03a wk1 disc | Social Science homework help

[music playing] NARRATOR: What is theory? And how does theory relate
to the various methods of research design? In this video program, Dr.
Michael Patton explores the answers to these questions. MICHAEL QUINN PATTON: Let’s talk
about theory and methods and the theory-methods
linkage. Theory is one of those
words that’s often intimidating to people. It’s a word that’s often
misunderstood in the popular culture. To say that something’s a theory
makes it sound like there’s no evidence for it or
people are just sort of making it up or it’s just
a belief system. But it’s an important and
central idea in science, and in scholarship. As you engage in theory, what
you’re engaging in is a system for explaining how the world
is the way it is. And so scientists posit theories
which explain how something has happened. Why the world is as it is. So in biology, evolutionary
theory explains that there are a variety of species and how
those different species came about in adaptation to
their environment. There are cosmological theories
that explain how the universe came about or how
the cosmos operate and planetary theories. Social science theories
explain how human beings operate. Sociological theories
explain society, the organizational of society. Economic theories explain how
wealth is created and distributed in society. Psychological theories explain
why people behave the way that they do. And those theories postulate
certain kind of factors and variables as particularly
important. So a theory says, these are the
things that you ought to pay attention to. And here’s why you ought to pay
attention to them, because they make a particular kind of
difference in the world. Now when you’re engaged
in research, you’re often testing a theory. A great deal of research
consists of testing a theory about something. So for example, the great Swiss
educational psychologist Piaget formulated a theory about
how children develop cognitively and morally. And there is a huge amount of
work going on around the world and cross-culturally to see if
Piaget’s stages of development hold up in different cultures
and across time. That’s called deductive theory
and deductive research. It’s deductive because the
research is deduced from or derived from the theory. And you generate a particular
part of that theory and what it would predict and test it
out in the real world. So that Piaget formulates and
hypothesizes that at a particular age, based upon his
study of his own children and European children, they would
behave in a particular way and be able to have certain
constructs. Let’s say at age two. Well, let’s suppose that
you’re Nigerian. And you’re interested in whether
or not that’s true for your children or Nigerian
children. So you use the tests and the
measures that have been developed and adapt those to
another culture and test out whether or not Piagetian theory
holds in Nigeria. Or in Peru. Or in Japan. That is deductive theory. When you’re testing out somebody
else’s theory. An Adlerian theory. A Skinnerian behavioral theory
that people will react in a certain way. You’re involved in
deductive theory. Deductive theory typically uses
quantitative methods. It engages in experiments. It uses tests and instruments
that have been developed to test a theory. We refer to ways of measuring
concepts that come from theory as operationalizing theory,
operationalizing those constructs. We operationalize– we give life to a
measurement– when we decide how to find out
what that thing is in the world by measuring it, by
administering a test, by observing it in some way. So the deductive theories
tend to be quantitative. Deductive tests of theories
tend to be quantitative. Because methods have been
developed to find out if that theory is the true. And that’s called theory
confirmation. We are trying to find out if
a theory holds for a new population, for a
new situation. Because one of the goals of
science is to generalize across time and space. That’s the highest formulation
of science. A generalization that
holds across time. That is, it was true in the
1940s and it’s true in the 1980s and it’s true in 2010s. And it holds across space, which
means it holds in Africa and it holds in Latin America
and it holds in Europe and holds in the United States. That is the holy grail of
science, to generalize across time and space. So we study deductive theory
by doing quantitative experiments and using measures
and applying them in new situations that have
already been used. Inductive theory is where we
begin not with a theory, but with the world. And we go out and we see
what’s going on in a particular place. We observe it. We talk to people. We look at what the patterns
are that are there. And that typically involves
qualitative inquiry. You’re going out and
you’re observing. You’re talking to people. You’re not testing a hypothesis,
but you’re asking a question. What’s going on here? What are people doing? How do they explain what
they’re doing? What are the common patterns
in what they’re doing? And so Margaret Mead, the great
anthropologist, went to Samoa and interviewed young
women, teenagers, and developed some of them as key
informants and had them tell her stories to look for
the patterns of coming of age in Samoa. And out of that, she developed
a theory about how sexual identity emerges. That’s inductive theory because
she didn’t begin with a theory, she began
with the data. She began with the world. And she studied it. One form of theory contribution
is to observe that something’s going on that
people don’t yet have a name for and to give it a name. When you name something,
you’re engaged in a theoretical act. Theories depend upon
constructs. They depend upon the identification of key variables. So a formulation of a new
construct is essentially saying in all the blooming,
buzzing confusion of the world, there’s this part of
the world, there’s this phenomenon that people haven’t
taken apart yet and named and said it’s important. Unfortunately, men have been
beating up on women across cultures throughout a great
deal of history. But until that phenomenon and
its impact was called the battered woman syndrome, it
didn’t have a construct that could be studied and could be
used in courts to say, here’s how that phenomenon occurs. And here is the impact of that
phenomenon on women who’ve experienced it. Here’s the psychological
impact. Here’s the physiological
impact. Here’s why women don’t leave. Understanding the phenomenon
of battered woman syndrome came from inductive theory,
from studying women who were battered. From interviewing them. From watching their lives. And then naming that and
saying, there’s a constellation of factors here. There was a student who observed
fathers who were deeply involved in the parenting
of their children, both their male children
and their daughters. And he studied a set of fathers,
a group of fathers, who were deeply engaged in
upbringing of their daughters, were very good fathers, cared
deeply about their daughters, had arrange their marriage and
their parenting so they shared parenting responsibilities. And then, as their daughters
moved into puberty and became teenagers, under the cultural
cloud of incest and family sexual abuse these very
affectionate fathers suddenly didn’t know how to relate to
their teenage daughters. And so they withdrew. They pulled back for fear that
they would do something inappropriate. For not knowing how
to engage the sexuality of their daughters. What do you call that
phenomenon? Well, this person who studied
it gave it the name reverse incest. Instead of engaging in sexual
behavior, they pulled back for fear of something that they
would do might be misinterpreted as an
incestuous or an inappropriate behavior. And they didn’t know
how to behave. That’s the way inductive
theory works. And it comes out of qualitative
field work. Because we don’t even know
what we’re looking for. We’re not beginning
with constructs. The theory emerges
from the data. So deductive theory tends to
be tested with instruments that have been developed. And you try it out on
some new population and see if it holds. That tends to be quantitative. Qualitative research tends to be
aimed at inductive theory, generating new constructs and
what things mean to people. There is a very important
combination of quantitative and qualitative, which is mixed
methods where you use some established instruments,
take probability and statistical samples to
understand something, but also have a part of that work that
consists of case studies. A common sequence in research
is to do field work, qualitative fieldwork, to turn
up something, let’s say this idea of Reverse Incest that you
observe out of looking at a small number of fathers and
their relationships to their teenage daughters. And then you wonder, how
widespread is that phenomenon? Well, qualitative research tends
to involve very small samples because it’s very
intensive interviewing. It’s in-depth interviewing. It’s case studies. It’s very labor intensive. And so we do very small case
studies through a sampling process that is called
purposeful sample. Purposeful sampling are cases
that illustrate the thing you’re interested in, the
phenomenon of interest. You get cases that illustrate
that phenomenon very well and you study them in depth. But now you’ve discovered
this thing. You want to know, how
widespread is it? So you develop a survey, fixed
questions, quantitative instrument. Develop reliability and validity
of that instrument. And now you take a random sample
of fathers with teenage daughters in a community or in a
country to find out how many of them have had these feelings,
these anxieties. How many of them have exhibited
these behaviors vis a vis their teenage daughters? That’s a quantitative inquiry
in order to generalize to a larger population. With that you use probability
sampling or statistical sampling, where you take
stratified random samples. Because the reason that you have
that kind of quantitative statistical probability sampling
is to generalize from your sample to the larger
population. With purposeful samples– small qualitative
case studies– you’re trying to understand
a phenomenon in depth and detail. With quantitative samplings,
you’re trying to generalize. Which gets you closer, then,
to deductive theory. With mixed methods,
you’re combining. So you may begin with a
qualitative study to understand something, develop
an instrument then that you can use quantitatively with
a random sample to see how widespread it is, and close off
that cycle by returning to some of those quantitative
responses interviewing people to find out what they meant by
their responses on the survey. And to put those survey
responses back in context, back in the larger context of
their larger lives, the other things that they do. So one mixed method sequence– and certainly not
the only one– is to begin qualitative, to
develop a phenomenon. Develop some hypotheses about
that phenomenon out of the qualitative work that you then
test quantitatively. And then add a qualitative
component to bring deeper and richer context and examples to
those quantitative responses. That’s not often something you
would do in a single study. That’s a sequence of inquiry
over a period of time, often by a number of different
practitioners. When you are then engaged in
combinations of research, you’re often involved in using
different strengths of these research in what we call a
process of triangulation. Triangulation is using multiple
methods to find out if the findings are consistent
across those methods. Are the testing results that
come from quantitative results consistent with and
understandable by the qualitative results? The combination of methods
often gives us different insights into something. So let’s say that we’re
interested in how people come to read. And in the phenomenon
of reading. The psychology of reading,
let’s say. Well, we want to know how much
people are able to read, at what level they’re
able to read. For that you’re going to
give a reading test. Tests are designed to determine
how much of something occurs. Is it more or is it less? Is the reading level
higher or lower? Many of you may have had the Myers-Briggs Personality
Inventory. And it tells you how
much you’re an extrovert or an introvert. How much you are on a particular
scale and what your Myers-Briggs personality
type is. Those are quantitative
forms of inquiry. So we give someone
a reading test. And we find out how much
they can read. But we also want to know what
reading means in their life. That’s a qualitative question. That requires qualitative
inquiry. We have to talk to them. What did your parents read? What kind of reading
environment did you grow up in? What do you like to read? How do you choose
what you read? Where does reading fit
into your life? Those are qualitative
forms of inquiry. We put together how much
somebody can read with what reading means to them and we
have a fuller picture, , through mixed methods, of the
nature of the phenomenon of reading, both at the
quantitative side– the amount of it that goes on
with a particular person or group of people– and its meanings. What quantitative methods are
particularly good for, then, is those things that
are on some scale. That the scale is derived from
a theoretical construct where we want to know if people have
more or less of that. More or less intelligence. More or less of a personality
type. More or less of a skill. And we can measure that
quantitatively. Qualitative inquiry focuses on
what things mean to people. Qualitative inquiries about
meanings, about their experience of the world. Mixed methods then combine the
question of how much of something’s happening with what
it means to get a full and rich multi-dimensional
picture of that phenomenon. Deductive theory is a source
of quantitative inquiry to confirm whether or not that
theoretical hypothesis is true in a new setting and for
a new group of people. Inductive theory opens us up
to discover things that we haven’t yet understood because
people haven’t paid attention to them. And mixed methods combines these
two approaches so that we both engage in testing some
propositions that are already out there and opening ourselves
up to discovering what they mean in
some new ways. And a great deal of the cutting
edge research these days is combining both
quantitative approaches and qualitative approaches. And, therefore, trying to build
upon the strengths of both a deductive approach to
theory and the openness that comes with an inductive
approach to theory. NARRATOR: Dr. Patton continues
his discussion of theory by clearly distinguishing the use
of theory in both quantitative and qualitative research
approaches. MICHAEL QUINN PATTON: Deductive
and inductive theories describe overall
theoretical approaches to making contributions
to knowledge. At a more specific level, within
any particular inquiry there are theories about
how the world works that guide those– Skinnerian theory, Freudian
theory, Marxian theory, Weberian theory– that are about the content
of a particular inquiry. But there are also theoretical
frameworks about how to study the world. And those derive from different
epistemologies, different nature of
knowledge itself. They come from philosophy
of science and the sociology of knowledge. And as you’re engaged in this
journey, you may be called upon to identify what
theoretical tradition your particular inquiry falls in. Much quantitative experimental
research is derived from a tradition of positivism, which
states that the way that you know the world is to be able to concretely observe the world. That only those things you can
see that exist in the senses, with the senses, are real. And that if you can’t see it,
taste it, smell it, touch it– if you if can’t measure
it, it doesn’t exist. That’s a particular
epistemology. And it’s represented
by various forms of positivist theory. In contrast to that is a
theoretical framework that epistemologically is called
phenomenology, which says that human beings know the world
through their experience. And so that theoretical
framework directs you to study the world through the
way people attach meaning to the world. And that becomes the theoretical
framework to guide a particular inquiry. Phenomenology– and there are actually
divisions within phenomenology– guides you in how to engage
in the inquiry itself. Hermeneutics is another area
where the theoretical frame of hermeneutics is a way of making
sense of what people have written by placing what
they have written in a larger societal context. If you’re doing a hermeneutical
cool study of the Bible, then you don’t just
look at those words. You look at the social and
cultural context within which the Bible was written. If you’re looking at a policy
statement that comes from a political administration, you
don’t just look at that policy statement without knowing the
political, social, and cultural context. That’s a form of inquiry, of
qualitative inquiry, that is well developed within the
philosophy and the theory of hermeneutics. And it tells you and guides
you in how you do that. Ethnography is a theoretical
framework about how to study culture. Autoethnography is a relatively
new theoretical framework about how you study
your own culture. Most ethnography involved
European people going into African and indigenous cultures
in Latin America and in Asia and studying those. But increasingly, people of
European descent and Americans are studying their own culture
and using their own experience as a part of that. Well, that theoretical
framework is called autoethnography. Like autobiography, which is
a study of your own life, autoethnography is a study
of your own culture. And it provides you guidance
with how to do that. So one form of theoretical
inquiry in the varieties of theory is to look at the subject
matter theory that you’re looking at– behavioral psychology, rational
emotive psychology, Adlerian psychology, Freudian psychology, Durkheimian
sociology. The other form of theory
is about to epistemological theories– phenomenology, positivism,
hermeneutics, symbolic interactionism, grounded
theory. These are ways of inquiring
into the world. And they’re important for you
to know as well, because you will position yourself within
those traditions.

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