How do theoretical paradigms inform doctoral research

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What is the relationship of the scientific method to the doctoral research process?

How do theoretical paradigms (such as potential explanations of human social behavior) inform doctoral research?

Juodaityte and Kazlauskiene define the scientific method as including "methodological approaches, particular procedures," and "application of methods." The authors state that these elements must be established within the first stage of the dissertation process in order to lay the game plan for the realization of the work (Juodaityte % Kazlauskiene, 2008). The doctoral research project is also a well-ordered process that lays out its essential groundwork in the early stages. The proposal, the advisors, and the selected methodologies for data collection and analysis are selected early in the process in order to ensure a sound realization. Following the steps of both the universal scientific method and the GCU dissertation process paves the way for a successful completion of the work.

According to Greenberger, research paradigms are linked to the researcher's worldview (Greenberger, 2015). The researcher's worldview will impact the methodologies he selects to realize his work. Thus his worldview determines his paradigms and sets the course for the resulting character of the study. Certain scholarly communities implicitly share paradigms that influence research. By cultivating awareness of these paradigms, a researcher can be more conscious and involved in choosing the influences that impact his work. These paradigms may even help determine the type of research conducted. For example, the "positivist" and "post-positivist" paradigms favor research projects where data is measurable and quantifiable (Greenberger, 2015). By contrast, "constructivist" or "advocacy/participatory " paradigms favor more qualitative methods, through their alignment with subjects' perceptions. Scholarly awareness of paradigms informs research by serving as a guiding inclination for the researcher. The paradigms will support and validate the researcher's approach and choice of methods in the realization of his project.

Greenberger, Scott. (2015). Foundation of empirical research. In Grand Canyon University (Ed.), GCU Doctoral Research: Foundations and Theories. Retrieved from

Juodaityte, A., &Kazlauskiene, A. (2008). Research methods applied in doctoral dissertations in education science (1995-2005): theoretical and empirical analysis. Vocational Education: Research & Reality, (15), 36-45.


Scientific methods are the fundamental way to generate knowledge through research. It is essential to look at research methods to conceptualize how a research project can be completed and how the objectives of research can be attained with a certain method. These methods have been classified in various ways; some scholars divide them into quantitative and qualitative areas. The qualitative method emphasizes description of natural or social events where the researcher tries to develop understanding concerning a social situation, role, group or interaction. The philosophical assumption is linked with research question as has been discussed above and is defining the research objective and outcome. The knowledge can be created through inductive and deductive methods. Paul and Marfo (2001) add that often doctoral students "in education are deciding on methodological preferences for their dissertation research long before they have posed their specific questions and often with little or no conceptual grounding in the core philosophical assumptions behind the chosen methodologies" (p. 538). When undertaking research, it is important to consider different research paradigms and matters of ontology and epistemology Lincoln and Guba (1995).

Research is about perceptions, beliefs, assumptions and the nature of reality and truth. Likewise, these can influence the way in which the research is undertaken from design through to conclusions. Therefore, it is important for the researcher to understand and discuss these aspects in order that approaches congruent to the nature and aims of the particular inquiry that adopted. Furthermore, understanding research philosophies will make it easier for a researcher to choose the appropriate paradigm, design, data collection methods, data analysis techniques and justify the choices with ease. In similarly, I will utilize these methods to influence quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods explanation in my dissertation process.

Guba, Egon G. & Lincoln, Yvonna S. (1994). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In Norman K. Denzin &Yvonna S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp.105-107). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Paul, J. L., &Marfo, K. (2001). Preparation of educational researchers in philosophical foundations of inquiry. Review of Educational Research, 71(4), 525-547.


The relationship of the scientific method to the doctoral research process is that scientific methods assist research in creating and discovering new knowledge systematically and in a way that will avoid bias. Greenberger (2015) point out that that research at the doctoral level requires the creation of new knowledge - it is also the intention to discover and understand knowledge - to find what is true. Hence, research starts with creating methods of examining that lead to empirical evidence. Doctoral research looks for empirical evidence or direct and unbiased observation put forth as proof of propositions.

Research paradigms are beliefs and practices shared by the community of specialists (Kuhn, 1970). They are a set of beliefs that guide the way that researchers conceptualize and conduct their studies (Fraenkel, Wallen, & Hyun. 2012).Theoretical paradigms inform doctoral research in the sense that there are implicit practices that do align with certain paradigm features, and as a researcher, it is important to be aware of the reasons for these differences and similarities (Greenberger, 2015) This information is the key to doctoral research, which requires a scientific approach to obtain empirical evidence void of bias. ((Greenberger, 2015) Since doctoral research involves the creating and discovering of new knowledge, it must rely on empirical evidence rather than mere observation leading to a bias conclusion.


Greenberger, Scott. (2015). Foundation of empirical research. In Grand Canyon University (Ed.), GCU Doctoral Research: Foundations and Theories. Retrieved from

Haegele, J. A., & Hodge, S. R. (2015). The Applied Behavior Analysis Research Paradigm and Single-Subject Designs in Adapted Physical Activity Research. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 32(4), 285-301.

DQ 1

According to Grand Canyon University (2012) the relationship of the scientific method to the doctoral research process is a similar process of that in an individual's formative years relative to conducting research that included the research problem, hypothesis, collecting data, and formulating results. The doctoral learner must read empirical studies to identify gaps in the research, identify different design methods; collect measurable data and perform data analysis to obtain results (Nordin& McClendon, 2015).

Theoretical paradigms inform doctoral research by providing ways of approaching research questions. A researcher's chosen methodology depends on the nature of phenomena being studied (Simandan, 2010). A quantitative study is an inquiry based on statistical data used to clarify phenomena. A qualitative study seeks to understand social and human interactions (Greenberger, 2015).

According to Greenberger (2015) each person has their own worldview and this worldview will influence research decisions. Learners attending GCU are encouraged to reflect on a Christian worldview. Regardless of the worldview, the learner must be cognizant of the predispositions from their beliefs (Greenberger, 2015).


Grand Canyon University. (2012). Lecture 1: The research process. [HTML document]. Retrieved from
Greenberger, S. (2015). Foundations of emperical research. In Grand Canyon University. (Eds.), GCU doctoral research: Foundations and theories. Retrieved from

Nordin, E. J., & McClendon, C. (2015). Essential skills for a doctoral dissertation. In Grand Canyon University. (Eds.), GCU doctoral research: Foundations and theories. Retrieved from

Part 2


The topic I selected is "how to narrow down the dissertation topics." The student is struggling to select between two topics. The first is, "A women of color in pursuing and completing her degree in higher education. Also, what obstacles will she face and how she overcomes those obstacles." The second is, "Does the toxic leadership that affects the faculty and staff have a negative or positive influence on the student population and academics?"

This forum may be helpful to me because I am also struggling to summarize my own dissertation topic. I have already changed the topic three times since I started my first class. Now that I am convinced I would like to pursue my research in the area of "Leader global mindset," I still doubt whether my proposed dissertation topic is well stated. Greenberger (2015) points out The GCU dissertation must clearly communicate a research problem, build a cogent argument for the intended investigation, and accurately report and discuss the study results. I really appreciate the DC interaction forum; which I have read for the first time, and I am glad I can get more than the help I need from other learners.


Greenberger, Scott. (2015). Foundation of empirical research. In Grand Canyon University (Ed.), GCU Doctoral Research: Foundations and Theories. Retrieved from

Reference no: EM131093124

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