Which Research or Practice Methodology Will You Prefer?

Posted: December 28, 2014 in Institutions
Tags: , , , , ,

There are four ontologies / epistemologies by which research in the academy is undertaken and also put into practice in the real world. There is a lot of rhetoric about them but I tend to see methodology and practice through the lens of a person whose most loved one (a parent,  sibling, cousin, spouse, sweetheart, friend or business partner) is  suddenly rushed to hospital in a critical medical emergency condition and has to make important decisions based on the findings or assessments of a surgeon or physician.

The Empiricist, will tell you based on scans and blood tests and observations or she knows empirically (with 98%  accuracy) your loved one has illness A with M prognosis.

The Positivist, will tell you based on observations of symptoms (with considerable certainty) your loved one has has condition B with prognosis N.

The Realist, will tell you based on tests and observations of symptoms (again with considerable certainty) your loved one has condition C with prognosis O but there maybe underlying causes or problems yet to be discovered.

The Post-Modernist, will tell that the disease your loved one has is ‘socially constructed’ and  (with considerable certainty) no one knows anything about the condition D which is a discourse and therefore no prognosis is possible.

Which of these doctors will you take most and least seriously? That is research and practice methodology for you.

Grimot Nane

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