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Exploring Paradigms in Research: Positivist Perspective

Paradigms constitute a fundamental aspect of research, serving as the cornerstone of inquiry. Paradigms, while reflecting the diversity of human perspectives, also possess the power to challenge accepted beliefs. The crucial distinction lies in that, even though various perspectives coexist, paradigms are not obligated to impose acceptance. Paradigms, unique in their nature, represent specific groups and are built upon foundations aimed at replacing preceding paradigmatic styles. Within research methods, paradigms play a crucial role in determining the methodology. Researchers operate within their chosen paradigm to conduct research processes tailored to its characteristics (Demir, 2019).


As paradigms vary and emerge to overthrow their predecessors, the diversity in research topics and the integration of different perspectives have resulted in a plethora of methodological approaches. First and foremost, the positivist paradigm places philosophy at its core, relying on quantitative outcomes and observation (Demir, 2019). It firmly believes in the observation and filtering of facts. In contrast, the critical paradigm emerges as a counterpoint, aiming to present crucial analysis by offering observations from multiple perspectives after observing knowledge. According to the imperative paradigm, there may be a singular truth in knowledge and critical analysis is employed to regulate it (Kanat, 2020).


Another paradigm is the interpretive paradigm, often relying on field research results and observation assessments to determine the research method. Environmental factors play a significant role in this paradigm, as ecological and context events are observed, and results are explained with dependent variables. The last paradigm considered in research methods is the postmodern paradigm. Meanwhile, the latest paradigm is also said to carry the name of our era (Kanat, 2020). What sets the postmodern paradigm apart is its classification as an utterly separate paradigm. Unlike other paradigms that support research methods based on concrete and objective information, the postmodern paradigm thrives on conflict and discrimination. It argues that interdisciplinary clashes are the most significant source of nourishment. It claims that the lack of distinction between disciplines and the clashes between them reveal the distinguishing feature of truth. When examining the operational methods of all these paradigms, I find myself closer to the positivist paradigm based on my assignments and perspective. All human behaviours develop and possess changeable characteristics based on environmental conditions. 


The unpredictability of life and achieving objective results in scientific studies are only possible through evaluating environmental conditions and historical context. Especially in social sciences, sociological factors have the interdisciplinary power to alter scientific reality significantly. Everything in the world and the universe revolves around order and organization. Considering this subjective perspective, the positivist paradigm is similar. (Kanat, 2020) Everything in the universe has a cause in scientific or social reality, and every cause has a consequential outcome. This outcome does not always have a negative connotation; it can also be positive. In this context, I think the positivist paradigm’s association of everything with a cause-and-effect relationship is similar to my perspective. (Kanat, 2020) The famous thinkers of this paradigm are Comte and Aristotle. Comte categorized this positivist paradigm into three headings in scientific research methods, summarizing it as follows: 1) Absolute reality is only knowable reality. 2) Existing reality involves relationships. iii. These relationships can be discovered through the inductive method. I closely agree with Comte’s categorization. The positivist paradigm explains the order and organization of the world and the universe. We consider everything we know to be accurate. Because everything that exists is, in fact, absolute, and absolute is real. 


Everything exists in a relationship with reality. It is because everything that exists is absolute, and the absolute is real. The inductive method creates a chain-like sequence, revealing the cause and explaining it until everything is brought back to a beginning. In this way, Comte’s attempt to categorize seems to summarize the cause-and-effect relationship of the positivist paradigm. (Demir, 2019) Paradigms often play a role in our lives, sometimes without us noticing. When contemplating an event or phenomenon, we often draw on one or a combination of paradigms.


Choosing to adopt a particular method in our scientific studies adds a characteristic to our work, and the positivist paradigm, with its confidence in the cause-and-effect relationship and every cause, has a consequence, adds a qualitative touch to my work. Although there are no sharp boundaries in the paradigms used in research methods, they create a framework for the use of personal touches and systematic methods.

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