Deductive (Note: sometimes Positivism is called hypothetico-deductive )
Bryan Mills The beginning of the Enlightenment (modern era) Scientific Method Phenomenology Feminism Positivism Natural Science Social Theological Key interpretations of the natural and social world < 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 Post-modernism Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths. -Bertrand Russell
Concerned with experience and empirical knowledge
Personal knowledge backed up by scientific verification - objective .
Named by in the 19th Century by Auguste Comte (French Mathematician and Philosopher) - though its origins date back to the Enlightenment.
Think of an idea Test Report result
Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.
-Frank Herbert, Dune
Logical Positivism (just one of many offshoots) Wittgenstein. Moore, Russell (1920s/30s),
And then Logical Empiricism ;
Both of which saw movements still further away from metaphysics and towards logic and empiricism, claiming that the positivist belief in scientific verification is itself unverifiable.
How to identify Positivism …
Has an interest in cause and effect ( this is caused by that ) and generalisability (the findings are true for all)
uses the testing of hypotheses,
seeks objectivity and believes that an external object truth exists,
will emphasise correlation,
will probably be quantitative (numerical) but may also include qualitative work (interview, etc.)
A hypothesis is a "statement that can be falsified"
Coates (1996) gives us 5 'virtues' that make up a hypothesis:
It is possible to see from this list why hypotheses are used by positivists, or, inversely, why phenomenologists have no use for them.
Hypotheses H1 Team working improves productivity in medium sized, labour intensive, manufacturing companies. H0 Null - Team working has no measurable effect on productivity in medium sized, labour intensive, manufacturing companies.
If you hit a tuning fork twice as hard it will ring twice as loud but still at the same frequency. That's a linear response. If you hit a person twice as hard they're unlikely just to shout twice as loud. That property lets you learn more about the person than the tuning fork.
Interested in events as they appear to the consciousness, without reference to theory, deduction or assumptions
Named by Edmund Husserl (1913) - the study of structures of consciousness that enable consciousness to refer to objects outside of it.
Adapted by sociologists (Schutz) and emphasises peoples' experiences rather than scientific deduction - subjective .
Criticised for its habit of producing: Descriptions and uncontrolled hypotheses rather than explanation
How to identify Phenomenology
Very unlikely to have any quantitative work.
Will use interviews, case studies, logs or focus groups.
May even use ethnography (living/working amongst subjects).
Seeks interpretation - not cause and effect.
May use action-research or grounded theory
Towards the middle of the last century a shift began away from the importance of personal interpretation to the importance of discourse.
Positivists believed in an external objective world, phenomenologists in an internal subjective one and post-modernist in a world created by discourses.
Thus to understand the world we have to understand the discourse we operate within.
These discourses (conversations) can be actual conversations (creating cultural discourses), the media, academic disciplines, religions, professional discourses, etc
The world is not made of molecules, the world is made of stories.
Deductive and/or Inductive Process
Deductive and/or Inductive Process
You believe staff are not happy.
Qualitative interviews with staff: Pay is too low, more pay needed.
Quantitative research shows: Pay is better than equivalent firms, there are no problems.
BOTH TOGETHER Whilst pay is better than could be expected the staff still have a feeling of being ‘hard done by’.
This may indicate a problem with management style or morale, more research is clearly required.
On their own neither approach would have produced the right 'answer'.
Validity & Reliability
The research must lead to the collection of valid data. How valid will depend on the method used and the type of information elicited. Research is valid if it is what it claims to be - truly representative
Replicability and measurability are of prime importance. It is this requirement of replicability that encourages positivists to use quantitative methods. The 'rule' is - you must be confident that another researcher would match your findings.
Problem or lack of understanding Methodology Choice Positivist or Scientific Hypothesis deductive Mostly quantitative phenomenological inductive qualitative Post Modern Discourse analysis ?