Discussion: Role of Theory in Research
Popular usage of the word “theory” may sometimes imply a singular, often grand idea. The world, however, is complex, and the systems designed to understand it, such as theory, are often intricate in order to sufficiently explain the world as it is. Indeed, as you will learn this week, theory is nuanced, and it can also be viewed as a combination of variables, ideas, or constructs to test or advance a research question. In addition, theory tends to play a different role in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research.
For this Discussion, you will consider the role of theory in research and the relationship between theory and philosophical orientations. You will also familiarize yourself with a theory in your field so that you may become more conversant in your discipline’s theoretical foundations.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 4
Post an explanation of the role of theory in research. Next, identify a theory in your discipline and explain its basic tenets. Then, with this theory in mind, consider your answer to the following question posed by Dr. Burkholder in last week’s reading: “What do I have to believe about the world and about human beings in order for me to accept or use this theory?” Finally, describe the extent to which the epistemological and ontological assumptions of your chosen theory align with the philosophical orientation that reflects your worldview.
Be sure to support your Main Issue Post and Response Post with reference to the week’s Learning Resources and other scholarly evidence in APA Style.
Read a selection of your classmates’ postings.
By Day 6
Respond to a classmate by further supporting his or her response or respectfully offering a differing perspective.
This week, you explained the role of theory in research. You identified a theory in your discipline and explained its basic tenets. You also described alignment between epistemological and ontological assumptions of a theory and philosophical orientations.
Next week, you will evaluate the use of literature and problem statements in research studies.