Theory defines, assumes, proposes, explains, and predicts what the research outcome is likely to prove (right or wrong). It is an integrated body of propositions, assumptions, and definitions that are related in explaining and predicting relationships between two or more variables. Theory could be any of the following:
On the other hand, hypotheses are statements or assertions derived from theory that can be tested by scientific inquiry and that are capable of being refuted, and their tests may result in support or nonsupport for the theory from which they were derived.
Prepare a 5–7-page paper that address the following questions:
- What are the key differences between the 4 identified types of research theories above?
- Is any one type of theory more valid than the others? Why or why not?
- What are the differences and similarities (if any) between theory and hypothesis?
- What are variables, and why are they important components of theoretical schemes?