A School of Education seminar presented on June 1st, 2016 by Dr Huy Phan
The positivist paradigm emphasizes on the importance of acquiring knowledge through scientific methods of enquiry. Usage of this scientific approach, which may involve experiments and correlational means, is evident in psychology and various areas of social sciences. One notable emphasis arising from this usage, of course, entails the empirical validation of research hypotheses (e.g., (1) self-concept will cause a change in a person’s performance, (2) an appropriate instructional design will weaken cognitive load imposition, etc.).
It is important that in-depth understanding of theorizations pertaining to the positivist paradigm is evident for the purpose of appropriate application of different methodological strategies. Drawing from my previous research, I present a comprehensive overview of key issues that are of relevance for research investigators in social sciences: (1) using the premise of structural equation modelling to address a research question or hypothesis, (2) understanding the difference between correlational and experimental designs and their significance, and (3) consideration of trajectories and growth modelling. In particular, as a point of discussion, I make reference to recent published studies in this area of enquiry (e.g., Phan & Ngu, In press-2016a; Phan & Ngu, In press-2016b).