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Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts

Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts (1st edn)

Jean-Frédéric Morin, Christian Olsson, and Ece Özlem Atikcan
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date: 08 December 2021

Hypotheses

State of the Art and ‘Best Practice’locked

Hypotheses

State of the Art and ‘Best Practice’locked

  • Onna van den Broek
  •  and Adam William Chalmers

Abstract

This chapter addresses hypotheses. Empirical social scientific research often entails an interaction between observations and theory (a logical and precise speculation about an answer to a research question). In the application of deductive reasoning, a specific theory will inform a set of hypotheses that are then tested through empirical observations. Accordingly, hypotheses can be defined as ‘testable propositions entailed by the logic of the theory’. The chapter then details five basic principles to build a theory. Although critics have pointed out that these principles are unsuitable for the investigation of a small-Number of cases due to the reliance on random selection and generalization, it remains an important work in developing procedures for avoiding bias and making reliable inferences. The chapter also discusses the formulation of a good hypothesis.

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