• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code : KE7022
  • University : Northumbria University
  • Subject Name : Research methodology

Research philosophy

Introduction

A large number of the people face the problems and due to which certain research that is being performed each day in order to inform any action, to provide the proof to theory and contribute the information in the field of study. The philosophy of the people is associated to solving problems to make better decisions by developing critical thinking. Research philosophy is the belief about the way in which the information is collected and a phenomenon should be analyzed. The research philosophy can have different approaches based on what is known to be true and what is believed to be true. Research philosophy is the process of developing the knowledge and understanding that this knowledge depends on certain assumptions based on the perspective of the world (Dougherty, Slevc and Grand, 2019).

The perspective of the world and the practical considerations of the researchers are different from each other. The research philosophy affects how the person conceptualizes. There are various research philosophies such as ontology, epistemology, positivism, realism, interpretivism and axiology (Iovino, Tsitsianis, Iovino and Tsitsianis, 2020). The personal attitudes, beliefs, thoughts and concepts of the person are the personal philosophy. It can be the technique in which the person learns from the past experience and lead their life. These philosophies also affect the values and the futuristic goals of the person your personal philosophy is your greatest determining factor in how your life works out (Zukauskas, Vveinhardt and Andriukaitienė, 2018). In this essay I will be discussing the experiences of my life to understand the research positionality.

Research positionality

My research positionality is positivism because of the facts and the ideas that society shapes the individual. It is the balance between objectivism and subjectivism and the approaches research a way to solve the problem. Realism approach can be used sometimes as it is a method of scientific, objective inquiry but considers the human perspectives while using this in every case can be harmful as this suggests that things happening in the background can be neglected (Krone, 2014).

I started to believe in the positivism approach since I was a child when I learned about various things. In 1994 when I first started studying in primary school I was very much fond of science and its facts. I had a chapter named universe in my book where I learned about the big bang theory in my class. I was taught that 13.4 billion years ago the sudden explosion had led to the drastic expansion of the world. From this incidence I came to know about the existence of the human in the universe. Earlier I used to think that the formation of the earth is the fusion process but it came out to be a fission process. As big bang theory is based on the universal facts and this hypothesis is accepted by the people this is a good example of positivism and this why I was attracted to the positivism approach since my childhood days. Certainly, with the next experience in 2005 in my secondary education in my new school, I took admission into biology and then is when learned that humans are the gradual and incredible sources of the series of the mutation. This leads to the various organisms after the billions of years of the progression. It is also suggested that humans have evolved from the multiple mutations in these several years (Voskarides, 2017). In the next level of my higher academic studies, I found that being the average should be able to score well in my final exam of the school after I took the coaching from the highly reputed institution.

Many of my friends who were considered average they were able to achieve better grades. From this I came to the conclusion that following the practical based facts can improve the results. Knowing that the average students find it difficult to understand the concepts then also we were able to get good grades.  I was very much convinced from the results in the exam because of this I was even more indulged in the thought that led to the positivism approach. In 2015 while I was conducting the study on the topic in which there various interviews that were taken in order to carry out the qualitative research. The topic was on the barrier in learning music.  According to the music students, teachers all were giving a different answer and some of them were quite irrelevant from the study. I found that because of this the relevance of my study has gone low and the approach was quite unsuitable for the research as already the interpretivism approach has been used in many of the studies to find the barriers. I found that using the positivist approach would have helped me better to understand the barriers in learning music quantitative approach instead of the qualitative approach must be done in order to find the barriers in learning music. According to the studies it has been analyzed that the quantitative studies are prioritized over the qualitative studies (Sarrami-Foroushani,  Travaglia,  Debono and Braithwaite, 2014). It is also presented in the study that the evidence-based approaches are helpful for the employees in the workplace. The employees are able to manage the stress and the workload level accordingly (Suliman and Aljezawi, 2018).  In the same year while I was collecting the research papers for the next study I found that the papers that were peer-reviewed were highly advantageous rather than of the non-peer reviewed papers I found that evidence-based practices make the research look more relevant and these evidence-based practices are helpful.

While I was working in the organization I accidentally came across many situations out of which two were very much impactful that confirmed that positivism philosophy is the best positionality for me. I was a new staff member at that organization and was distressed due to various miscommunications and the heavy workload which led me to fall apart from my work and I continued working with the same pace later on my managers realized that I was not well with something and they made me understand certain things related to the work. I was earlier advised by my friends to address the conditions to the senior staff members at the workplace but I didn’t do so. Recently I found that I had just lost a friend  whom I had met since childhood days. I stuck in that thought for several days and my condition were going down due to this and was not able to concentrate on my work properly. was gone down due to certain conditions later I went to the survey and found certain questions that were related to the self-management strategies at the workplace and found questions related to the that same situation. Approximately half of the population has agreed to the one answer. Using this answer for the self-management strategies at workplace I analyzed my condition and then tried to implicate the same strategy in my own life and then found that this strategy has helped me to understand the whole situation.

Conclusion

All of these incidents in my life have led me to attract to the positivism approach in life. The above experiences can be suggested that positivism is the better approach to see the world and understand any condition as it maintains social and scientific knowledge through experimentation. I was able to focus more on the practical things in my life rather than on the emotional and personal thoughts as in the case of the positivism theory. The positivism approaches help to understand the natural phenomena with the help of the previous experiments and the new experiments. I can confidently say that universal laws aim to discover the nomothetic orientation. I have started to believe that seeking the facts or the causes of the natural phenomenon regardless of the personal views in life has helped me to learn new things and had made my life easier.

Importance of recognizing the positionality

The term positionality describes the person's view of the world and the position that they have chosen for the specific research work. Positionality recognizes the researchers that are part of the social world (McGarry, 2015). The philosophical approach enables the researchers to decide what methods should be used and why the followings methods should be used. Before the adaption of the appropriate research, it is quite important to know about the various philosophies in the research. These strategies determine the research strategy and the method of strategies.  Identification of the values, views and locations in the time and space can have an impact on how I understand the world. Positionality also affects the research process (Mason-Bish, 2018). Recognizing the positionality helped me to see the world on the basis of social and educational research. This had great importance in my life while I was conducting the research on the various factors in my PhD it affected my research process on all the stages. Open and honest disclosure to the self on the positionality shows how the researchers believe and about what they are influenced. The positionality information also gives ideas about how truthful the research of the person is. So recognizing all of these has helped me in my personal and academic life.

References

Berkovic, D. et al. 2020. ‘The View From the Inside: Positionality and Insider Research’, International Journal of Qualitative Methods. doi: 10.1177/1609406919900828.

Dougherty, M. R., Slevc, L. R., and Grand, J. A. 2019. Making research evaluation more transparent: aligning research philosophy, institutional values, and reporting. perspectives on psychological science, pp1-7,doi:10.1177/1745691618810693 

Iovino, F.Tsitsianis, N.Iovino, F. and Tsitsianis, N. 2020, "The Methodology of the Research * ", Changes in European Energy Markets, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp 79-95.

Krone, B. 2014. A personal philosophy. Journal of space philosophy, 3(2), pp 2-5.

Mason-Bish, H. 2018. The elite delusion: reflexivity, identity and positionality in qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 146879411877007. doi:10.1177/1468794118770078 

McGarry, O. 2015. Repositioning the research encounter: exploring power dynamics and positionality in youth research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 19(3), pp 339–354. doi:10.1080/13645579.2015.1011821 

Sarrami-Foroushani, P., Travaglia, J., Debono, D., Braithwaite, J. 2014. Key concepts in consumer and community engagement: A scoping meta-review. BMC Health Services Research, pp 14,  250-263. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-14-250

Suliman, M and Aljezawi, M. 2018. Nurses’ work environment: indicators of satisfaction. Journal of Nursing Management, 26(5), pp 525–530. doi:10.1111/jonm.12577 

Voskarides, K. 2017. Plasticity vs Mutation. The role of microRNAs in human adaptation. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 163, pp 36–39. doi:10.1016/j.mad.2016.12.014 

Zukauskas, P., Vveinhardt, J., & Andriukaitienė, R. 2018. Philosophy and Paradigm of Scientific Research. Management Culture and Corporate Social Responsibility. doi:10.5772/intechopen.70628 

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