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19 Cards in this Set

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theory
explanation of a certain set of observed phenomena in terms of a system of constructs and laws that relate these constructs to each other
theoretical construct
a concept that is inferred from observed phenomena (can be defined constitutively or operationally)
constitutively defined construct
defined by referring to other constructs
conservation
for constitutively defined constructs it is defined by referring to other contructs (e.g. property, transformation, or length); for operationally defined constructs it is defined by referring to a particular task
operationally defined construct
defined by specifying the activities used to measure or manipulate it
variable
a quantitative expression of a construct
law
a generalization about the causal, sequential, or other relationship between two or more constructs (also called a scientific law)
grounded theory
involves deriving constructs and laws directly from the immediate data that one has collected rather than from prior research and theory
hypothesis
a tentative proposition about the relationship between two or more theoretical constructs
positivism
the epistemological doctrine that physical and social reality is independent of those who observe it, and that observations of this reality, if unbiased, constitute scientific knowledge
postpositivism
the epistemologyical doctrine that social reality is constrcted and that it is constructed differently by different individuals
reflexivity
the focus on the researcher's self as an integral constructor of the social reality being studied
analytic induction
the researcher searches through the data bit by bit and then infersthat certain events or statements are instances of the same underlying theme or pattern
scientific realism
the philosophical doctrine that the real world consists of layers of causal structures, some of them hidden from view, that interact to produce effects that may or may not be observable
positivist research
grounded in the assumption that features of the social environment constitute an independent reality and are relatively constant across time and settings. Positivist researchers develop knowledge by collecting numerical data on observable behaviors of of samples and then subjecting thes data to numerical analysis
postpositivist research
grounded in the assumption that features of the social environment are constructed as interpretations by individuals and that these interpretations tend to be transitory and situational. Postpositivist researchers develp knowledge by collecting primarily verbal data through the intensive study of cases and then subjecting these data to analytic induction
postmodernism
a broad social and philosophical movement that questions the rationality of human action, the use of positivist epistemology, and any human endeavor (e.g. science) that claims a privileged position with respect to the search for truth or that claims progress in the search for truth
Response to Postmodern Criticism
1) The creation of concepts and procedures that are shared and publicly accessible.
2) The replicability of findings.
3) The refutability of knowledge claims.
4) Control for errors and biases.
5) Boundedness of knowledge claims
6) A moral commitment to progressive discourse.
progressive discourse
anyone at any time can offer a criticsm about a particular research study or research methodology, and if it proves to have merit, that criticism is listened to and accommodated.