Respond to discussion question 3

Respond in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.


According to Dr. Patton in Doctoral research: Skills (Laureate Education, 2009), “theories” are an important factor in science and scholarly research. He further explained that a theory is helpful to making sense of “how the world is the way it is” (Laureate Education, 2009). Creswell (2009) pointed out that while a theory is commonly used to test a common idea, it takes on a different role within quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research approaches (p. 49). 

Dr. Patton (Laureate Education, 2009) pointed out that “deductive theory” utilizes the quantitative approach. Deductive research is depends on tests and instruments to test whether a theory is true. The goal of deductive research it to test for whether a theory holds true for a new population or new situation and stands the test of time (Laureate Education, 2009).  As Creswell (2009) pointed out, a quantitative research plan identifies a theory early on, either in the introduction or literature review section, or immediately after the research hypothesis or research questions (p. 57).

Dr. Patton (Laureate Education, 2009) also pointed out that “inductive theory” employs the qualitative approach.  Instead of testing a theory, inductive research observes common patterns and drawing conclusions, or constructing a theory based on the data.  As Creswell (2009) pointed out, inductive researchers seek to give a name to recurring events or behaviors that have not yet been identified or labeled (p. 61).  Because theory is the end point in qualitative data, it may be found in the conclusion section of a study, broadly stated at the beginning, or not included at all (p. 70).  Lastly, Dr. Patton (Laureate Education, 2009) also pointed out that theory has a place in the mixed method approach.  Mixed methods involve the use of probability and statistical research to prove a theory through quantitative approaches.  It also involves the use of case studies to draw conclusions and develop new theories through qualitative approaches (Laureate Education, 2009).



Creswell, J. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Doctoral research: Skills. Baltimore, MD: Author.


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