The Key Elements of Research

Introduction

In any research, the key elements are theories and hypothesis. Theory plays main roles of definition, assumption, proposition, explanation, and prediction what the study result is probable to substantiate whether right or wrong. A theory is a combined body of intentions, expectations, and meanings that are related to elucidating and forecasting relationships amid variables. According to the explanation obtained, axiomatic, deductive, grounded, and inductive theories are among the major ones. On the contrary, hypotheses are proclamations resultant from scientifically tested theories proficient of being rebutted. In addition, their assessments may result in sustenance or nonsupport for the theory, from which they were resultant. The paper will discuss the key differences between the mentioned types of research theories and highlight the validity of the theories. In addition, the paper will explain the differences and similarities between theory and hypothesis and analyze variables and their significance as components of theoretical schemes.

Types of Research Theories

The most significant first step for anyone carrying out a research is to identify the main idea or subject of the research. Identifying the subject of a research is key to the whole process as it creates the outline of the research. Another key aspect is the source of information to be used in the research process. The common source of information includes the internet, interviewing sources, and articles in magazines or newspapers. Researchers can also include information from personal experiences, depending on the subject of the research. In order to conduct an accurate and proper research, it is essential to create a narrow subject or topic for research. This allows the researcher to obtain direct information as per the subject of study. A wide range subjects tends to create vague information. Minimizing the scope of research also provides the researchers with a chance to focus on the necessary information, hence obtaining the required outcome. In addition, it is significant to note that operating on a familiar subject makes the research process interesting, which is substantiated by most researchers.

Sourcing of information employs four major theories. In any research, the four theories are applicable in the process of obtaining information and these include inductive, deductive, axiomatic, and grounded theories. It is significant to note that the use of the four theories arises from varied backing reasons. More so, the four theories may be used together or separately while obtaining information for any research.

The key difference between the theories arises from their application in the research process, the type of research undertaken, and the expected outcome. In the following part, the paper explores the main differences of the theories starting with the definitional difference. Deductive research theory is mainly used in a research with a larger and general set of ideas. In the process of obtaining information, the theory provides a procedure that works down to a more specific set of ideas from the initial general setting. In other words, the theory is popularly known as top to down approach to research. When working with the deductive theory, the researcher starts by laying out a general idea on the subject then works down to a hypothesis that can be tested. The theory allows further narrowing of the ideas and information to an observation and test then into a confirmation of the original deduction of the initial theory. On the other hand, inductive research theory takes the opposite approach of deductive research theory. For this approach, the research begins on a particular set of ideas and proceeds to a very broad and generalized theory. The approach of the theory is bottom to up. For instance, a research may set off with very particular measures or observations, detect patterns, then reach a hypothesis that the research can explore, ending up with generalized conclusions and theories.

Another notable type of research theory is grounded theory. In this approach, the theory is developed based on the facts obtained while sourcing information. Experts in the area claim that grounded research theory separates theory and data while others insist it combines the two aspects of research. Grounded research theory takes questions and assessments and employs unequivocal techniques to guide the type of research. It is noteworthy that the research theory offers the researcher concentration, saturation, and rationalization in the end data by using detailed and systematic techniques. Experts indicate that grounded research theory depicts several benefits. However, it is recommended that anyone applying the theory in obtaining information should have vast experience and expertise. Finally, axiomatic research theory is mainly applicable when reliable and predictable evaluations can be obtained. In this case, scientific points are essential in making research predictions on the expected outcomes. The theory requires projects or researches such as Newton’s theory of gravity. In the research, scientific ways were applicable in the determination of what would happen to the apple when it fell. According to science, this is an expected outcome in any study regarding gravity.

In addition to the above definitional differences of the research theories, it is important to note that some researches will require application of all the four theories or they may be used separately. In essence, most researches will use two or more theories while obtaining information. In this regard, it is difficult to measure and report that one type of theory is more valid than the others. In support of the comment, the nature of the research subject will determine the applicable theory. Ideally, depending on the number of certain researches will lead to one type of theory being used more often than another one. More so, researchers are determinants of the theory to be used, which will rely on their preferences. Other factors that will determine the choice of research theory to employ in researches include funding, time, individual preferences, and available resources.

Theory and Hypothesis

Researches employ both theory and hypothesis. The principal difference between the two components of a research is that a theory arises from a hypothesis after the study of facts obtained. According to their definitions, a hypothesis is more of an idea, while a theory is based on the facts of the research. Theories refer to developed principles used to explain a given aspect of the research, and, in most cases, they are comprehensively tested. Contrary, a hypothesis is a prediction of what is expected to happen in the research process. In essence, the establishment of theories is through laws, facts, and predictions. Hypothesis is more of an idea of what will happen in the study. The two components of any given research depict key similarities. Both theory and hypothesis can be tested and used in the research process and they predict events. Theories offer predictions in general terms, while hypothesis provides predictions in more particular terms concerning a given set of circumstances.

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Variables

Variables refer to elements or components in any study that are subject to change. The variables can be a number, name, or anything that may change the research outcomes. It is significant for researchers to measure variables to see what will change the facts presented. Any research uses three key types of variables, namely confounding, independent, and dependent variables. Independent variables are the cause of any change in the research, while dependent variables are the effect of the independent variables. Confounding variables are the unseen or predictable variables that have an effect on the dependent variable that researchers need to learn how to control or eliminate.

Variables are significant in any given study as they provide a platform for researchers to test theories, understand the reasons for any noted changes taking place and see what has caused the changes to occur. In addition, variables play a key role of ensuring that researchers work as per the set out plans, hence using all the facts and factors of the subject under research. It is also essential that these factors must be applicable for the research to be through. A proper research should also ensure the use of all presented facts, information, and ideas. Experts recommend application of all types of variables for any study as they help in the evaluation of the facts and information collected. The validity of elements of research determines the accuracy of the investigations carried out, hence the application of such factors as variables in the research process.

Conclusion

Hypothesis and theory are key elements of any research process. From the above discussion, a hypothesis is a suggested justification for an evident occurrence. Contrarily, a theory is a confirmed, well-substantiated, an amalgamating explanation for a set of corroborated, established factors. The highlighted factors for both elements indicate that a theory is always backed by evidence, while a hypothesis is only an advocated possible outcome and is testable and falsifiable. The four theories of research also help in deducing the best information for the research. As identified above, deductive, grounded, inductive, and axiomatic research theories can be applied separately or all in the same study. Since the theories are all applicable, it is difficult to prioritize them, as all of them are valid and they rely on the subject under study. Finally, variables form significant elements of a study as they ensure the use of presented information and facts. It is essential for researchers to regard all the theories and hypothesis while working on a given study.

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