Example Of Assumption In Quantitative Research

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Post-positivism allows researchers to examine realities through a variety of measurement tools; thus accessing realities which could elude measurement by direct observation (Giddings & Grant, 2007; Schumacher & Greener, 1992). Regardless of whether the researcher adopts a positivist or post-positivist philosophy, the description of the paradigms begin with assumptions about the researcher’s role and relationship to the setting, and by identifying the epistemological and validity assumptions underlying the choice of the role and relationship.

The conviction that there is a reality existing outside of the researcher, hat this reality can be observed (ontology), and that knowledge of this reality can be measured objectively (epistemology) are foundational assumptions in quantitative research (Hathaway, 1995). Thus the objects of interest are measured by instruments (e. G. , telescope), the data is examined and analyzed to determine if logical patterns are present, and rational theories are constructed to explain and predict a variety of facts (Hathaway, 1995).

Ontologically the researcher assumes that the external reality is comprised of facts that are “law-like” and provide structure or a theoretical framework to this reality. Physics provides an example of this approach.

Methodological and Ontological Assumptions

Writing Assumptions In Research

Empirical-analytical inquiry is characterized by the researcher’s detached or objective view from the setting under study. This objectivity or detachment is, in part, due to the assumption that the object under study is separate from or independent of the researcher (Eisner, 1981; Smith, AAA; Smith, Bibb).

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In the empirical analytical view, researchers adhere to the mind-reality duality and the mind is seen as separate from reality (Hathaway, 1995). Another way of considering objectivity is that of being hurry neutral (Schumacher & Greener, 1992). This is an extreme view and within the contemporary empirical analytical view, researchers would claim that most inquiry is theory laden (Smith, Bibb).

However, with objectivity as the goal, the researcher strives to prevent biases throughout the research process and attempts to control the research design for validity, credibility, and reliability (Burns & Grove, 1997). While it is impossible to achieve complete objectivity, cultivating an awareness of potential threats and taking measures to decrease threats whenever possible serves to strengthen the research project. It is important to underscore the intertwined nature of the assumption about objectivity and the assumption that a reality exists outside of the observer. The observer, or researcher, assumes that reality exists outside of the human experience (Carroty, 1998; Polite-O’Hara et al. , 1991).

In other words, there are facts with an objective reality separate from the beliefs of the researcher therefore reality exists regardless of the researcher’s presence (Firestone, 1987). In a contemporary perspective, reality holds a mediated position between the objective and subjective worlds. Reality affects human beings and unman beings effect reality (Schumacher & Greener, 1992). Thus unobservable realities exist and can be represented in theoretical concepts. This line of thinking extends teen assumption AT realty Deanna Tanat wanly can De crossover only Dye slung the senses.

An example of an unobservable reality would be a belief that depression is a reality. Depression is not an object that we can observe. Rather we can observe phenomena such as actions, behaviors, and consequences that may be associated with depression. Given this phenomenon, theoretical Judgments are made about what constitutes a theoretical reality of depression. The theoretical construct enables the researcher to design a research project on the subject of depression.

Linked to the assumption about reality is the assumption that reality consists of facts or truths that can be known (Hathaway, 1995) and these facts provide the researcher with a theoretical framework to help guide the inquiry (Firestone, 1987). The researcher aims to precisely and define categories based on these facts before the study begins and then determines the relationships between them (Firestone, 1987; Smith, Bibb). Hypotheses establishing a relationship between cause and effect are rived from these categories and only the data that is relevant to them are collected and tested.

An extreme critique may be that reality is being actively structured by the researcher’s prosecuted categories and that this methodology is unduly controlled regarding what is relevant to the study. The assumption underlying this point is the deterministic or linear nature of hypothesis testing. Control is inherent in this method of inquiry which is another underlying assumption of quantitative research. Researchers using a more moderate approach within the post positivist paradigm recognize that research is a human endeavor.

They derive their a priori categories from personal beliefs or experience, from theoretical formulation, or from their own or others interpretive research (Hathaway, 1995). Because reality is considered to be relatively stable and researchers are able to observe it, a further assumption is that of objective measurement (Polite-O’Hara et al. , 1991). The purpose of objective measurement is to gain an understanding about the reality of a phenomenon in an objective manner (Giddings & Grant, 2007). Thus, in the act of documenting and measuring, the researcher, in the role of a detached onlooker, reserves objectivity (Hathaway, 1995).

In other words, it is essential that the measurement tool(s) and process are objective to gain closer proximity to true knowledge of the phenomenon. Measurement is an important assumption in quantitative research and measurement tools, if properly designed and applied, can lead the researcher to greater understanding about the phenomenon. Measurement is the process of assigning numbers to the phenomenon using some type of rule (Burns & Grove, 1997). Before assigning numbers there is an assumption that the measurement tool(s) will be accurate in measuring the phenomenon.

For example, if a researcher wants to measure pain, a measurement tool such as a pain scale could be used. Alternatively, the researcher could choose to measure opinions about various pain treatments. In order to measure the opinions, the researcher would assign numbers to the most likely responses observed. In constructing the pain treatment opinion tool(s), it is essential that the measurement tool(s) have an appropriate correspondence to the reality of pain treatment opinions (Polite-O’Hara et al. , 1991). Thus to accurately measure a phenomenon, the measurement tool(s) must be based on a reality and be as objective as possible.

The assumptions of reality, objectivity and measurement are interrelated and integral to the ontology and methodology AT quant I t tattle research. I nose assumptions are essential components in the design of quantitative research projects. An example is if the researcher seeks to understand philosophies of childhood, their assumptions about reality, objectivity, and measurement related to this philosophy are embedded in the designing the research project. There is an assumption that a reality about philosophies of childhood exist.

Additionally, there are assumptions that philosophies of childhood can be measured and done so objectively. The researcher would consider how to objectively measure philosophies of childhood when developing the research design. If there were no existing tool(s) to measure the reality of philosophies of childhood, it would be necessary to develop a measurement tool(s) which could accurately measure the phenomenon. In developing the tool, the researcher would make objective theoretical Judgments about what variables (e. G. , psychological, biological, etc. ) would signify this phenomenon.

In sum, assumptions that the reality (philosophies of childhood) exists, that such realities are measurable, and that the assortment and process of inquiry are as objective as possible are hallmarks in the quantitative approach to research. Epistemological Assumptions Knowledge within the empirical analytical paradigm has utility if it is generalized. The aim of inquiry is to generalize from the particular and apply a theoretical framework that can be applied universally (Hathaway, 1995). Therefore the aim of generalization is served by the development of universal knowledge.

A broad example is research on the efficacy of pain medications. Control and experimental groups are observed to determine the effects of a specific drug. If there is justification to believe it alleviates pain the medication is made available for treating the population at large through a regulated process. Knowledge is also defined by what researchers call data and the selection of meaning. The researcher conducting empirical analytical inquiry makes decisions that will reveal what is generally applicable to all similar situations (Firestone, 1987; Smith, AAA; Smith, Bibb).

Taking a critical stance, Habeas (1971) claimed that such inquiry implies a dissociation of knowledge from human interest (Habeas, 2005) and questions the it with individual contexts, values, and preferences. Caution must be taken when considering that the context of discovery may be quite different than the context of practice. Separating the universal from the particular is accomplished through several processes (e. G. , instrumentation and precision) and methodological assumptions (e. G. , measurement techniques) (Hathaway, 1995).

The researcher, independent of specific situations under study, determines a set of hypothesized categories based on a priori knowledge and conducts a controlled inquiry to give meaning to phenomena that have significance at a generalized level. Data are considered factual or context-free when they have the same meaning across situations and settings (Hathaway, 1995).


The decisions researchers make concerning research methods have a direct impact on how they make meaning of their world. By adopting quantitative research, reality is structured and understood in a particular way. In some ways, the choice of quantitative approaches creates the reality we are attempting to discover.

By making a choice to conduct quantitative inquiry, we choose our paradigm or assumptions auto teen world (Leaner, BIBB; Hathaway, 1 Assumptions Tanat a realty exalts operate from the researcher, that such realities are measurable, and that the measurement and process of inquiry are as objective as possible are hallmarks of quantitative research. References Lender, J. S. (1986). Educational research: A personal and social process.

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Example Of Assumption In Quantitative Research. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-assumptions-in-quantitative-research/

Example Of Assumption In Quantitative Research
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