A Guide to Theoretical Research
Theoretical research is a type of research that utilizes mathematical formulas and equations to explain phenomena. This type of research also includes the development of laws and guiding principles for physical systems. The ultimate goal of theoretical research is to show that something is true. Theoretical research may challenge the existing knowledge of a field or question the validity of existing theories. For example, a theoretical student may try to show that a sequence of numbers converges, or that a pattern of prime numbers exists.
Theories provide a logical explanation of a phenomenon
Theories are the scientific explanation of a phenomenon based on a body of facts that have been tested by several experiments. Some theories are universally accepted while others are still a matter of debate. The key difference between a theory and a hypothesis is that a theory is an explanation that can be applied to a number of specific instances. Theories are often based on a theory of evolution, which attempts to explain how the evolution of species on earth was possible through the process of natural selection.
Scientific explanations follow the principle of parsimony, which says that the simpler and more straightforward a theory is, the more likely it is to be correct. For example, there were once people who believed that the Earth was in the center of the solar system. This hypothesis would require a complex explanation to explain how Earth was at such an extreme location.
A scientific theory is based on a body of evidence and ideas. For example, evolution through natural selection is based on observations, and scientists build their theories on that evidence. Scientific theories are predictive and logical. They may change over time as new evidence becomes available, but they are not based on a hunch or guess.
They connect the researcher to existing knowledge
During the development of a research concept, researchers are likely to build on existing knowledge. However, they must make sure that their framework is compatible with the existing knowledge. A theoretical framework is not arbitrary; it is purposefully chosen. It serves as a guide to the researcher’s approach to the problem.
Using a theoretical framework forces the researcher to ask the “why” question in order to move beyond describing phenomena and into the realm of explanation. This intellectual transition allows the researcher to avoid making sweeping generalizations and recognizes the limitations of generalizations. In addition, a theoretical framework identifies the major variables that influence the phenomenon of interest. This highlights the importance of studying these variables.
They provide a particular perspective
A theoretical framework provides a particular perspective or lens through which to study a topic. Theoretical frameworks are used by many academic disciplines to help define concepts and explain phenomena. They can also be used to structure a research paper or grant proposal. This guide provides basic information about theoretical frameworks and offers writing tips for each type of framework.
They allow you to generalize about a phenomenon
Theories are a great way to explain phenomena and make predictions about what will happen in future situations. They can help organize a lot of existing knowledge and predict the outcomes of new situations. They are also useful for creating new research. But there are some things that you should keep in mind when constructing a theory.