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Produced by the Applied Research Center and the Alvin Sherman Library Video: 7 min. 15 sec.

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Use of Theory Varies According to Methods The use of a theory varies between qualitative and quantitative methods Quantitative methods: Theories are presented - then tested to explain, predict, or establish causal relations between variables. Qualitative methods: Theories are presented to serve as a “lens” which then guides what is looked at and how questions are developed. Theories can also be generated as seen in grounded theory approaches. Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

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Quantitative Methods The use of a theory varies between qualitative and quantitative methods Quantitative methods: Theories are presented - then tested to explain, predict, or establish causal relations between variables. Qualitative methods: Theories are presented to serve as a “lens” which then guides what is looked at and how questions are developed. Theories can also be generated as seen in grounded theory approaches. Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

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Qualitative Methods The use of a theory varies between qualitative and quantitative methods Quantitative methods: Theories are presented - then tested to explain, predict, or establish causal relations between variables. Qualitative methods: Theories are presented to serve as a “lens” which then guides what is looked at and how questions are developed. Theories can also be generated as seen in grounded theory approaches. Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

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Definition of a Theory Theory Interrelated set of constructs formed into propositions that specify the relationships among variables Describes how and why variables are related ○ variables = constructs Sometimes referred to as: Theoretical perspective Theoretical framework Conceptual framework – A visual framework of a theoretical perspective/framework

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Perspective or Framework Theory Interrelated set of constructs formed into propositions that specify the relationships among variables Describes how and why variables are related ○ variables = constructs Sometimes referred to as: Theoretical perspective Theoretical framework Conceptual framework – A visual framework of a theoretical perspective/framework Definition of a Theory

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Conceptual Framework Theory Interrelated set of constructs formed into propositions that specify the relationships among variables Describes how and why variables are related ○ variables = constructs Sometimes referred to as: Theoretical perspective Theoretical framework Conceptual framework – A visual framework of a theoretical perspective/framework Definition of a Theory

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Independent Variables Independent Variables that are inferred to cause outcomes ○ Factor, program, treatment (variable), predictor (variable), intervention Dependent The outcome that depends on the independent variable ○ Outcome (variable), criterion Intervening or mediating Variables that stand between the independent and dependent variables Moderating New variables that measure the joint impact of two variables Confounding Variables that could also affect the dependent variables, but cannot or will not be measured. Confounding variables can be moderating or intervening variables Variables in Quantitative Methods

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Dependent Variables Independent Variables that are inferred to cause outcomes ○ Factor, program, treatment (variable), predictor (variable), intervention Dependent The outcome that depends on the independent variable ○ Outcome (variable), criterion Intervening or mediating Variables that stand between the independent and dependent variables Moderating New variables that measure the joint impact of two variables Confounding Variables that could also affect the dependent variables, but cannot or will not be measured. Confounding variables can be moderating or intervening variables Variables in Quantitative Methods

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Intervening or Mediating Variables Independent Variables that are inferred to cause outcomes ○ Factor, program, treatment (variable), predictor (variable), intervention Dependent The outcome that depends on the independent variable ○ Outcome (variable), criterion Intervening or mediating Variables that stand between the independent and dependent variables Moderating New variables that measure the joint impact of two variables Confounding Variables that could also affect the dependent variables, but cannot or will not be measured. Confounding variables can be moderating or intervening variables Variables in Quantitative Methods

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Moderating Variables Independent Variables that are inferred to cause outcomes ○ Factor, program, treatment (variable), predictor (variable), intervention Dependent The outcome that depends on the independent variable ○ Outcome (variable), criterion Intervening or mediating Variables that stand between the independent and dependent variables Moderating New variables that measure the joint impact of two variables Confounding Variables that could also affect the dependent variables, but cannot or will not be measured. Confounding variables can be moderating or intervening variables Variables in Quantitative Methods

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Confounding Variables Independent Variables that are inferred to cause outcomes ○ Factor, program, treatment (variable), predictor (variable), intervention Dependent The outcome that depends on the independent variable ○ Outcome (variable), criterion Intervening or mediating Variables that stand between the independent and dependent variables Moderating New variables that measure the joint impact of two variables Confounding Variables that could also affect the dependent variables, but cannot or will not be measured. Confounding variables can be moderating or intervening variables Variables in Quantitative Methods

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Theory Operating as a Bridge Independent Variable Dependent Variable

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Social Learning Theory Confidence Test Performance Theory Operating as a Bridge

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Examples of Theories Attribution theory by Heider The health belief model by Hochbaum et al. Learning theories Behavioral perspective Cognitive perspective Social Interaction Instructional approach

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Deductive Technique for the Quantitative Method Data are collected, analyzed, and interpreted. The variables in the research questions are defined and operationalized. Research questions are developed based on the theory (and supported literature). A literature review is developed. A discussion is presented to support or refute the theory. The theory is introduced.

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Theory Is Introduced \ The theory is Introduced. Deductive Technique for the Quantitative Method

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Lit Review Is Developed A literature review is developed. The theory is Introduced. Deductive Technique for the Quantitative Method

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RQs Are Developed \ Research questions are developed based on the theory (and supported literature). A literature review is developed. The theory is Introduced. Deductive Technique for the Quantitative Method

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Variables Are Defined The variables in the research questions are defined and operationalized. Research questions are developed based on the theory (and supported literature). A literature review is developed. The theory is Introduced. Deductive Technique for the Quantitative Method

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Data Collected, Analyzed, Interpreted Data are collected, analyzed, and interpreted. The variables in the research questions are defined and operationalized. Research questions are developed based on the theory (and supported literature). A literature review is developed. \ The theory is Introduced. Deductive Technique for the Quantitative Method

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Discussion Supports or Refutes Theory Data are collected, analyzed, and interpreted. The variables in the research questions are defined and operationalized. Research questions are developed based on the theory (and supported literature). A literature review is developed. A discussion is presented to support or refute the theory. The theory is Introduced. Deductive Technique for the Quantitative Method

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Theory Placement: Introduction PlacementAdvantagesDisadvantages In the introductionCommon approach; familiar to readers; conveys a deductive approach Difficult for a reader to isolate theory base from other components of the research process In the literature review Including theories in a literature review is a logical extension or part of the literature Difficult for a reader to see the theory in isolation from the larger literature After hypotheses or research questions The theory discussion explains how and why variables are related May leave out an extended discussion about the origin and use of the theory In a separate sectionClearly separates the theory from other components of the research process, enables a reader to better identify and to understand the theory base The theory discussion is isolated and may not easily connect with other components of the research process Theory Placement

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Placed in Lit Review PlacementAdvantagesDisadvantages In the introductionCommon approach; familiar to readers; conveys a deductive approach Difficult for a reader to isolate theory base from other components of the research process In the literature review Including theories in a literature review is a logical extension or part of the literature Difficult for a reader to see the theory in isolation from the larger literature After hypotheses or research questions The theory discussion explains how and why variables are related May leave out an extended discussion about the origin and use of the theory In a separate sectionClearly separates the theory from other components of the research process, enables a reader to better identify and to understand the theory base The theory discussion is isolated and may not easily connect with other components of the research process Theory Placement

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Placed After RQs PlacementAdvantagesDisadvantages In the introductionCommon approach; familiar to readers; conveys a deductive approach Difficult for a reader to isolate theory base from other components of the research process In the literature review Including theories in a literature review is a logical extension or part of the literature Difficult for a reader to see the theory in isolation from the larger literature After hypotheses or research questions The theory discussion explains how and why variables are related May leave out an extended discussion about the origin and use of the theory In a separate sectionClearly separates the theory from other components of the research process, enables a reader to better identify and to understand the theory base The theory discussion is isolated and may not easily connect with other components of the research process Theory Placement

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Placed in Separate Section PlacementAdvantagesDisadvantages In the introductionCommon approach; familiar to readers; conveys a deductive approach Difficult for a reader to isolate theory base from other components of the research process In the literature review Including theories in a literature review is a logical extension or part of the literature Difficult for a reader to see the theory in isolation from the larger literature After hypotheses or research questions The theory discussion explains how and why variables are related May leave out an extended discussion about the origin and use of the theory In a separate sectionClearly separates the theory from other components of the research process, enables a reader to better identify and to understand the theory base The theory discussion is isolated and may not easily connect with other components of the research process Theory Placement

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Theories Located in Lit Review Frankenberger, K. D. (2004). Adolescent egocentrism, risk perceptions, and sensation seeking a among smoking and nonsmoking youth. Journal of Adolescent Research, 19(5), 576–590.

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