tigerleo

August 8, 2008

Research Methods: Terminology investigation

Filed under: CSG5140 Research Methods,ECU MInT — steve @ 4:45 pm

 Research Methods Terminology

Analysis

a·nal·y·sis [ ? náll?ssiss ] (plural a·nal·y·ses [ ? náll? s?z ])

noun 

Definition:

1. close examination: the examination of something in detail in order to understand it better or draw conclusions from it

2. separation into components: the separation of something into its constituents in order to find out what it contains, to examine individual parts, or to study the structure of the whole

3. assessment: an assessment, description, or explanation of something, usually based on careful consideration or investigation

analysis. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861585403

 

/nalisiss/

  • noun (pl. analyses /naliseez/) 1 a detailed examination of the elements or structure of something. 2 the separation of something into its constituent elements. 3 psychoanalysis.

  – ORIGIN Greek analusis, from analuein ‘unloose’.

analysis. (2008). In Compact Oxford English Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/analysis?view=uk

 

Axioms

noun [C]

1 FORMAL a statement or principle which is generally accepted to be true, but is not necessarily so:

It is a widely held axiom that governments should not negotiate with terrorists.

2 SPECIALIZED a formal statement or principle in mathematics, science, etc., from which other statements can be obtained:

Euclid’s axioms form the foundation of his system of geometry.

axiomatic 

adjective FORMAL

obviously true and therefore not needing to be proved:

It is an axiomatic fact that governments rise and fall on the state of the economy.

It seems axiomatic that everyone would benefit from a better scientific education.

axiomatically 

adverb FORMAL

axiom. (2008). In Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=5210&dict=CALD

 

n.  

A self-evident or universally recognized truth; a maxim: “It is an economic axiom as old as the hills that goods and services can be paid for only with goods and services” (Albert Jay Nock).

An established rule, principle, or law.

A self-evident principle or one that is accepted as true without proof as the basis for argument; a postulate.

[Middle English, from Old French axiome, from Latin axi?ma, axi?mat-, from Greek, from axios, worthy; see ag- in Indo-European roots.]

axiom. (2006). In The American Heritage Science Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=axioms&r=66

 

Bias

noun  (plural bi·as·es or bi·as·ses)

Definition:

1. preference: an unfair preference for or dislike of something

a bias in favor of internal candidates

4. statistics distortion of results: the distortion of a set of statistical results by a variable not considered in the calculation, or the variable itself

transitive verb  (past and past participle bi·ased or bi·assed, present participle bi·as·ing or bi·as·sing, 3rd person present singular bi·as·es or bi·as·ses)

Definition:

influence somebody: to influence somebody or something unfairly

[Mid-16th century. Via French< Old Provençal biais "slant" < Greek epikarsios "oblique"]

Bias. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861590292

 

bias (PREFERENCE)  

noun

1 [C usually singular; U] a tendency to support or oppose a particular person or thing in an unfair way by allowing personal opinions to influence your judgment:

The government has accused the media of bias.

Reporters must be impartial and not show political bias.

There was clear evidence of a strong bias against her.

There has always been a slight bias in favour of/towards employing arts graduates in the company.

2 [C usually singular] a preference towards a particular subject or thing:

She showed a scientific bias at an early age.

bias  

verb [T] -ss- or US USUALLY -s-

The judge ruled that the information should be withheld on the grounds that it would bias the jury against (= influence them unfairly against) the accused.

biased, UK ALSO biassed  

adjective

showing an unreasonable like or dislike for a person based on personal opinions:

The newspapers gave a very biased report of the meeting.

I think she’s beautiful but then I’m biased since she’s my daughter.

NOTE: The opposite is unbiased.

bias. (2008). In Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=7255&dict=CALD

 

Causal explanations

1. Mem Cognit. 2002 Apr;30(3):456-68

Alignable and nonalignable differences in causal explanations.

McGill AL

Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA. ann.mcgill@gsb.uchicago.edu

Prior research indicates that people may base their causal explanations on distinctive features between an event and a contrasting background instance in which the event did not occur. Research on similarity judgments suggests that there are two types of distinctive features: alignable differences, which are corresponding characteristics of a pair, and nonalignable differences, which are characteristics of one item for which there are no corresponding characteristics in the other. In three experiments, the hypothesis that people’s evaluations of causal explanations vary as a function of feature alignment was examined. The results suggest that people will rate explanations differently on the basis of alignable or nonalignable differences, depending on the type of the event, and that alignability depends on the relational structure among the features of the event.

PMID : 12061766 [PubMed - Indexed for MEDLINE]

casual explanations. (2007). In accelerated-learning-online.com.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.accelerated-learning-online.com/research/alignable-nonalignable-differences-causal-explanations.asp

 

Concepts

noun [C]

a principle or idea:

The very concept of free speech is unknown to them.

It is very difficult to define the concept of beauty.

I failed to grasp the film’s central concept.

Kleenbrite is a whole new concept in toothpaste!

conceptual  

adjective

based on ideas or principles:

The main weakness of the proposal is conceptual.

conceptualize, UK USUALLY conceptualise 

verb [I or T] FORMAL

to form an idea or principle in your mind:

He argued that morality could be conceptualized (= thought about) as a series of principles based on human reason.

concepts. (2008). In Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=15869&dict=CALD

 

(k?n’s?pt’) 

n.  

A general idea derived or inferred from specific instances or occurrences.

Something formed in the mind; a thought or notion. See Synonyms at idea.

A scheme; a plan: “began searching for an agency to handle a new restaurant concept” (ADWEEK).

[Late Latin conceptus, from Latin, past participle of concipere, to conceive; see conceive.]

concepts. (2006). The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=concepts&r=66

 

Constructivism

Theory suggesting that students learn by constructing their own knowledge, especially through hands-on exploration. It emphasizes that the context in which an idea is presented, as well as student attitude and behavior, affects learning. Students learn by incorporating new information into what they already know.

constructivism. (2002). In North Central Regional Educational Laboratory: Glossary of Education Terms and Acronyms.
Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/misc/glossary.htm#co

 

Teaching philosophy based on the concept that learning (cognition) is the result of ‘mental construction’ students constructs their own understanding by reflecting on their personal experiences, and by relating the new knowledge with what they already know. Each student creates his or her own ‘schemas’ or mental-models to make sense of the world, and accommodates the new knowledge (learns) by adjusting them. One of its main principles is that learning is search for meaning, therefore, to be effective, a teacher must help the student in discovering his or her own meaning. Although based on cognitive psychology research, its history goes back to the ancient Greece, the Socratic method.

constructivism. (2008). In BusinessDictionary.com.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.In BusinessDictionary.com. Retrieved August 6, 2008, from /definition/constructivism.html

 

Data

da·ta [ dáyt?, dátt? ]

noun 

Definition:

1. factual information: information, often in the form of facts or figures obtained from experiments or surveys, used as a basis for making calculations or drawing conclusions

Definition:

Plural of  datum

 [Mid-17th century. < plural of Latin datum, neuter past participle of dare "give, grant"]

data. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861671190

 

noun plural but singular or plural in construction

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Latin, plural of datum

Date: 1646

1 : factual information (as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation <the data is plentiful and easily available – H. A. Gleason, Jr.> <comprehensive data on economic growth have been published – N. H. Jacoby>

usage Data leads a life of its own quite independent of datum, of which it was originally the plural. It occurs in two constructions: as a plural noun (like earnings), taking a plural verb and plural modifiers (as these, many, a few) but not cardinal numbers, and serving as a referent for plural pronouns; and as an abstract mass noun (like information), taking a singular verb and singular modifiers (as this, much, little), and being referred to by a singular pronoun. Both constructions are standard. The plural construction is more common in print, perhaps because the house style of some publishers mandates it.

data. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=data

 

Deduction

[di dúksh'n ] (plural de·duc·tions)

noun 

Definition:

3. conclusion drawn: a conclusion drawn from available information

4. drawing conclusion: the process of drawing a conclusion from available information

5. logic logical conclusion: a conclusion reached by applying the rules of logic to a premise

6. logic reasoning: the forming of conclusions by applying the rules of logic to a premise

deduction. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861603230

 

Pronunciation: di-?d?k-sh?n, d?-

Function: noun

Date: 15th century

2 a: the deriving of a conclusion by reasoning; specifically : inference in which the conclusion about particulars follows necessarily from general or universal premises – compare induction b: a conclusion reached by logical deduction

deduction. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=deduction

 

Empiricism

em pírri sìzz?m ]

noun 

Definition:

1. application of observation and experiment: the application of observation and experiment, and not theory, in determining something

 2. philosophy philosophical belief regarding sense-derived knowledge: the philosophical belief that all knowledge is derived from the experience of the senses

 em·pir·i·cist noun

empiricism. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861608201

 

Pronunciation: im-?pir-?-?si-z?m, em-

Function: noun

Date: 1657

2 a: the practice of relying on observation and experiment especially in the natural sciences b: a tenet arrived at empirically

3: a theory that all knowledge originates in experience

- em·pir·i·cist  -sist noun

empiricism. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=empiricism

 

Epistemological

epistemology 

Pronunciation: i-?pis-t?-?mä-l?-j?

Function: noun

Etymology: Greek epist?m? knowledge, from epistanai to understand, know, from epi- + histanai to cause to stand – more at stand

Date: circa 1856

: the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity

- epis·te·mo·log·i·cal  -m?-?lä-ji-k?l adjective

- epis·te·mo·log·i·cal·ly  -k(?-)l? adverb

- epis·te·mol·o·gist  -?mä-l?-jist noun 

epistemology. (2007). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=epistemological

 

i-pis-tuh-mol-uh-jee

-noun a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge. 

[Origin: 1855-60; < Gk epistm(é) knowledge + -o- + -logy]

-Related forms

e·pis·te·mo·log·i·cal   /??p?st?m??l?d??k?l/

e·pis·te·mo·log·i·cal·ly, adverb

e·pis·te·mol·o·gist, noun

epistemology. (2006). In Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1).
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=epistemological&r=66

 

Experiment

ik spérr?m?nt

noun  (plural ex·per·i·ments)

Definition:

1. scientific test: a test, especially a scientific one, carried out in order to discover whether a theory is correct or what the results of a particular course of action would be

a chemistry experiment

3. use of repeated tests and trials: the use of tests and trials in order to make discoveries

developed the protocol by experiment

experiment. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861609859

 

Pronunciation: ik-?sper-?-m?nt also -?spir-

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French esperiment, from Latin experimentum, from experiri

Date: 14th century

1 a: test, trial <make another experiment of his suspicion – Shakespeare> b: a tentative procedure or policy c: an operation or procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law, to test or establish a hypothesis, or to illustrate a known law

2obsolete : experience

3: the process of testing : experimentation

experiment. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=experiment

 

Falsification

Main Entry: fal·si·fy 

Pronunciation: ?fo?l-s?-?f?

Function: verb

Inflected Form(s): fal·si·fied; fal·si·fy·ing

Etymology: Middle English falsifien, from Middle French falsifier, from Medieval Latin falsificare, from Latin falsus

Date: 15th century

transitive verb

1: to prove or declare false : disprove

2: to make false: as a: to make false by mutilation or addition <the accounts were falsified to conceal a theft> b: to represent falsely : misrepresent

3: to prove unsound by experience

intransitive verb

: to tell lies : lie

- fal·si·fi·abil·i·ty  ?fo?l-s?-?f?-?-?bi-l?-t? noun

- fal·si·fi·able  -?f?-?-b?l adjective

- fal·si·fi·ca·tion  ?fo?l-s?-f?-?k?-sh?n noun

- fal·si·fi·er  ?fo?l-s?-?f?(-?)r noun

falsification. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=falsification

 

noun [U]

falsification of evidence

falsification. (2008). In Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=27843&dict=CALD

 

Feminism

fémm? nìzz?m ]

noun 

Definition:

1. belief in women’s rights: belief in the need to secure rights and opportunities for women equal to those of men, or a commitment to securing these

2. movement for women’s rights: the movement committed to securing and defending rights and opportunities for women that are equal to those of men

[Mid-19th century. < French féminisme]

fem·i·nist noun, adjective

feminism. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861610952

 

Pronunciation: ?fe-m?-?ni-z?m

Function: noun

Date: 1895

1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

- fem·i·nist  -nist noun or adjective

- fem·i·nis·tic  ?fe-m?-?nis-tik adjective

feminism. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=feminism

 

Hermeneutics

hùrm? n?tiks ]

noun 

Definition:

1. science of interpreting texts: the science and methodology of interpreting texts, especially the books of the Bible

2. theology of religious concepts: the branch of theology that is concerned with explaining or interpreting religious concepts, theories, and principles

hermeneutics. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861617586

 

Pronunciation: ?h?r-m?-?nü-tik, -?nyü-

Function: noun

Date: 1737

1plural but sing or plural in constr : the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible)

2: a method or principle of interpretation

hermeneutics. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=hermeneutics

 

Hypotheses

noun [C] plural hypotheses

an idea or explanation for something that is based on known facts but has not yet been proved:

Several hypotheses for global warming have been suggested.

hypothesize 

verb [I or T] FORMAL

to give a possible but not yet proved explanation for something:

There’s no point hypothesizing about how the accident happened, since we’ll never really know.

hypothetical 

adjective

imagined or suggested but not necessarily real or true:

a hypothetical example/situation

This is all very hypothetical but supposing Jackie got the job, how would that affect you?

hypotheses. (2008). In Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=38764&dict=CALD

 

hahy-poth-uh-sis, hi-

-noun, plural -ses  

1. a proposition, or set of propositions, set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena, either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture to guide investigation (working hypothesis) or accepted as highly probable in the light of established facts. 

2. a proposition assumed as a premise in an argument.

3. the antecedent of a conditional proposition.

4. a mere assumption or guess. 

[Origin: 1590-1600; < Gk hypóthesis basis, supposition. See hypo-, thesis]

-Related forms

hy·poth·e·sist, noun

-Synonyms 1. See theory.

hypotheses. (2006). In Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1).
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=hypotheses&r=66

 

Idealism

? d? ? lìzz?m

noun 

Definition:

1. belief in perfection: belief in and pursuit of perfection as an attainable goal youthful idealism

2. living by high ideals: aspiring to or living in accordance with high standards or principles

3. belief that material things are imaginary: the philosophical belief that material things do not exist independently but only as constructions in the mind

idealism. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861619952

 

 noun 1 the practice of forming or pursuing ideals, especially unrealistically. 2 (in art or literature) the representation of things in ideal form.

  – DERIVATIVES idealist noun idealistic adjective idealistically adverb

idealism. (2008). In Compact Oxford English Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/idealism?view=uk

 

Induction

in dúksh?n  (plural in·duc·tions)

noun 

Definition:

4. logic conclusion based on evidence: a generalization based on observed instances, or the making of such generalizations, in the usual working method of scientists

9. mathematics process of mathematical proof: a process for proving propositions with variables limited to positive integers by showing that the smallest instance is true and each following instance is derived from the one before

induction. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861621011

 

Pronunciation: in-?d?k-sh?n

Function: noun

Date: 14th century

2 a (1): inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances – compare deduction 2a (2): a conclusion arrived at by induction b: mathematical demonstration of the validity of a law concerning all the positive integers by proving that it holds for the integer 1 and that if it holds for an arbitrarily chosen positive integer k, it must hold for the integer k + 1 -called also mathematical induction

induction. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=induction

 

Inquiry

in kw?ree, ínkw?ree  (plural in·quir·ies) or en·quir·y [ en kw?ree, énkw?ree ] (plural en·quir·ies)

noun 

Definition:

2. act of asking: a request for information

inquiry. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861621469

 

Pronunciation: in-?kw?(-?)r-?, ?in-?; ?in-kw?-r?, ?i?-; ?in-?kwir-?

Function: noun

Inflected Form(s): plural in·qui·ries

Date: 15th century

1 : examination into facts or principles : research

inquiry. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=inquiry

 

Interpretivism

[From Latin interpretari: to explain or understand.]

(epistemology) The view that all knowledge is a matter of interpretation; a form of relativism opposed to objectivism. One extreme example of interpretivism is deconstructionism.

interpretiivism. (n.d.). In the ism book.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.ismbook.com/interpretivism.html

 

“interpretivist sociology does not reject the idea of a scientific methodology per se. That is, Interactionist sociologists do not argue that it is impossible to employ “scientific principles” (such as logical consistency, rules of evidence, hypothesis development and testing and the like) in the study of human behaviour.”

interpretiivism. (n.d.). In sociology.org.
Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.In sociology.org.uk/p1mc5n1d.htm

 

“Interpretivism, or the qualitative approach, is a way to gain insights through discovering meanings by improving our comprehension of the whole. Qualitative research explores the richness, depth, and complexity of phenomena.  Qualitative research, broadly defined, means “any kind of research that produces findings not arrived at by means of statistical procedures or other means of quantification” (Strauss & Corbin, 1990).

interpretiivism. (2006). In James Neill: Analysis of Professional Literature.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://wilderdom.com/OEcourses/PROFLIT/Class6Qualitative1.htm

 

Knowledge

nóllij

noun 

Definition:

1. information in mind: general awareness or possession of information, facts, ideas, truths, or principles

Her knowledge and interests are extensive.

2. specific information: clear awareness or explicit information, e.g. of a situation or fact

I believe they have knowledge of the circumstances.

3. all that can be known: all the information, facts, truths, and principles learned throughout time

With all our knowledge, we still haven’t found a cure for the common cold.

4. learning through experience or study: familiarity or understanding gained through experience or study

knowledge of nuclear physics

5. communication transmission of information: information services and the storage and transmission of information, especially within a large organization

Synonym: erudition – knowledge acquired through study and reading

knowledge. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861624343

 

Pronunciation: ?nä-lij

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English knowlege, from knowlechen to acknowledge, irregular from knowen

Date: 14th century

1obsolete : cognizance

2 a (1): the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association (2): acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique b (1): the fact or condition of being aware of something (2): the range of one’s information or understanding <answered to the best of my knowledge> c: the circumstance or condition of apprehending truth or fact through reasoning : cognition d: the fact or condition of having information or of being learned <a person of unusual knowledge>

4 a: the sum of what is known : the body of truth, information, and principles acquired by humankind b archaic : a branch of learning

knowledge. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=knowledge

 

Method

méth?d  (plural meth·ods)

noun 

Definition:

1. way of doing something: a way of doing something or carrying something out, especially according to a plan

a successful method of teaching reading

2. orderliness: orderly thought, action, or technique

There is no method at all in his filing system.

3. body of techniques: the body of systematic techniques used by a particular discipline, especially a scientific one

[15th century. Via Latin< Greek methodos "pursuit, way" < meta- "after" + hodos "journey"]

method. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861629594

 

Pronunciation: ?me-th?d

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English, prescribed treatment, from Latin methodus, from Greek methodos, from meta- + hodos way

Date: 15th century

1: a procedure or process for attaining an object: as a (1): a systematic procedure, technique, or mode of inquiry employed by or proper to a particular discipline or art (2): a systematic plan followed in presenting material for instruction b (1): a way, technique, or process of or for doing something (2): a body of skills or techniques

2: a discipline that deals with the principles and techniques of scientific inquiry

3 a: orderly arrangement, development, or classification : plan b: the habitual practice of orderliness and regularity

method. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=method

 

Methodology

mèth? dóll?jee ] (plural meth·od·ol·o·gies)

noun 

Definition:

1. organizing system: the methods or organizing principles underlying a particular art, science, or other area of study

2. study of organizing principles: in philosophy, the study of organizing principles and underlying rules

3. study of research methods: the study of methods of research

meth·od·o·log·i·cal [ mèth?d? lójjik'l ] adjective

meth·od·o·log·i·cal·ly adverb

meth·od·ol·o·gist [ mèth? dóll?jist ] noun

methodology. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861629601

 

noun [C or U]

a system of ways of doing, teaching or studying something:

The methodology and findings of the research team have been criticized.

methodological   Show phonetics

adjective

methodology. (2008). In Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=50192&dict=CALD

 

Modernism

módd?r nìzz?m  (plural mod·ern·isms)

noun 

Definition:

1. latest things: the latest styles, tastes, attitudes, or practices

2. arts early 20C styles in art: the revolutionary ideas and styles in art, architecture, and literature that developed in the early 20th century as a reaction to traditional forms

3. christianity movement within Roman Catholicism: a movement in European Roman Catholicism in which scholars and theologians attempt to accommodate the contemporary world view within Roman Catholic theology and doctrine

modernism. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861630720

 

Pronunciation: ?mä-d?r-?ni-z?m

Function: noun

Date: 1737

1: a practice, usage, or expression peculiar to modern times

2often capitalized : a tendency in theology to accommodate traditional religious teaching to contemporary thought and especially to devalue supernatural elements

3: modern artistic or literary philosophy and practice; especially : a self-conscious break with the past and a search for new forms of expression

- mod·ern·ist  -nist noun or adjective

- mod·ern·is·tic  ?mä-d?r-?nis-tik adjective

modernism. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=modernism

 

Naturalistic

nàch?r? lístik, nàchr? lístik

adjective 

Definition:

1. reproducing effects of nature: imitating or reproducing nature or perceived reality in a very exact and faithful way

2. relating to beliefs of naturalism: relating to, characteristic of, or in accordance with the tenets of naturalism, especially in art or literature

3. of naturalists: relating to naturalists or natural history

nat·u·ral·is·ti·cal·ly adverb

naturalistic. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition]. Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861632515

 

adjective

2 Naturalistic art, literature, acting, etc. shows things as they really are.

naturalistic. (2008). In Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=53038&dict=CALD

 

Objectivity

ob·jec·tiv·i·ty [ òb jek tívv?tee ]

noun 

Definition:

1. ability to view things objectively: the ability to perceive or describe something without being influenced by personal emotions or prejudices

2. accuracy: the fact or quality of being accurate, unbiased, and independent of individual perceptions

3. philosophy actual existence: the actual existence of something, without reference to people’s impressions or ideas

objectivity. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861684274

 

Pronunciation: ?b-?jek-tiv, äb-

Function: adjective

Date: 1647

3 a: expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations <objective art> <an objective history of the war> <an objective judgment> b of a test : limited to choices of fixed alternatives and reducing subjective factors to a minimum

synonyms see material, fair

- ob·jec·tive·ly adverb

- ob·jec·tive·ness noun

- ob·jec·tiv·i·ty  ?äb-?jek-?ti-v?-t?, ?b- noun

objectivity. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=objectivity

 

Observation

ob·ser·va·tion [ òbz?r váysh'n ] (plural ob·ser·va·tions)

noun 

Definition:

1. paying attention: the attentive watching of somebody or something

2. observing of developments in something: the careful watching and recording of something, e.g. a natural phenomenon, as it happens

3. record of something seen or noted: the result or record of observing something such as a natural phenomenon and noting developments

4. remark or comment: a remark or comment on something that has been noticed

observation. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861684331

 

noun 1 the action or process of closely observing or monitoring. 2 the ability to notice significant details. 3 a comment based on something one has seen, heard, or noticed.

  – DERIVATIVES observational adjective.

observation. (2008). In Compact Oxford English Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/observation?view=uk

 

Ontological

Main Entry: on·to·log·i·cal 

Pronunciation: ?än-t?-?lä-ji-k?l

Function: adjective

Date: 1782

1 : of or relating to ontology

2 : relating to or based upon being or existence

ontological. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ontological

 

SYLLABICATION: on·to·log·i·cal

PRONUNCIATION:   nt-lj-kl

ADJECTIVE: 1. Of or relating to ontology. 2. Of or relating to essence or the nature of being. 3. Of or relating to the argument for the existence of God holding that the existence of the concept of God entails the existence of God. 

OTHER FORMS: onto·logi·cal·ly -ADVERB

ontological. (2008). In The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.
    Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.bartleby.com/61/31/O0083150.html

 

Operationalization

Part of Speech:   n

Definition:   the process of putting something into operation; also, the process of expressing something in operational terms

operationalization. (2008). In Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary of English, Preview Edition.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=operationalization&r=66

 

the specification of measurable empirical referents for abstract definitions, concepts, and hypotheses. (Young, p. l09)

operationalization. (2002). In Principia Cybernetica Web.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ASC/OPERATIONALIZ.html

 

Paradigm

1. typical example: a typical example of something

2. model that forms basis of something: an example that serves as a pattern or model for something, especially one that forms the basis of a methodology or theory

3. set of all forms of word: a set of word forms giving all of the possible inflections of a word

4. relationship of ideas to one another: in the philosophy of science, a generally accepted model of how ideas relate to one another, forming a conceptual framework within which scientific research is carried out

[15th century. Via late Latin< Greek paradeigma "example" < paradeiknunai, literally "show beside" < deiknunai "to show"]

par·a·dig·mat·ic [ pàrr? dig máttik ] adjective

par·a·dig·mat·i·cal·ly adverb

paradigm. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861723649

 

par·a·digm 

Pronunciation: ?per-?-?d?m, ?pa-r?- also -?dim

Function: noun

Etymology: Late Latin paradigma, from Greek paradeigma, from paradeiknynai to show side by side, from para- + deiknynai to show – more at diction

Date: 15th century

1: example, pattern; especially : an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype

2: an example of a conjugation or declension showing a word in all its inflectional forms

3: a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind

- par·a·dig·mat·ic  ?per-?-dig-?ma-tik, ?pa-r?- adjective

- par·a·dig·mat·i·cal·ly  -ti-k(?-)l? adverb

paradigm. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paradigm

 

Positivism

1. theory of knowledge: the theory that knowledge can be acquired only through direct observation and experimentation, and not through metaphysics or theology

2. positive state: the state or quality of being positive

pos·i·tiv·ist noun, adjective

pos·i·tiv·is·tic [ pòzz?ti vístik ] adjective

pos·i·ti·vis·ti·cal·ly adverb

positivism. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861737796

 

pos·i·tiv·ism 

Pronunciation: ?pä-z?-ti-?vi-z?m, ?päz-ti-

Function: noun

Etymology: French positivisme, from positif positive + -isme -ism

Date: 1847

1 a: a theory that theology and metaphysics are earlier imperfect modes of knowledge and that positive knowledge is based on natural phenomena and their properties and relations as verified by the empirical sciences b: logical positivism

2: the quality or state of being positive

- pos·i·tiv·ist  -vist adjective or noun

- pos·i·tiv·is·tic  ?pä-z?-ti-?vis-tik, ?päz-ti- adjective

- pos·i·tiv·is·ti·cal·ly  -ti-k(?-)l? adverb

positivism. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/positivism

 

Postmodernism

post·mod·ern 

Pronunciation: ?p?s(t)-?mä-d?rn, ÷-?mä-d(?-)r?n

Function: adjective

Date: 1925

1: of, relating to, or being an era after a modern one <postmodern times> <a postmodern metropolis>

2 a: of, relating to, or being any of various movements in reaction to modernism that are typically characterized by a return to traditional materials and forms (as in architecture) or by ironic self-reference and absurdity (as in literature) b: of, relating to, or being a theory that involves a radical reappraisal of modern assumptions about culture, identity, history, or language <postmodern feminism>

- post·mod·ern·ism  -d?r-?ni-z?m noun

- post·mod·ern·ist  -nist adjective or noun

- post·mo·der·ni·ty  -m?-?d?r-ne-t?, -mä- also -?der- noun

postmodern. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/postmodern

 

post·mod·ern·ism   /po?st?m?d?r?n?z?m/

Spelled Pronunciation[pohst-mod-er-niz-uhm]

-noun

(sometimes initial capital letter) any of a number of trends or movements in the arts and literature developing in the 1970s in reaction to or rejection of the dogma, principles, or practices of established modernism, esp. a movement in architecture and the decorative arts running counter to the practice and influence of the International Style and encouraging the use of elements from historical vernacular styles and often playful illusion, decoration, and complexity. 

[Origin: 1970-75; post- + modernism]

-Related forms

post·mod·ern·ist, noun, adjective

postmodern. (2006). In Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1).
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=postmodernism&r=66

 

Postulates

postulate (obj)

verb

FORMAL

to suggest or accept that (a theory, idea, etc.) is true, esp. as a starting point for reasoning or discussion

Astronomers postulate that the comet will reappear in 4000 years.

Postulate

noun [C]

FORMAL

He suggested an original and interesting postulate.

postulate. (2008). In Cambridge Dictionary of American English.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=postulate*1+0&dict=A

 

pos·tu·late   (p?s’ch?-l?t’)

tr.v.   pos·tu·lat·ed, pos·tu·lat·ing, pos·tu·lates

1. To make claim for; demand.

2. To assume or assert the truth, reality, or necessity of, especially as a basis of an argument.

3. To assume as a premise or axiom; take for granted. See Synonyms at presume.

n.   (p?s’ch?-l?t, -l?t’)

1. Something assumed without proof as being self-evident or generally accepted, especially when used as a basis for an argument: “the postulate that there is little moral difference between the superpowers” (Henry A. Kissinger).

2. A fundamental element; a basic principle.

3. Mathematics An axiom.

4. A requirement; a prerequisite.

[Medieval Latin postul?re, postul?t-, to nominate to a bishopric, to assume, from Latin, to request; see prek- in Indo-European roots.]

pos’tu·la’tion n.

postulate. (2008). In The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=postulates&r=66

 

Propositions

proposition

noun

1 [C] an offer or suggestion, usually in business:

He wrote to me last week regarding a business proposition he thought might interest me.

I’ve put my proposition to the company director for his consideration.

2 an idea or opinion:

They were debating the proposition that ‘All people are created equal’.

Proposition. (2008). In Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=63509&dict=CALD

 

prop·o·si·tion   (pr?p’?-z?sh’?n)    

n.  

1. A plan suggested for acceptance; a proposal.

2. A matter to be dealt with; a task: Finding affordable housing can be a difficult proposition.

3. An offer of a private bargain, especially a request for sexual relations.

4. A subject for discussion or analysis.

5. Logic

    a. A statement that affirms or denies something.

    b. The meaning expressed in such a statement, as opposed to the way it is expressed.

6. Mathematics A theorem.

tr.v.   prop·o·si·tioned, prop·o·si·tion·ing, prop·o·si·tions

To propose a private bargain to, especially to propose sexual relations with.

[Middle English proposicion, from Old French proposition, from Latin pr?positi?, pr?positi?n-, setting out in words, from pr?positus, past participle of pr?p?nere, to set forth; see propose.]

prop’o·si’tion·al adj., prop’o·si’tion·al·ly adv.

Proposition. (2006). In The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=propositions&r=66

 

Realism

re·al·ism [ r? ? lìzz?m ]

noun 

Definition:

1. practical understanding of life: a practical understanding and acceptance of the actual nature of the world, rather than an idealized or romantic view of it

2. accuracy of simulation: the simulation of something in a way that accurately resembles real things

the increasing realism of computer graphics

3. lifelike artistic representation: in artistic and literary works, lifelike representation of people and the world, without any idealization

4. philosophy theory that things exist objectively: the theory that things such as universals, moral facts, and theoretical scientific entities exist independently of people’s thoughts and perceptions

5. philosophy theory of objectively existing world: the theory that there is an objectively existing world, not dependent on our minds, and that people are able to understand aspects of that world through perception

6. philosophy theory that statements have truth values: the theory that every declarative statement is either true or false, regardless of whether this can be verified

realism. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861700796

 

re·al·ism 

Pronunciation: ?r?-?-?li-z?m

Function: noun

Date: 1817

1: concern for fact or reality and rejection of the impractical and visionary

2 a: a doctrine that universals exist outside the mind; specifically : the conception that an abstract term names an independent and unitary reality b: a theory that objects of sense perception or cognition exist independently of the mind – compare nominalism

3: the theory or practice of fidelity in art and literature to nature or to real life and to accurate representation without idealization

- re·al·ist  -list adjective or noun

- re·al·is·tic  ?r?-?-?lis-tik adjective

- re·al·is·ti·cal·ly  -ti-k(?-)l? adverb

realism. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/realism

 

Relativism

rel·a·tiv·ism [ réll?ti vìzz?m ]

noun 

Definition:

belief in changeable standards: the belief that concepts such as right and wrong, goodness and badness, or truth and falsehood are not absolute but change from culture to culture and situation to situation

rel·a·tiv·ist noun

relativism. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition].
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861699978

 

rel·a·tiv·ism 

Pronunciation: ?re-l?-ti-?vi-z?m

Function: noun

Date: 1865

1 a: a theory that knowledge is relative to the limited nature of the mind and the conditions of knowing b: a view that ethical truths depend on the individuals and groups holding them

2: relativity

- rel·a·tiv·ist  -vist noun

relativism. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relativism

 

Reliability

re·li·abil·i·ty 

Pronunciation: ri-?l?-?-?bi-l?-t?

Function: noun

Date: 1816

1 : the quality or state of being reliable

2 : the extent to which an experiment, test, or measuring procedure yields the same results on repeated trials

reliability. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reliability

 

re·li·a·ble (r-l-bl)

adj.

1. Capable of being relied on; dependable: a reliable assistant; a reliable car.

2. Yielding the same or compatible results in different clinical experiments or statistical trials.

re·lia·bili·ty, re·lia·ble·ness n.

reliable. (2003). In The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.

Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reliability

 

Research

re·search [ r sùrch ]

noun 

Definition:

organized study: methodical investigation into a subject in order to discover facts, to establish or revise a theory, or to develop a plan of action based on the facts discovered

transitive and intransitive verb  (past and past participle re·searched, present participle re·search·ing, 3rd person present singular re·search·es)

Definition:

study something methodically: to carry out research into a subject

[Late 16th century. < obsolete French recerche< Old French recercher "search closely" < cerchier "explore"]

re·search·a·ble adjective

re·search·er noun

research. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition]
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861700688

 

re·search  

Pronunciation: ri-?s?rch, ?r?-?

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle French recerche, from recercher to go about seeking, from Old French recerchier, from re- + cerchier, sercher to search – more at SEARCH

Date: 1577

1: careful or diligent search

2: studious inquiry or examination; especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws

3: the collecting of information about a particular subject

research. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/research

 

Rhetorical

rhe·tor·i·cal [ ri táwrik'l ]

adjective 

Definition:

1. of effective use of language: relating to the skill of using language effectively and persuasively

2. bombastic: relating to or using language that is elaborate or fine-sounding but insincere

 rhe·tor·i·cal·ly adverb

rhetorical. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition]
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861702500

 

rhe·tor·i·cal 

Pronunciation: ri-?to?r-i-k?l, -?tär-

Variant(s): also rhe·tor·ic  ri-?to?r-ik, -?tär-

Function: adjective

Date: 15th century

1 a: of, relating to, or concerned with rhetoric b: employed for rhetorical effect; especially : asked merely for effect with no answer expected <a rhetorical question>

2 a: given to rhetoric : grandiloquent b: verbal

- rhe·tor·i·cal·ly  -i-k(?-)l? adverb

rhetorical. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhetorical

 

Subjectivity

sub·jec·tiv·i·ty [ sùb jek tívv?tee ]

noun 

Definition:

1. personal interpretation: interpretation based on personal opinions or feelings rather than on external facts or evidence

2. personal vision: concentration on personal, individual responses in artistic expression

subjectivity. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition]
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861716473

 

subjective[1,adjective] 

Main Entry: 1sub·jec·tive 

Pronunciation: (?)s?b-?jek-tiv

Function: adjective

Date: 15th century

1: of, relating to, or constituting a subject: as a obsolete : of, relating to, or characteristic of one that is a subject especially in lack of freedom of action or in submissiveness

b: being or relating to a grammatical subject; especially : nominative

2: of or relating to the essential being of that which has substance, qualities, attributes, or relations

3 a: characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind : phenomenal – compare objective 1b b: relating to or being experience or knowledge as conditioned by personal mental characteristics or states

4 a (1): peculiar to a particular individual : personal <subjective judgments> (2): modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background <a subjective account of the incident> b: arising from conditions within the brain or sense organs and not directly caused by external stimuli <subjective sensations> c: arising out of or identified by means of one’s perception of one’s own states and processes <a subjective symptom of disease> – compare objective 1c

5: lacking in reality or substance : illusory

- sub·jec·tive·ly adverb

- sub·jec·tive·ness noun

- sub·jec·tiv·i·ty  -?jek-?ti-v?-t? noun 

subjective. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subjective

 

Teleological explanation

Teleological explanation specifies the purpose or end that some made object is designed to serve — what medieval Aristotlean scholastic philosophy called a final cause

The term “teleological explanation,” then, can be used to refer to either of two distinct things: (1) elucidating why something has the (material and formal) properties it exhibits by pointing to the purposes it is designed to serve, or (2) inferring the purposes something serves by examining the properties (material and formal) it exhibits.

teleological explanation. (1999). In English 233:  Introduction to Western Humanities — Baroque and Enlightenment.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~lyman/english233/g-teleology.htm

 

An explanation (for example, of human behaviour) in terms of outcomes or goals. Such explanations are usually in terms of the purposes, reasons, or motives underlying a particular behaviour.

teleological explanation. (2007). In The Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science & Medicine.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.answers.com/topic/teleological-explanation

 

Theory

the·o·ry [ th? ?ree, th?ree ] (plural the·o·ries)

noun 

Definition:

1. rules and techniques: the body of rules, ideas, principles, and techniques that applies to a subject, especially when seen as distinct from actual practice

  • economic theories
  • Many coaches have a good grasp of the theory of football but can’t motivate players.

2. speculation: abstract thought or contemplation

3. idea formed by speculation: an idea of or belief about something arrived at through speculation or conjecture

  • She believed in the theory that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

4. hypothetical circumstances: a set of circumstances or principles that is hypothetical

  • That’s the theory, but it may not work out in practice.

5. scientific principle to explain phenomena: a set of facts, propositions, or principles analyzed in their relation to one another and used, especially in science, to explain phenomena

[Late 16th century. Via late Latin< Greek the?ria "contemplation, theory" < the?ros "spectator"]

in theory under hypothetical or ideal circumstances but perhaps not in reality

theory. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition]
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861719564

 

the·o·ry 

Pronunciation: ?th?-?-r?, ?thir-?

Function: noun

Inflected Form(s): plural the·o·ries

Etymology: Late Latin theoria, from Greek the?ria, from the?rein

Date: 1592

1: the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another

2: abstract thought : speculation

3: the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art <music theory>

4 a: a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action <her method is based on the theory that all children want to learn> b: an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances -often used in the phrase in theory<in theory, we have always advocated freedom for all>

5: a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena <the wave theory of light>

6 a: a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b: an unproved assumption : conjecture c: a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject <theory of equations>

synonyms see hypothesis

theory. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theory

 

Validity

val·id 

Pronunciation: ?va-l?d

Function: adjective

Etymology: Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle French valide, from Medieval Latin validus, from Latin, strong, potent, from val?re

Date: 1571

1: having legal efficacy or force; especially : executed with the proper legal authority and formalities <a valid contract>

2 a: well-grounded or justifiable : being at once relevant and meaningful <a valid theory> b: logically correct <a valid argument> <valid inference>

3: appropriate to the end in view : effective <every craft has its own valid methods>

4 of a taxon : conforming to accepted principles of sound biological classification

- va·lid·i·ty  v?-?li-d?-t?, va- noun

- val·id·ly  ?va-l?d-l? adverb

valid. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/valid

 

va·lid·i·ty   /v??l?d?ti/ [vuh-lid-i-tee]  

-noun

1. the state or quality of being valid: to question the validity of the argument. 

2. legal soundness or force. 

[Origin: 1540-50; < LL validit?s, equiv. to L valid(us) valid + -it?s- -ity]

valid. (2006). In Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=validity&r=66

 

Variables

variable  

noun [C] SPECIALIZED

a number, amount or situation which can change:

The variables in the equation are X, Y and Z.

The data was analysed according to neighbourhoods, but other key variables like credit rating, job history, savings and marital status were ignored altogether.

variable. (2008). In Cambridge University Press
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=87772&dict=CALD

 

var·i·a·ble   /?v??ri?b?l/ [vair-ee-uh-buhl]

-adjective

1. apt or liable to vary or change; changeable: variable weather; variable moods

2. capable of being varied or changed; alterable: a variable time limit for completion of a book.

3. inconstant; fickle: a variable lover. 

4. having much variation or diversity. 

5. Biology. deviating from the usual type, as a species or a specific character. 

6. Astronomy. (of a star) changing in brightness. 

7. Meteorology. (of wind) tending to change in direction. 

8. Mathematics. having the nature or characteristics of a variable. 

-noun

9. something that may or does vary; a variable feature or factor. 

10. Mathematics, Computers.

    a. a quantity or function that may assume any given value or set of values. 

    b. a symbol that represents this. 

11. Logic. (in the functional calculus) a symbol for an unspecified member of a class of things or statements. Compare bound variable, free variable. 

12. Astronomy. variable star. 

13. Meteorology. a. a shifting wind, esp. as distinguished from a trade wind. 

b. variables, doldrums (def. 2a). 

[Origin: 1350-1400; late ME < L vari?bilis, equiv. to vari(us) various + -?bilis -able]

-Related forms

var·i·a·bil·i·ty, var·i·a·ble·ness, noun

var·i·a·bly, adverb

-Synonyms 3. vacillating, wavering, fluctuating, unsteady, mercurial.

-Antonyms 1, 3. constant.

variable. (2006). In Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=variables&r=66

 

Verification

ver·i·fi·ca·tion [ vèrr?fi káysh'n ] (plural ver·i·fi·ca·tions)

noun 

Definition:

1. establishment of truth: the establishment of the truth or correctness of something by investigation or evidence

2. evidence: the evidence that proves something is true or correct

3. international law confirmation of procedures: in international law, the process of confirming that procedures laid down in an agreement such as a weapons limitation treaty are being followed

4. law affidavit: in law, an affidavit swearing to the truth of a pleading

5. law confirmatory evidence: evidence or testimony that confirms something

 ver·i·fi·ca·tive [ vérr?fi kàytiv ] adjective

verification. (2007). In Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition]
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861733839

 

ver·i·fi·ca·tion 

Pronunciation: ?ver-?-f?-?k?-sh?n

Function: noun

Date: 1523

: the act or process of verifying : the state of being verified

verification. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/verification

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