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Friday, 7 November 2014

Discuss the role of theory in Research



Effects of Theory on Research :

Not only a research affect a theory but also theory does affect research. This is a two-way action. This is explained below in detail:
(i) A theory provides a way of action for research and helps in guidance.
(ii) A theory helps to derive conclusions and to set up a logical relation.
(iii) A theory by helping the research being done for the solution of problems, helps in better understanding of problems and guides in their solution.
(iv) A theory opens new ways for research and extorts the researchers to investigate.
(v) A theory provides concept to research and helps in explaining and defining these concepts.
(vi) A theory points out a flow or a vacuum of knowledge and research tries to fill this vacuum with a new knowledge.
(vii) A theory presents the vast knowledge gained from research into a brief and comprehensive way. It summarizes the .whole information gained through research and the generalization of a research becomes easy.

Theory and Fact :
Good and Halt holds that pure research is theory and applied research is facts. Theory remains a speculation unless proved, and in case it is proved, then it becomes a fact.
According to social scientists, facts are regarded as empirical verifiable observation whereas a theory is a logical relation between facts that makes it meaningful. But we cannot say that theory and facts are synonymous of each other but are complicatedly interrelated with each other and the scientific progress depends upon their interplay which is detailed below.

The Role of Theory :

A theory is a tool of science and this does the following roles :
i. Theory as orientation :
The important role of theory is to study the facts by limiting those. Social phenomena, which can be studied by different angles. It provides a line of action to the researcher to observe social phenomena and provides a specific framework of study from where facts are collected.
Every science gives attention to find the reality of a specific phenomena aspect by limiting it. It explains the elements of facts of which the facts are related to a social phenomena and the relation between them.

ii. Theory as conceptualization and classification :
Every scientific knowledge has a structure through concepts with the help of which important functions and aims are studied. Facts are described through concepts whereas theories help in classification and conceptualization. The words we used in our daily life are concepts and the basic procedure of science is to
devise organized and specific concepts for the study of phenomena and this work is done by theory because it is theory that uses specific concepts for its expressions by classification, limits for its specific scientific knowledge.

iii. Theory as summarizing :
Theory helps collecting and describing facts briefly. The information and observation obtained from study or research is briefly stated by a theory and by using meaningful concepts for it generation empirically and establishes a relation system between propositions.

iv. Theory predicts facts :
A theory foretells through guess the same facts of same social conditions. For example, if a modern technology (mechanizes and implements) is used for the betterment of health, it produces increase in the rate of birth and decrease in rate of death and thus population is increased rapidly. On the base of this theory,
arranged from this observation, we can foretell the expected facts of a society where for the betterment of health a modern technology is being used.

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