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Introduction One of the major claims made regarding qualitative methods is that they diverge from scientific explanation models in terms of the need for hypothesis testing.
A scientific hypothesis is based on a background theory, typically assuming the form of a proposition whose validity depends on empirical confirmation. Otherwise, a hypothesis is nothing but an imaginative conjecture. Moreover, when researchers do not obtain empirical confirmation for their hypothesis, the theory in question or part of it may not be able to predict relevant aspects of the phenomenon under investigation.
Their primary interest is to achieve understanding Verstehen of a particular situation, or individuals, or groups of individual, or sub cultures, etc. In summary, qualitative methods are primarily inductive, in contrast to the deductive methods of experimental science. The debate centers around how we justify that what we know is valid.
More specifically, induction is the form of reasoning based on empirical observation in the process of developing scientific laws and theories. Thus, induction negotiates the relationship between empirical reality and its theorization, in addition to the production and validation of knowledge.
For example, qualitative methods have been accused of reflecting the problems pointed out by philosophers of science e. In other words, qualitative researchers tend to prioritize logic emerging from experience, preferring to expand their knowledge from it as opposed to using a priori, deductive, concepts.
Qualitative researchers have for decades reacted to this distorted view of the field e. Of the many examples that could be cited, I highlight grounded theory methodology GTM. There are differences among researchers using this approach e. GTM rests in a state of permanent tension between 1.
What is the role of theory in qualitative research? Alternatively, what function do empirical data play in the theorizing process?
Answering these questions is important for the continuing advancement of qualitative methods as well as the inclusion of this field in the discussions of similar issues that have been witnessed in the philosophy of science.
As a starting point, I recapitulate the main characteristics of the so-called problem of induction, arguing that it raises important questions regarding the value of theory in science. Next, I review ways of describing the theory-empirical data relationship that have been proposed in order to address the problem of induction in the realm of the philosophy of science.
Against this backdrop, I discuss how qualitative researchers have dealt with the question of induction, using a "generic analytic cycle" common to qualitative methods as an illustration. In the last sections, I propose reconsidering the role of theory in qualitative research.
I argue for the need to recover a substantial definition of theory in these studies. According to HUME there are two primary ways to validate knowledge:The social support and physical health are two very important factors help the overall well-being of the individual.
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