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Research Methods and the Philosophy of Science

Determine which approaches the following three philosophies of science should align with, and why: empiricism, interpretivism, and deconstructivism/critical theory. (Creswell has already aligned constructivist with qualitative and pospositivist with quantitative.)

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Dear Student,
For the purpose of this solution, I shall make some assumptions - that you are already familiar with the theories mentioned in your problem and that you are also familiar with the methods and philosophies usually used when conducting research. Thank you for using Brainmass.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones


The Methods at a Glance

Quantitative methods include statistical analysis & use of databases, interviews as well as surveys and use of pre-existing published materials, usually peer reviewed and quantified/proven. The purpose of quantitative methods in doing research is to 'measure' and give a sense of depth and breadth to the subject at hand, that, during analysis, when patterns are sought, the data can be gone over again and again for the purpose of testing to verify the patterns that are emerging and the conclusions they lead researchers to - used mostly by market research agencies, government research bodies, for example, when they seek to put together a census of the populace or when they are putting together polls of public opinion. The qualitative method on the other hand does not seek to measure a research topic but seeks to find out as much about it as possible with all the messy details from an immersive/observative point of view. Used as the choice method in ethnography, the qualitative approach is at the heart of Ethnomethodology when, for example, a social scientist seeks to understand a culture or a tribe via immersion and observation without complete participation to be as objective and truthful to the subject matter as much as possible. Laura Bohannon, in her study of certain African tribes employed qualitative methods - as an outsider, their traditions, their way of life was introduced to the world via Bohannon's ethnographic methodology. When we say mixed methods - we refer to combining quantitative and qualitative methods in a research study - to both quantify and give messy details. Other social scientists refer to qualitative methods as 'giving texture and presence' to how a subject feels and is perceived, as the more details observed, the more patterns emerge. So when combined in a mixed method approach, ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses as they relate to and is utilised in research, discussing the main research methods. The solution then provides a pragmatic opinion and assessment on the best possible alignment the philosophy of science could utilize in terms of philosophical perspectives. The solution follows the APA-format and is in the form of an essay. References are provided.