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Sociology: Questionnaire design - Essay Example

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Questionnaire design What are the principles of Positivism and to what extent do they still guide the design of social survey research today? The positivistic research paradigm earned fame in the near the beginning of 1800s (Rohmann 1999). It was the foremost paradigm for doing research till the 20th century (post World War II)…
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Download file to see previous pages g-6). In the domain of positivistic research paradigm, an expression created 200 years ago, it is supposed that the solitary way in which individuals can be sure that the knowledge is accurate is if it was produced by means of the scientific method; therefore, it includes the empirical methodology, connoting data is gathered from experiment and observation (providing supportive verification) (Rohmann 1999). The scientific attitude towards research comprises of the known course of proposing hypotheses as justifications of phenomena and then creating experiments to verify the hypotheses. Hypothesis comes from the Greek word hypotithenai, which means ‘to put under or to suppose.’ Simply stating, a hypothesis is a conditional idea whose worth needs additional test. The procedure used in placing this proposal under scientific examination (sampling, data collection, data analysis) would require it to be duplicated (termed reliability) so researchers can forecast any future outcomes produced using the identical methods. It is essential that the complete research method be objective to diminish prejudiced explanations of the outcomes. A broad array of statistical methods have been developed as a way of determining reliability and validity, the two criteria considered as proof of academic rigour in the positivistic paradigm. Rigour guarantees individuals employing scientific outcomes that a standard of precision was engaged, signifying any result arising from an examination of the results can be considered to be true. Validity denotes the vigour of the findings and inferences, and can also mean if it is fitting to generalize the conclusions to larger samples or situations other than the ones researched in the study. If each and every one of these set of laws of the scientific method are observed, individuals using the findings of scientific studies should be secured taking action on the basis of their understanding of the findings and consequent decisions and conclusions. In the early twenties, a set of German philosophers in Vienna produced a philosophy afterwards known as the "logical positivism" which depended greatly on Machian neopositivism, Humean scepticism, Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, and Russell's Principia Mathematica. Commencing Mach, the positivists got their assurance that science should stay away from metaphysical conceptions and depend wholly on that can be observed. From Hume, they got their conviction that inductive reasoning is not permissible. From Wittgenstein, the positivists created both their well-known "verifiability principle" and the trust that the aim of philosophical investigation should be the "critique of language" or "meaning analysis." From Russell, the positivist took formal logic as an investigative tool for their meaning analyses. The underlying principles of positivism are that the reality is objective and a researcher can measure it and there are laws which govern social behaviour. Causality, the machine metaphor, and the nature of reality are the three pillars on which positivism rests. The literature on consumer research asserts that the hunt for causal linkages or causal explanation stands significantly in "positivistic social science." For instance, in explaining "alternative ways of seeking ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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