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:
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.
- Explain role of theory in research
- Use research databases and scholarly sources to identity a theory in your discipline
- Explain basic tenets of a theory
- Describe alignment between epistemological and ontological assumptions of a theory and philosophical orientations
- Apply APA Style to writing
- Chapter 1, “The Context of Design”
- Walden University: Library. (2015c). Theorists and theories: Discover theorists & theories. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/theory Be sure to review all sections within this guide: “Discover Theorists & Theories,” “Find Books by Theorists,” and “Find Articles by Theorists.”