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Encyclopedia > Methodology

Meethodology is defined as

  1. "the analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline",
  2. "the systematic study of methods that are, can be, or have been applied within a discipline" or
  3. "a particular procedure or set of procedures" [1].

It should be noted that methodology is frequently used when method would be more accurate. For example, "Since students were not available to complete the survey about academic success, we changed our methodology and gathered data from instructors instead". In this instance the methodology (gathering data via surveys, and the assumption that this produces accurate results) did not change, but the method (asking teachers instead of students) did.

Methodology includes the following concepts as they relate to a particular discipline or field of inquiry:

  1. a collection of theories, concepts or ideas;
  2. comparative study of different approaches; and
  3. critique of the individual methods

Methodology refers to more than a simple set of methods; rather it refers to the rationale and the philosophical assumptions that underlie a particular study. This is why scholarly literature often includes a section on the methodology of the researchers. This section does more than outline the researchers’ methods (as in, “We conducted a survey of 50 people over a two-week period and subjected the results to statistical analysis”, etc.); it might explain what the researchers’ ontological or epistemological views are. (See ontology, epistemology) This article is about ontology in philosophy. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) According to Plato, knowledge is a subset of that which is both true and believed Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief. ...

Another key (though arguably imprecise) usage for methodology does not refer to research or to the specific analysis techniques. This often refers to anything and everything that can be encapsulated for a discipline or a series of processes, activities and tasks. Examples of this are found in software development, project management and business process fields. This use of the term is typified by the outline who, what, where, when & why. In the documentation of the processes that make up the discipline, that is being supported by "this" methodology, that is where we would find the "methods" or processes. The processes themselves are only part of the methodology along with the identification and usage of the standards, policies, rules, etc.



So, in properly conceived methodologies, researchers typically acknowledge their fundamental approaches to reality. For example... Image File history File links Broom_icon. ...

Do researchers believe in the paradigm of Positivism, which holds that truth is out there waiting to be discovered? In this view, facts exist independently of any theories or human observation. This perspective dominates Western philosophical tradition which provides the foundation of Western science: reality is assumed to be objective, that is, it exists outside our perception. In this paradigm, neither the search for truth nor truth itself is problematic: Truth (with a capital "T") is definite and ascertainable. The “men in white coats” conduct an empirical experiment in a lab, and then announce to the rest of us what they, as “experts,” have discovered.
Or is truth constructed (see Constructivism and Constructivist epistemology) within the minds of individuals and between people in a culture? In this view, facts become "facts" and are a construct of theories and points of view. This paradigm holds that both the nature of truth and the inquiry into that truth are problematic because truth is built (or constructed) from the ongoing processes of negotiation, reevaluation and refinement of and between individuals.

For other uses, see Paradigm (disambiguation). ... Positivism is a philosophy that states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only come from positive affirmation of theories through strict scientific method. ... Constructivism is a perspective in philosophy that views all of our knowledge as constructed, under the assumption that it does not necessarily reflect any external transcendent realities; it is contingent on convention, human perception, and social experience. ... For the trade organisation, see Federation Against Copyright Theft. ...

Set of methods

Most sciences have their own specific methods, which are supported by methodologies (i.e., rationale that support the method's validity). A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ...

The social sciences are methodologically diverse using qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method approaches. Qualitative methods include the case study, phenomenology, grounded theory, and ethnography, among others. Quantitative methods include hypothesis testing, power analysis, metanalysis, observational studies, resampling, randomized controlled trials, regression analysis, multilevel modeling, and high-dimensional data analysis, among others. Qualitative research is one of the two major approaches to research methodology in social sciences. ... Quantitative methods are research methods concerned with numbers and anything that is quantifiable. ... Case studies involve a particular method of research. ... This article is about the philosophical movement. ... Grounded theory (GT) is a general research method (most often associated with qualitative research) for social sciences developed by the sociologists Barney Glaser (b. ... Ethnography ( ethnos = people and graphein = writing) is the genre of writing that presents varying degrees of qualitative and quantitative descriptions of human social phenomena, based on fieldwork. ... One may be faced with the problem of making a definite decision with respect to an uncertain hypothesis which is known only through its observable consequences. ... In cryptography, power analysis is a form of side channel attack in which the attacker studies the power consumption of a cryptographic hardware device (such as a smart card, tamperproof black box, microchip, etc). ... In linguistics, metanalysis is the act of breaking down a word or phrase into segments or meanings not original to it. ... In statistics, the goal of an observational study is to draw inferences about the possible effect of a treatment on subjects, where the assignment of subjects into a treated group versus a control group is outside the control of the investigator. ... Resampling is a term used in statistics to describe a variety of methods for computing summary statistics using subsets of available data (jackknife), drawing randomly with replacement from a set of data points (bootstrapping), or switching labels on data points when performing significance tests (permutation test). ... A randomized controlled trial (RCT) is a form of clinical trial, or scientific procedure used in the testing of the efficacy of medicine, used because of its record of reliability. ... In statistics, regression analysis examines the relation of a dependent variable (response variable) to specified independent variables (explanatory variables). ...

In software engineering and project management, 'methodology' is often used to refer to a codified set of recommended practices, sometimes accompanied by training materials, formal educational programs, worksheets, and diagramming tools. This does not cite any references or sources. ... Project Management is the discipline of organizing and managing resources (e. ...

See also

In methodology, the power of a method is inversely proportional to the generality of the method, i. ... Personification of thought (Greek Εννοια) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Thought or thinking is a mental process which allows beings to model the world, and so to deal with it effectively according to their goals, plans, ends and desires. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ...


  • Creswell, J. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
  • Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
  • Guba, E. and Lincoln, Y. (1989). Fourth Generation Evaluation. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications.
  • Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd edition). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
  • Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, Unabridged, W.A. Neilson, T.A. Knott, P.W. Carhart (eds.), G. & C. Merriam Company, Springfield, MA, 1950.

1888 advertisement for Websters Dictionary Websters Dictionary is the common title given to English language dictionaries in the United States, derived from American lexicographer Noah Webster. ...

Further reading

  • Usage note on the word Methodology

  Results from FactBites:
Mixing Methodologies (2100 words)
In this study, the authors used a method of qualitative inquiry which was somewhat of a hybrid of several accepted methodologies: literary criticism, critical theory, and narrative analysis.
Their journey into the world of the doctor-patient encounter attempted to contextualize the conversations around what was happening in the lives of the two patients they used as case examples.
Tripp-Reimer (1985) used this methodology to study the Greek immigrant population of the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area between 1976 and 1977.
Methodology (software engineering) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (994 words)
In software engineering and project management, a methodology is a codified set of practices (sometimes accompanied by training materials, formal educational programs, worksheets, and diagramming tools) that may be repeatably carried out to produce software.
Many methodologies clearly enumerate the state of the art, but add nothing that is not widely known.
Methodologies in and of themselves are meaningless without clear expectations.
  More results at FactBites »



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