Prediction requires only correlations. For example, to study doctor-nurse interactions on medical wards, various theories can provide insights into different aspects of hospital and ward cultures. Theories are explanations of a natural or social behaviour, event, or phenomenon. Innovations may include new technologies, new practices, or new ideas, and adopters may be individuals or organizations. Theories provide complex and comprehensive conceptual understandings of things that cannot be pinned down: how societies work, how organisations operate, why people interact in certain ways. We do not capture any email address. technical support for your product directly (links go to external sites): Thank you for your interest in spreading the word about The BMJ. David Whetten (1989) suggests that there are four building blocks of a theory: constructs, propositions, logic, and boundary conditions/assumptions. The third approach to theorizing is to extend or modify existing theories to explain a new context, such as by extending theories of individual learning to explain organizational learning. Theories Absorptive capacity theory Actor network theory Accountability theory Adaptive structuration theory Administrative behavior, theory of Agency theory Argumentation theory Behavioral decision theory Belief Action Outcome The fourth approach is to apply existing theories in entirely new contexts by drawing upon the structural similarities between the two contexts. Steinfeld and Fulk (1990)  recommend four such approaches. This is also an inductive approach that relies heavily on the inductive abilities of the researcher, and interpretation may be biased by researcherâs prior knowledge of the phenomenon being studied. Access this article for 1 day for:£30 / $37 / €33 (excludes VAT). While classical positivist research in criminology seeks generalized causes of criminal behaviors, such as poverty, lack of education, psychological conditions, and recommends strategies to rehabilitate criminals, such as by providing them job training and medical treatment, GDT focuses on the criminal decision making process and situational factors that influence that process. A researcher begins with a set of phenomena and either constructs a theory to explain or interpret them or chooses an existing theory to work with. General Deterrence Theory. ), Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. This theory has interesting implications not only for traditional crimes, but also for contemporary white-collar crimes such as insider trading, software piracy, and illegal sharing of music. To that end, âtarget hardeningâ such as installing deadbolts and building self-defense skills, legal deterrents such as eliminating parole for certain crimes, âthree strikes lawâ (mandatory incarceration for three offenses, even if the offenses are minor and not worth imprisonment), and the death penalty, increasing the chances of apprehension using means such as neighborhood watch programs, special task forces on drugs or gang -related crimes, and increased police patrols, and educational programs such as highly visible notices such as âTrespassers will be prosecutedâ are effective in preventing crimes. As such, there can be good explanations or poor explanations, and consequently, there can be good theories or poor theories. Why use theories in qualitative research? Second, they aid in sense-making by helping us synthesize prior empirical findings within a theoretical framework and reconcile contradictory findings by discovering contingent factors influencing the relationship between two constructs in different studies. In cognitivism theory, learning occurs when the student reorganises information, either by finding new explanations or adapting old ones. However, theories can also have their own share of limitations. In contrast, explanations require causations , or understanding of cause-effect relationships. 11, … Agency theory (also called principal-agent theory), a classic theory in the organizational economics literature, was originally proposed by Ross (1973)  to explain two-party relationships (such as those between an employer and its employees, between organizational executives and shareholders, and between buyers and sellers) whose goals are not congruent with each other.  Rogers, E. (1962). Examples in this chapter illus- trate the alternatives available to qualitative researchers. Yes, theory should be use in your research. A researcher using phenomenology would approach the study of doctor-nurse interprofessional interactions by exploring how individual doctors and nurses made sense of their ward-based interprofessional experiences. Innovation adoption also depends on personal factors such as the adopterâs risk- taking propensity, education level, cosmopolitanism, and communication influence. Box 1 indicates how each of the theories discussed in this paper could be used to highlight different facets of this research problem. Grand nursing theories are still not widely used. The four theories are deductive, inductive, grounded, and axiomatic. Cognitivism has given rise to many evidence based education theories, including cognitive load theory, schema theory and dual coding theory as well as being the basis for retrieval practice. It explains how individuals can be influenced to change their attitude toward a certain object, events, or behavior and the relative efficacy of such change strategies. In addition, theories often used in gender research (e.g., Foucault’s theories of bio power and power and knowledge , as well as embodiment theories [14, 15]) were included when the focus of the paper was on First, theories provide the underlying logic of the occurrence of natural or social phenomenon by explaining what are the key drivers and key outcomes of … The theoretical framework is the structure that can hold or support a theory of a research study. . Social Science Research: Principles, Methods, and Practices. (2018). and Fulk, J. Again, this prediction is called a hypothesis. In the peripheral route, subjects rely on external âcuesâ such as number of prior users, endorsements from experts, or likeability of the endorser, rather than on the quality of arguments, in framing their attitude towards the target object. Given the nature of their underlying assumptions, economic and political theories are not directly comparable, and researchers should not use economic theories if their objective is to understand the power structure or its evolution in a organization. Unfortunately, theorists rarely state their implicit assumptions clearly, which leads to frequent misapplications of theories to problem situations in research. The way theory is being used in an eclectic way in school effectiveness research This section refers to a recent study by the author on the use of theory in educational effectiveness research … I willtheory This chapter explains the four characteristics of a theory outlined by Eisenhardt (1989) and Whetten (1989). Based View and Game Theory to be the three most frequently used theories. Knowledge is constructed from multiple perspectives. Theories give researchers different “lenses” through which to look at complicated problems and social issues, focusing their attention on different aspects of the data and providing a framework within which to conduct their analysis. The core assumptions of this theory are that human beings are self-interested individuals, boundedly rational, and risk-averse, and the theory can be applied at the individual or organizational level. Each theory has helped contribute t… The third building block of a theory is the logic that provides the basis for justifying the propositions as postulated. At the micro (adopter) level, Rogers (1995)  suggests that innovation adoption is a process consisting of five stages: (1) knowledge: when adopters first learn about an innovation from mass-media or interpersonal channels, (2) persuasion: when they are persuaded by prior adopters to try the innovation, (3) decision: their decision to accept or reject the innovation, (4) implementation: their initial utilization of the innovation, and (5) confirmation: their decision to continue using it to its fullest potential (see Figure 4.4). The latter route is less cognitively demanding, and the routes of attitude change are typically operationalized in the ELM using the argument quality and peripheral cues constructs respectively. One such framework may be a simple input-process-output framework, where the researcher may look for different categories of inputs, such as individual, organizational, and/or technological factors potentially related to the phenomenon of interest (the output), and describe the underlying processes that link these factors to the target phenomenon. Constructs capture the âwhatâ of theories (i.e., what concepts are important for explaining a phenomenon), propositions capture the âhowâ (i.e., how are these concepts related to each other), logic represents the âwhyâ (i.e., why are these concepts related), and boundary conditions/assumptions examines the âwho, when, and whereâ (i.e., under what circumstances will these concepts and relationships work). intersectionality). This deductive approach leverages the rich inventory of social science theories developed by prior theoreticians, and is an efficient way of building new theories by building on existing ones. The presence of theory is an indication of research eminence and respectability , as well as a feature of discipline’s maturity [19, 20].Theory has been defined in many ways. Because people naturally choose utility-maximizing behaviors, deviant choices that engender personal gain or pleasure can be controlled by increasing the costs of such behaviors in the form of punishments (countermeasures) as well as increasing the probability of apprehension. Hence, a criminalâs personal situation (such as his personal values, his affluence, and his need for money) and the environmental context (such as how protected is the target, how efficient is the local police, how likely are criminals to be apprehended) play key roles in this decision making process. I cannot conceive of any empirical research that is not grounded on one or several theoretical frameworks or theories. As we know from previous chapters, science is knowledge represented as a collection of âtheoriesâ derived using the scientific method. When doing research, there are theories that we use to obtain information. There are books, articles in magazines or daily papers, questioning sources, and the regularly developing web. 2009; 27:33-62 (ISSN: 0739-6686) O'Connell KA Theories tell how and why things work; how and why one variable is related to another. As noted earlier, scientific research proceeds along two planes: a theoretical plane and an empirical plane. This theory holds that people are fundamentally rational (for both conforming and deviant behaviors), and that they freely choose deviant behaviors based on a rational cost-benefit calculation. Theory is not data, facts, typologies, taxonomies, or empirical findings. (1990). Note that propositions may be conjectural but MUST be testable, and should be rejected if they are not supported by empirical observations. Explanations can be idiographic or nomothetic. Idiographic explanations are those that explain a single situation or event in idiosyncratic detail. (1989). Different criteria have been proposed by different researchers, the more important of which are listed below: How do researchers build theories? Because theories are also intended to serve as generalized explanations for patterns of events, behaviors, or phenomena, theoretical explanations are generally nomothetic in nature. Third, theories provide guidance for future research by helping identify constructs and relationships that are worthy of further research. Constructs are abstract concepts specified at a high level of abstraction that are chosen specifically to explain the phenomenon of interest. For instance, Markus (1987)  used analogic similarities between a nuclear explosion and uncontrolled growth of networks or network-based businesses to propose a critical mass theory of network growth. NOTE: We only request your email address so that the person you are recommending the page to knows that you wanted them to see it, and that it is not junk mail. Distinction between theoretical and empirical concepts. Theories are simplified and often partial explanations of complex social reality. Agency Theory. Frameworks, Models, and Theories Used in Electronic Health Research and Development to Support Self-Management of Cardiovascular Diseases Through Remote Monitoring Technologies: Protocol for a Metaethnography Review 1 Department of Psychology, Health and Technology, Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences, Technical Medical Centre, University of Twente, Enschede, … Likewise, theories may have implicit cultural assumptions (e.g., whether they apply to individualistic or collective cultures), temporal assumptions (e.g., whether they apply to early stages or later stages of human behavior), and spatial assumptions (e.g., whether they apply to certain localities but not to others). Note that it is possible to predict events or beha…  Steinfield, C.W. (1991). The four key elements in this theory are: innovation, communication channels, time, and social system. The researcher then c… The first approach is to build theories inductively based on observed patterns of events or behaviors. âThe Theory Imperative,” in Organizations and Communications Technology , J. Fulk and C. W. Steinfield (eds. There are several types of research theories. If you have a subscription to The BMJ, log in: Subscribe and get access to all BMJ articles, and much more. http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/oa_textbooks/3/, CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Individual encounters are an alternate incredible method for getting data for your exploration. Whether people will be influenced by the central or peripheral routes depends upon their ability and motivation to elaborate the central merits of an argument. While strong dominance is found in research focusing on Information Technology (IT) for individuals, organizations and markets, no theoretical dominance is found in IT for groups and IS development. As such, the theory has widespread implications about how to enact attitude change toward new products or ideas and even social change. While some constructs, such as age, education, and firm size, are easy to understand, others, such as creativity, prejudice, and organizational agility, may be more complex and abstruse, and still others such as trust, attitude, and learning, may represent temporal tendencies rather than steady states. However, they explain economically, using only a few explanatory variables. Propositions are stated in declarative form and should ideally indicate a cause-effect relationship (e.g., if X occurs, then Y will follow). Measurable representations of abstract constructs are called variables . In addition, theories often used in gender research (e.g., Foucault’s theories of bio power and power and knowledge , as well as embodiment theories [14, … It presumes that individual behavior represents conscious reasoned choice, and is shaped by cognitive thinking and social pressures. While understanding theories, it is also important to understand what theory is not.  Petty, R. E., and Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). This ability and motivation to elaborate is called elaboration likelihood . Moreover, streams of IS research constitute distinct clusters of theory usage. Hence, agency theory recommends using outcome-based contracts, such as a commissions or a fee payable upon task completion, or mixed contracts that combine behavior-based and outcome-based incentives. Typical contracts that are behavior-based, such as a monthly salary, cannot overcome these problems. Hence, the goal incongruence. The empirical formulation of propositions, stated as relationships between variables, is called hypotheses . Subjective norm refers to oneâs perception of whether people important to that person expect the person to perform the intended behavior, and represented as a weighted combination of the expected norms of different referent groups such as friends, colleagues, or supervisors at work. Research Government of Jersey General Hospital: Consultants in Psychiatry – Various posts, Martlets Hospice: Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Isle of Wight NHS Trust: Consultant Physician in Stroke Medicine, The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust : Consultant in Emergency Medicine (Post 2), Women’s, children’s & adolescents’ health. Theories such as interactionism, phenomenology, and critical theory can be used to help design a research question, guide the selection of relevant data, interpret the … Theories such as interactionism, phenomenology, and critical theory can be used to help design a research question, guide the selection of relevant data, interpret the data, and propose explanations of causes or influences Previous articles in this series have addressed several methodologies used in qualitative research. Scientific theories are different from theological, philosophical, or other explanations in that scientific theories can be empirically tested using scientific methods. First, theories provide the underlying logic of the occurrence of natural or social phenomenon by explaining what are the key drivers and key outcomes of the target phenomenon and why, and what underlying processes are responsible driving that phenomenon. Five innovation characteristics are presumed to shape adoptersâ innovation adoption decisions: (1) relative advantage: the expected benefits of an innovation relative to prior innovations, (2) compatibility: the extent to which the innovation fits with the adopterâs work habits, beliefs, and values, (3) complexity: the extent to which the innovation is difficult to learn and use, (4) trialability: the extent to which the innovation can be tested on a trial basis, and (5) observability: the extent to which the results of using the innovation can be clearly observed. New York: The Free Press. Theories such as interactionism, phenomenology, and critical theory can be used to help design a research question, guide the selection of relevant data, interpret the data, and propose explanations of causes or influences. Establishing causation requires three conditions: (1) correlations between two constructs, (2) temporal precedence (the cause must precede the effect in time), and (3) rejection of alternative hypotheses (through testing). For example, students who do poorly in exams do so because they did not spend adequate time preparing for exams or that they suffer from nervousness, attention-deficit, or some other medical disorder. Theories are designed to be simple and parsimonious explanations, while reality may be significantly more complex.  Bacharach, S. B. Theories used in nursing research on smoking cessation Annu Rev Nurs Res. âOrganizational Theories: Some Criteria for Evaluation,â Academy of Management Review (14:4), 496-515. Diffusion of Innovations . This research paper on Cognitive and Behavioral Theories was written and submitted by your fellow student. Likewise, a collection of constructs (e.g., a typology of constructs) is not a theory, because theories must go well beyond constructs to include propositions, explanations, and boundary conditions. Because nomothetic explanations are designed to be generalizable across situations, events, or people, they tend to be less precise, less complete, and less detailed. Theory can be used to motivate inquiry, contextualize research, shape research questions, and guide methodology and analysis. During the process of developing and applying the models, we generated some questions about the current state of theory use in design research. In contrast, political science theories assume that people are more political than rational, and try to position themselves in their professional or personal environment in a way that maximizes their power and control over others. More formally, a scientific theory is a system of constructs (concepts) and propositions (relationships between those constructs) that collectively presents a logical, systematic, and coherent explanation of a phenomenon of interest within some assumptions and boundary conditions (Bacharach 1989). However, like constructs, propositions are stated at the theoretical level, and they can only be tested by examining the corresponding relationship between measurable variables of those constructs. Throughout psychology's history, a number of theories have been proposed to explain and predict various aspects of human behavior. âThe Theory of Planned Behavior,â Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (50), 179-211. The explanations may be detailed, accurate, and valid, but they may not apply to other similar situations, even involving the same person, and are hence not generalizable. All theories which are selected are used in the courses of communication studies. (1973). Although theoretical frameworks tend to be used in quantitative studies, you will also see this approach in qualitative research. I will also discuss why and how these theories are used, and which is the most relevant, or most important. The ELM posits that oneâs attitude may be shaped by two âroutesâ of influence, the central route and the peripheral route, which differ in the amount of thoughtful information processing or âelaborationâ required of people (see Figure 4.5). Such asymmetry may lead to agency problems where the agent may not put forth the effort needed to get the task done (the moral hazard problem) or may misrepresent its expertise or skills to get the job but not perform as expected (the adverse selection problem). Previous articles in this series have addressed several methodologies used in qualitative research. This approach relies on reasoning by analogy, and is probably the most creative way of theorizing using a deductive approach. Hypotheses are derived from theories and are submitted to empirical tests for verification and rejection.  Ross, S. A. Third, IS research tends to form clusters of theory usage, with little crossover across clusters. The distinction between propositions (formulated at the theoretical level) and hypotheses (tested at the empirical level) is depicted in Figure 4.1. The primary way that scientific researchers use theories is sometimes called the(although this term is much more likely to be used by philosophers of science than by scientists themselves). The last two characteristics have since been dropped from many innovation studies. Just as there is no one way to understand why, for instance, a culture has formed in a certain way, many lenses can be applied to a problem, each focusing on a different aspect of it. An employee stock option plans are is an example of an outcome-based contract while employee pay is a behavior-based contract. Moreover, theories originating in IS were found to be widely used in two streams of research (in other streams. Stay critical when you use a theory, because theories are subjectively measured. Postulated by Azjen (1991)  , the theory of planned behavior (TPB) is a generalized theory of human behavior in the social psychology literature that can be used to study a wide range of individual behaviors. Developed by Petty and Cacioppo (1986) , the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) is a dual-process theory of attitude formation or change in the psychology literature. Finally, all theories are constrained by assumptions about values, time, and space, and boundary conditions that govern where the theory can be applied and where it cannot be applied. He or she then makes a prediction about some new phenomenon that should be observed if the theory is correct. Complexity is negatively correlated to innovation adoption, while the other four factors are positively correlated. Theories are the lenses through which we interact with the world. List of theoretical frameworks for research studies You must review course readings and pertinent research studies for theories and analytic models that are relevant to the research problem you are investigating. In 1990’s borrowed theories were used more. You can download a PDF version for your personal record. Behavioral control is one’s perception of internal or external controls constraining the behavior in question. In contrast, nomothetic explanations seek to explain a class of situations or events rather than a specific situation or event.  Ajzen, I. âThe Economic Theory of Agency: The Principalâs Problem,â American Economic Review (63:2), 134-139. The central route requires a person to think about issue-related arguments in an informational message and carefully scrutinize the merits and relevance of those arguments, before forming an informed judgment about the target object. Innovation diffusion theory (IDT) is a seminal theory in the communications literature that explains how innovations are adopted within a population of potential adopters. In psychology, theories are used to provide a model for understanding human thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Logic also represents the âexplanationâ that lies at the core of a theory. Swiftness, severity, and certainty of punishments are the key constructs in GDT. For example, you did poorly on an exam because: (1) you forgot that you had an exam on that day, (2) you arrived late to the exam due to a traffic jam, (3) you panicked midway through the exam, (4) you had to work late the previous evening and could not study for the exam, or even (5) your dog ate your text book. The concept was first studied by French sociologist Gabriel Tarde, but the theory was developed by Everett Rogers in 1962 based on observations of 508 diffusion studies. Diffusion is a temporal process; the diffusion process starts off slow among a few early adopters, then picks up speed as the innovation is adopted by the mainstream population, and finally slows down as the adopter population reaches saturation. Propositions are associations postulated between constructs based on deductive logic. The second approach to theory building is to conduct a bottom-up conceptual analysis to identify different sets of predictors relevant to the phenomenon of interest using a predefined framework. Early adopters are venturesome, well educated, and rely more on mass media for information about the innovation, while later adopters rely more on interpersonal sources (such as friends and family) as their primary source of information. How can we evaluate the âgoodnessâ of a given theory? Agency theory also recommends tools that principals may employ to improve the efficacy of behavior-based contracts, such as investing in monitoring mechanisms (such as hiring supervisors) to counter the information asymmetry caused by moral hazard, designing renewable contracts contingent on agentâs performance (performance assessment makes the contract partially outcome-based), or by improving the structure of the assigned task to make it more programmable and therefore more observable. Two utilitarian philosophers of the eighteenth century, Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham, formulated General Deterrence Theory (GDT) as both an explanation of crime and a method for reducing it. The theory postulates that behaviors are based on oneâs intention regarding that behavior, which in turn is a function of the personâs attitude toward the behavior, subjective norm regarding that behavior, and perception of control over that behavior (see Figure 4.2). For instance, intelligence quotient (IQ score) is a variable that is purported to measure an abstract construct called intelligence. Some of these theories have stood the test of time and remain well-accepted today. Communication and Persuasion: Central and Peripheral Routes to Attitude Change . Data, facts, and findings operate at the empirical or observational level, while theories operate at a conceptual level and are based on logic rather than observations. This article discusses the role and use of three theoretical approaches commonly used by qualitative researchers in health domains: interactionism, phenomenology, and critical theory. practice, planning and research and all thinking involves theories. Qualitative inquirers use different terms for theories, such as patterns, theoretical lens, or naturalistic generalizations, to describe the broader explana- tions used or developed in their studies. Furthermore, variables may be independent, dependent, mediating, or moderating, as discussed in Chapter 2. Theories are formulated to explain, predict, and understand phenomena and, in many cases, to challenge and extend existing knowledge within the limits of critical bounding assumptions. Without logic, propositions will be ad hoc, arbitrary, and meaningless, and cannot be tied into a cohesive âsystem of propositionsâ that is the heart of any theory. Theories used in nursing research on smoking cessation. A total of 28 theories, models and frameworks were identified. Theories are explanations of a natural or social behavior, event, or phenomenon. Furthermore, observing certain patterns of events will not necessarily make a theory, unless the researcher is able to provide consistent explanations for the observed patterns. In this chapter, we will examine what is a theory, why do we need theories in research, what are the building blocks of a theory, how to evaluate theories, how can we apply theories in research, and also presents illustrative examples of five theories frequently used in social science research. TPB is an extension of an earlier theory called the theory of reasoned action, which included attitude and subjective norm as key drivers of intention, but not behavioral control. There are four main types of theories we use. This technique is heavily dependent on the observational and interpretive abilities of the researcher, and the resulting theory may be subjective and non -confirmable. Attitude is defined as the individual’s overall positive or negative feelings about performing the behavior in question, which may be assessed as a summation of one’s beliefs regarding the different consequences of that behavior, weighted by the desirability of those consequences. 2009;27:33-62. doi: 10.1891/0739-6686.27.33. Constructs are conceptualized at the theoretical plane, while variables are operationalized and measured at the empirical (observational) plane. If a theory is to be properly used or tested, all of its implicit assumptions that form the boundaries of that theory must be properly understood. Theories should explain why things happen, rather than just describe or predict. Please note: your email address is provided to the journal, which may use this information for marketing purposes. Qualitative researchers also rely heavily on theories drawn from the social sciences and humanities to guide their research process and illuminate their findings. While making such an extension, certain concepts, propositions, and/or boundary conditions of the old theory may be retained and others modified to fit the new context. IDT has been criticized for having a âpro-innovation bias,â that is for presuming that all innovations are beneficial and will be eventually diffused across the entire population, and because it does not allow for inefficient innovations such as fads or fashions to die off quickly without being adopted by the entire population or being replaced by better innovations. There are numerous approache… Of this number, two theories (Diffusion of Innovations and Transformational Learning), two models (Ecological and Interactive Systems Framework for Dissemination and Implementation) and one framework (Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning) were identified as the most frequently cited. Internal controls may include the personâs ability to perform the intended behavior (self-efficacy), while external control refers to the availability of external resources needed to perform that behavior (facilitating conditions). Research Models used to describe the overall framework used to look at reality, based on a philosophical stance eg. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it. Nevertheless, all constructs must have clear and unambiguous operational definition that should specify exactly how the construct will be measured and at what level of analysis (individual, group, organizational, etc.).