Week 3 discussion

Answer Week 3 question 250 words. Respond to 3 classmate 250 words each.

Week 3 Question: Discuss some of the reasons why we include methodological theory in our research? What purpose does it serve? What role do inquiry paradigms play in research? Your posts this week should demonstrate critical reflection upon the assigned readings.
Classmate 1 Darrel: Research, as discussed in past weeks, is the systematic study of a specific topic using the scientific method designed to develop or contribute to knowledge. The results of research are conclusions to build on knowledge of the past and theories to be further investigated in the future. After this weeks’ lessons and readings, I learned that it is also theory (Methodological Theory) that provides the philosophical foundation of research methods before research even begins. Theory according to Howell, generates pluralism, produces choice, creates alternative scenarios, formulates debate and communication, increases awareness, and develops understanding (2013, 20). It is interesting to me that theory appears to be both in the front and back end of the research cycle, contrary to my original thoughts of research. In the beginning of research, theory shapes the logical framework of research and how it is conducted. A theory can also be the reason why research is being performed in the first place, to prove or disprove what was previously found. At the end of a study, theory is again formed after analyzing results and arriving at conclusions.
The philosophy backing research methods is represented by “Inquiry Paradigms”, which are assumptions about how research can be carried out (Lesson 3 2021, Slide 3). The two types of research methods hotly debated are quantitative and qualitative research. Each method is based on different assumptions about how the world works, what is considered true, and the overall purpose of research (Lesson 3 2021, Slide 3). Quantitative and Qualitative research methods align with the paradigm positions of Positivism, Interpretivism, and Critical Theory as seen below:
Quantitative – Positivism
Qualitative – Interpretivism and Critical Theory
Positivism is based on “scientific thinking where we begin to observe the world in a structured manner” (Lesson 3 2021, Slide 4). Here we are again with the term “scientific”, and this is where the traditional roots of “science” come into play, through quantitative research of numbers and statistics. Regarding social science, “positivism emphasized observation of human behavior and argued that things that could not be observed such as feelings or emotions were unimportant and may undermine or mislead the study” (Howell 2013, 41). I disagree with this notion because emotions are in fact what directly influence human behavior. People speak, act, and behave based on how they feel. Advocates of positivism and quantitative research also claim, “The only valid knowledge is knowledge gained through the scientific method” (Richey 2014). This belief must have originated during times when it was perceived that only physical/natural sciences can be researched using the scientific method. Through last weeks’ discussion, we found that the scientific method is also relevant to social science research, which is qualitative in nature. Qualitative research generally deals with words and meanings, more so focused on answering questions that begin with “why” and “how”. Interpretivism and Critical Theory research perspectives seek understanding of human behavior and social inequality respectively (Lesson 3 2021, Slide 5 and 8). Based on the logic of positivism above, knowledge from qualitative, social science research, is considered “valid”.
Reference List
American Military University. 2021. “SSGS500 Lesson 3 Methodological Theory and Its Role in Research.” Accessed November 16, 2021. https://myclassroom.apus.edu/d2l/le/enhancedSequen…
Howell, Kerry. 2013. “Empiricism, Positivism and Post-Positivism.” An Introduction to the Philosophy of Methodology. 32-54. https://dx-doi-org.ezproxy2.apus.edu/10.4135/97814…
Howell, Kerry. 2013. “Explaining and Understanding Theory.” An Introduction to the Philosophy of Methodology. 19-31. https://dx-doi-org.ezproxy2.apus.edu/10.4135/97814…
Richey, Tom. 2014. “Auguste Comte: Positivism and the Three Stages (European Philosophers).” YouTube, June 19, 2014.
Classmate 2 Daniel: As both a student and practitioner in the field, I feel as though taking a pragmatic approach to conducting research serves me best. Based on gaps in the body of work or flawed processes that I have observed in the field, I can formulate a research question that will drive my methodological theory and paradigm selection.
Methodological theory provides a basic framework from which research is structured. When beginning research it is important, albeit admittedly difficult, to identify a method that will serve as that framework. What can assist is by first understanding what type of research will be conducted. Example: will the research be qualitative or quantitative in nature? Once that is identified, then that can provide direction to which method is chosen. Howell (2013, 3) explains that “theories entail different understandings or explanations of the truth, reality, knowledge development as well as acquisition, application evaluation and critique.”
Alongside that framework, a paradigm of inquiry is identified – the way that the research will be entered into, the reasoning behind why the data will be collected, and the way that it will be interpreted. For instance, one could use the grounded theory to use as a framework (which is divergent in its application as outlined by Glaser

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