Why Are Assumptions Important?
Assumptions are the foci for any theory and thus any paradigm. It is important to make assumptions explicit and to make a sufficient number of assumptions to describe the phenomenon at hand. Explication of assumptions is even more crucial in research methods used to test the theories. As Mitroff and Bonoma (Evaluation quarterly 2:235–60, 1978, p. 235) put it, “… the power of an experiment is only as strong as the clarity of the basic assumptions which underlie it. Such assumptions not only underlie laboratory experimentation but social evaluation research as well.” Assumptions can be rated on a scale of articulation from tacit to explicit.
KeywordsImportance of assumptions Argumentation Evidence generation Methodology selection Ontological assumptions Epistemological assumptions Foci of paradigms Assumptions in theory Explicating assumptions Scale of assumptions articulation
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