Topic: Philosophical Assumptions and Research
Each of us has unique experiences and perceptions that shape what we believe about the world. These beliefs and underlying assumptions affect our natural approach to research. Some philosophical worldviews are more congruent with qualitative research, while others align with quantitative research. After reviewing the Reading and Study material for this module and considering the four philosophical worldviews discussed, please respond to the following:
- Which philosophical worldview most closely aligns with your perspective and the way that you view problems in the world? How so?
- Of the four philosophical worldviews, which ones are aligned with the qualitative methodology?
- How does understanding the connection between philosophical worldview and research methodology assist in your research approach?
- Compare/contrast philosophical worldview with that of a Christian worldview. Are there any areas that are problematic or do most philosophical worldviews appear to be congruent with a Christian worldview?
Creswell describes the following four philosophical assumptions:
- Ontological (The nature of reality): Relates to the nature of reality and its characteristics. Researchers embrace the idea of multiple realities and report on these multiple realities by exploring multiple forms of evidence from different individuals’ perspectives and experiences.
- Epistemological (How researchers know what they know): Researchers try to get as close as possible to participants being studied. Subjective evidence is assembled based on individual views from research conducted in the field.
- Axiological (The role of values in research): Researchers make their values known in the study and actively reports their values and biases as well as the value-laden nature of information gathered from the field.
- Methodology (The methods used in the process of research): inductive, emerging, and shaped by the researcher’s experience in collecting and analyzing the data.