What is a Research Paradigm and Its Types and Terminology

The word research is certainly very familiar to students. Because, throughout their study period, students often come into direct contact with research or matters related to research. Many courses use research as the basis of learning. Whether it’s as a literature study, assignment, or self-conducted research such as doing a final assignment or a thesis. In this article, we will discuss more about the research paradigm.

Definition of Research

Research is a scientific method in order to be able to master and obtain a solution to a problem that aims to get the truth that has the character of scientific validity. There are many truths that can be proven by the scientific method, generally any truths that are metaphysical or aesthetic in nature. For example, is the truth of religion or subjective beauty. The scientific truth is a truth based on senses and rational power. So that the scientific truth is quite limited and not the truth of the essence. So, the scientific truth has a tentative or not fixed behavior. If concluded, then the scientific truth that was once discovered is a truth that is not eternal. This is because the truth can be retested based on previous findings.

Definition of Research Paradigm

The research paradigm is the frame of mind used by researchers in viewing the reality of a problem as well as theory or science. According to the narrative of Guba (1990), the research paradigm is a set of beliefs and shared agreements between one scientist and another about how a problem should be handled and also understood.

In general, there are two groups of paradigms that are often used by researchers. Where the paradigms that are often used by researchers are the quantitative and qualitative paradigms. Both paradigms have their own criteria and methods. Whether it’s a quantitative or qualitative research paradigm. Both have their own characteristics and advantages and disadvantages.

Apart from these two paradigms, there are also other underlying research paradigms. Some of these paradigms include the positivism paradigm, the constructivism paradigm, the pragmatism paradigm, the critical paradigm, and also the subjectivism paradigm.

– Constructivism : The meaning is to believe that there is no single truth or reality. This reality must be interpreted and each interpretation must be different. The approach in this paradigm uses a qualitative approach.
– Positivism : Believing that there is a single truth of an event or view. The reality that exists in positivism can be measured by valid and reliable methods. The approach used in this paradigm is a quantitative approach.
– Pragmatic: That means believing that reality or existing reality can be debated and interpreted. Therefore, the best way that can be used in research is to find solutions to every problem that comes up. The approach to the pragmatic paradigm is a combination of quantitative and qualitative.
– Subjectivism : believing that reality is what researchers believe to be a real reality. So that subjectivists argue that knowledge is a matter of perspective. Where the subjectivist paradigm uses archaeological, deconstructive approaches, as well as discourse analysis.
– Critical: Believing that reality is a form that is constructed so that it is always under an ongoing power relationship. The paradigm generally uses ideological criticism, ethnography, criticism, and discourse analysis.

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In addition, the paradigm also has several philosophical terminologies, namely epistemology, ontological, methodological, and also axiological.

a. Epistemology : means how something can be known.
b. Ontology : means what you want to know, generally related to existing reality.
c. Axiology : means explaining the value of research.
d. Methodology : means how scientists find out.

Why Is It Important?

The existence of epistemology and also ontology in a problem can be seen holistically or as a whole regarding how knowledge is viewed and how we researchers can see ourselves in relation to knowledge and also the methodological strategies that will be used to reveal it. With an awareness of philosophical assumptions, researchers will be able to improve the quality of research and can contribute to the development of a study.

Types of Research Paradigm

To make it easier for us to understand the research paradigm when we are about to compile a scientific paper that we will be working on, it would be better if we understood the types of research paradigms. Here is the full explanation:

1. Quantitative Research Paradigm

The quantitative paradigm is a paradigm based on the philosophy of positivism, which does not recognize the elements of theology or metaphysics. This paradigm believes that science is the only valid knowledge. The knowledge in question is knowledge gained from experience that we have gone through. Where we feel the experience by our senses which will be processed by our own minds.

Because it starts from personal experience, the object of research is usually not far from the relationship and cause and effect between the experiences we have gone through and the phenomena that exist. Even though it comes from our experience, research is still based on existing facts. In addition, research can also be based on assumptions by looking at the facts. Thus, this paradigm uses our assumptions that we have built from facts that we get from our thought processes regarding certain phenomena or events.

In addition, the quantitative paradigm also has the view that one of the sources of knowledge is rational thinking on empirical data. This thinking is based on compatibility with previous theories which are generally referred to as coherence. Where in the process, starting from assumptions or what we usually refer to as the formulation of hypotheses. To then be verified in order to get a new theory. In looking at an event, the quantitative paradigm holds that the variables in it may change depending on the conditions and situation. Therefore, in quantitative research only use certain variables. Where the variables used are generally only those related to the purpose of the research to be carried out.

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2. Qualitative Research Paradigm

The qualitative research paradigm is research that places humans as research subjects. This paradigm includes adhering to a humanistic model because it makes humans the subject of research in the phenomena or events that we will study. In addition, the qualitative paradigm believes that humans will determine their own behavior and social events that occur. Edmund Husserl’s phenomenological philosophy which was later developed in sociology by Max Weber became the basis of this paradigm.

This view considers that human behavior is based on the thoughts or doctrines possessed by that individual. So when we use a qualitative paradigm, an event is not only viewed singly. But many elements, aspects, and other things that make up this behavior. In essence, we can call it any reason that moves humans to act. Whether this is realized or not realized by the individual.

In essence, this paradigm believes that humans have control over their behavior choices. In addition to emphasizing the individual, the qualitative paradigm also assesses that phenomena or events must be seen as a whole. It is not enough just to look at this phenomenon without looking at the reasons or causes of the events that occurred. When we want to see events that occur along with the causes of their occurrence, the qualitative paradigm can be the right choice for you to use.

Unlike the quantitative research paradigm, the qualitative research paradigm is not limited to testing hypotheses using previous theories. But you have to find a new theory that exists systematically. So, this paradigm still recognizes empirical facts as a source of knowledge. However, it is not used to verify. Because, in a study with this paradigm trying to explore the factors behind the phenomenon, therefore the research process is considered more important than the research results obtained.

That is an explanation of what a research paradigm is and the types of paradigms, ranging from quantitative to qualitative research paradigms. Hope it is useful!