Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Why Are Theories Important?

Not surprising, then, scientific research is based on theory -- all scientific research. Put another way, you can conduct research that is not theory-based -- but it is not science. Even the most rigorous, detailed research that fails to build on or contribute to a theoretical framework does not meet the true test of scientific discovery. It creates knowledge -- but not science. I personally have a very hard position on this. There’s lots of research, but a lot of it is not science.

So, why are theories important?
  • They explain the relationships between two or more different phenomena.
  • They unify observable phenomena.
  • They permit us to formulate hypotheses or propositions.
  • They raise research from the descriptive to the explanatory.
If you think that you are engaged in forensic science, check your assumptions, your hypothesis, and your theoretical framework. 

No comments: