the beliefs of a religious student
  • Both students may have the same problem but are doing it for very different reasons
  • These factors are more powerful when undertaking interpretive research approaches such as observations and interviews.
  • These term need to be integrated throughout your report
  • However, you many want to specifically highlight your standpoint as it influences your research method
  • It may look like this ….

written example here



Research paradigm is the beliefs that guide your actions (research)

  • Ontology: researcher view of reality
    • What assumptions they make about the way the world works
  • Epistemology: researcher view of knowledge
    • What is acceptable knowledge
    • What is the relationship between the researcher and knowledge
  • Axiology: researchers view of ethical and moral methodology
    • What research should and should not do to find results


Research philosophy is how you will development knowledge

  • Positivism
    • Attempts to discover how things work and interact by applying rules
    • Uses a
      • Structure method
      • Logical deduction
      • Established testing method
      • Collect data
      • Confirm or establish a consistent difference or relationship
      • Which can be used to make successful prediction
  • Realism (objects exist independently of our knowledge)
    • Is …whatever we believe now is only an approximation of reality and that every new observation brings us closer to understanding our own reality (ontologically).
  • Interpretivism (understanding the difference between humans in their role as social actors)
    • It is the study of how individuals act within society
    • Derives social processes (such as conflict, cooperation, identity formation) from human interaction
  • Pragmatism (arguing that it is possible to work within both positivist and interopretivist)
    • Rejects the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality.
    • Instead, function of thought is as an instrument or tool for prediction, action, and problem solving.
    • best viewed in terms of their practical uses and successes rather than in terms of representative accuracy.

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