Positivists also believe that sociology can and should use the same methods and approaches to study the social world that “natural” sciences such as biology and physics use to investigate the physical world. Positivists view the use of scientific methods of research as desirable or preferable and are critical sociologists that use subjective or unobservable mental states the positivist methodology came from the early sociologist, auguste comte.
Theory of science and methodology are the pillars on which a social scientist stand when conducting research succinctly stated, ontology can be said to be the study of reality, or simply the science or philosophy of being, while epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge. This post provides a brief overview of positivist research methods, which consist of a scientific approach to social research using quantitative data to ensure objectivity and reliability (in contrast to the interpretivist approach to research which favors qualitative data) positivism, sociology and social research positivists use. Positivists view the use of scientific methods of research as desirable or preferable and are critical sociologists that use subjective or unobservable mental states.
Ontology, epistemology, axiology and typical research methods associated with positivism research philosophy science as an underlying ground for positivism positivism often involves the use of existing theory to develop hypotheses to be tested during the research process science can be specified as a cornerstone in positivism research philosophy. However, positivism (understood as the use of scientific methods for studying society) remains the dominant approach to both the research and the theory construction in contemporary sociology, especially in the united states.
These methods also allow the researcher to remain relatively detached from the research process – this way, the values of the researcher should not interfere with the results of the research and knowledge should be objective an example of the positivist tradition in sociological research – durkheim’s cross national study of suicide in 1897.
Scientific method is the focus of positivist research, with research generally guided by a tightly structured research question or hypothesis it is assumed that human behaviour and social phenomena can be scientifically studied in the same way as inanimate objects or non-human life forms. The positivist approach requires the use of the scientific method a researcher makes an observation about a social behavior or condition, constructs a hypothesis as to the reason or outcome of the observation, tests the hypothesis and then analyzes the results. Antipositivism (also known as interpretivism or interpretive sociology) is the view in social science that the social realm may not be subject to the same methods of investigation as the natural world that academics must reject empiricism and the scientific method in the conduct of social research.