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Positivist Approach to Research

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Fabian Zacher

on 12 November 2013

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Transcript of Positivist Approach to Research

● there is an objective reality

● people can know this reality

● symbols can accurately describe
and explain this objective reality
Prediction and control
There are general patterns of cause-and-effect that can be used as a basis for predicting and controlling natural phenomena. The goal is to discover these

Rely heavily on experimental and manipulative methods

ensure that there is a distance between the subjective biases of the researcher
and the objective reality she or he studies
Positivist Approach to Research
What is that?
Developed by the philosopher August Comte in the early 19th century

Based on knowledge gained from 'positive' verification
of observable experience

Scientific methods or experimental testing are the best way of achieving this knowledge
● Prediction and control

● Empirical verification

● Research is value-free

Empirical verification
We can rely on our perceptions (observations or measurements) of the
world to provide us with accurate data.

All empirical studies- positivist approach!

Research is value-free
Provided a strict methodological protocol is followed, research will be free of
subjective bias and objectivity will be achieved
Involves hypothesis generation and testing: proving or refuting. Typically, quantitative methods are used
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