Research Methods

Assessment 1
Section 1
Deductive reasoning - the rationalist approach, an according to Williman (2006:17) ‘An argument based on deduction begins with a general statements and trough logical argument, comes to a specific conclusion’. A syllogism is the simplest form of this kind of argument and can consists a statement followed by a minor more specific statement and a conclusion which follows logically. Example given by Williman (2006: 17) of this could be; all mammals breathe. This cow is a live mammal. Therefore, this cow breathes. Problems can occur when testing theories in real life. An important issue that confronts the study of social sciences is the question of the position of the subject and the researcher. Is human society subject to laws that exist independent of humans that make up society, or do individuals and groups create their own version of social forces? The two extremes of this approach Positivism and Interpretivism. Positivism is known as the application of the natural sciences to the study of social reality. This is an objective approach that can test theories and establish scientific laws. It aims to establish causes and effects.
Hacking (cited in Wiliman 2006:19) describes how the positivist approach to an scientific investigation is based on ‘realism’.   Positivism, Deductive reasoning and Inductive methodology are closely linked. An inductive approach to developing scientific theories begins with a social phenomenon. Data is then collated on the possible reasons why it occurs, and trends in the data are examined. The positivist approach also involves deduction, to find ‘social laws’ theories need to be developed and tested through deductive methods. Deductive and Inductive reasoning are two different approaches of a way of coming to a conclusion. We use both these in our thinking processes a lot of the time not even knowing whether we are adapting to inductive or deductive reasoning. Glynis M (2000:9) believes that ‘induction entails...