Introduction One of the major claims made regarding qualitative methods is that they diverge from scientific explanation models in terms of the need for hypothesis testing. A scientific hypothesis is based on a background theory, typically assuming the form of a proposition whose validity depends on empirical confirmation. Otherwise, a hypothesis is nothing but an imaginative conjecture.
A deductive approach usually begins with a hypothesis, whilst an inductive approach will usually use research questions to narrow the scope of the study.
For deductive approaches the emphasis is generally on causality, whilst for inductive approaches the aim is usually focused on exploring new phenomena or looking at previously researched phenomena from a different perspective. Inductive approaches are generally associated with qualitative research, whilst deductive approaches are more commonly associated with quantitative research.
However, there are no set rules and some qualitative studies may have a deductive orientation. One specific inductive approach that is frequently referred to in research literature is grounded theory, pioneered by Glaser and Strauss.
This approach necessitates the researcher beginning with a completely open mind without any preconceived ideas of what will be found.
The aim is to generate a new theory based on the data. Once the data analysis has been completed the researcher must examine existing theories in order to position their new theory within the discipline. Grounded theory is not an approach to be used lightly.
It requires extensive and repeated sifting through the data and analysing and re-analysing multiple times in order to identify new theory. It is an approach best suited to research projects where there the phenomena to be investigated has not been previously explored.
The most important point to bear in mind when considering whether to use an inductive or deductive approach is firstly the purpose of your research; and secondly the methods that are best suited to either test a hypothesis, explore a new or emerging area within the discipline, or to answer specific research questions.
Has this post helped you? If so then please leave a comment!4 Deductive Research Approach Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific.
Sometimes this is informally called a "top -down" approach. What Is Deductive Research? A deductive, or "top-down," approach to research methodology begins with hypotheses based on existing knowledge or literature.
In other . Research philosophy in the ‘research onion’ Each stage of the research process is based on assumptions about the sources and the nature of knowledge. The research philosophy will reflect the author’s important assumptions and these assumptions serve as base for the research strategy.
In logic, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches. Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific. Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down" approach. Novice qualitative researchers are often unsure regarding the analysis of their data and, where grounded theory is chosen, they may be uncertain regarding the differences that now exist between the approaches of Glaser and Strauss, who together first described the method.
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