Understanding Quantitative Theory in Research

 Quantitative Theory

Crutchfiled (1986) co-authored his doctoral thesis Locus of Control, Interpersonal Trust, and Scholarly productivity. By surveying nursing teachers, she wanted to know if the locus of control and interpersonal beliefs could affect teachers ' productivity levels. In this chapter of the introduction, there is one of the subchapters entitled” theoretical perspectives". This subsection covers the following points:

  1. Theory to be used
  2. The main hypothesis of the theory 
  3. Information about who has used the theory
  4. Adjustment between theory and research variables by using the form of a logical statement " If-Then”

Theoretical Perspective

To formulate a theoretical perspective in examining the productivity of teachers ' academies, social learning theory provides an important proto-type. The concept of behavior trying to " approach human behavior based on relationships (reciprocity) sustained between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental factors” (Bandura, 1977:vi) (here, researchers are identifying specific theories).

Although this theory suggests applying such reinforcement to form principles, social learning theory still sees the role of reward as a means of identifying the best responses and as intensive motivation toward expected behavior. 

In addition, the principles of learning in this theory emphasize the important role of other processes, such as vicarious, symbolic, and self-regulating processes (Bandura, 1997).

Social learning theory not only discusses learning and learning but also seeks to describe how social competence and personal competence (so-called personality) can develop social conditions conducive to the learning process. This theory also describes the techniques of personality assessment (Mischel, 1968), and behavior modification in clinical and educational settings (Bandura, 1977; Bowel and Hilgart, 1981; Rotter 1954) (here, researchers are describing the theory of social learning)

So far the principles of social learning theory have been widely applied to social behaviors such as competition, sex-role aggressiveness, challenge, and pathological behavior (Bahdura & Walters, 1963; Bandura 1977; Mishel, 1968; Miller & Dollard, 1941; Rotter 1954; Staats, 1975) (here researchers are describing the application of the theory ).

By explaining social learning theory, rotter (1954) showed that there are four levels of variables to be considered: behavior, expectations, reinforcement, and psychological situation. The general Formula of behavior can be expressed as follows: the potential for the emergence of behavior and psychological situation specifically is the influence of expectations that the behavior will later lead to the performance and its benefits in the psychological situation (Rotter, 1975: 57).

The expectation in this formula refers to a certain certainty (or possibility) that a causal relationship generally arises between behavior and reward the construct of this expression can be defined as an external locus of control when an individual believes that within himself influence by such things as luck, fate or other forces. 

This awareness of the causal relationship is certainly not an attitude that is absolute and always appears in every individual, but it is in the form of attitudes that vary in a continuum depending on the individual's experiences and previous and situational complexities (Rotter: 1996). (Here the researcher explains the variables in theory) because this study applies the theory of social learning, the four levels of variables identified by Rotter (1954) above become the main ingredients for detailing the points of academic productivity as follows:

  1. Academic productivity is the expected behavior or activity.
  2. The locus of control is the general expectation that rewards may or may not depend on certain behaviors.
  3. Reinforcement is a reward and appreciation for academic work
  4. An educational institution is a psychological situation in which there are various rewards for academic productivity
Some theoretical perspectives that can be used in qualitative research are as follows (Creswell, 2007):
  1. Feminist perspectives challenge today's oppressed women and the institutions that shape these conditions. Research topics may include policy issues related to the realization of social justice for women with certain domains of knowledge about the conditions of oppression experienced by them (Ollesen, 2000).
  2. Racial discourse raises important questions about the construction and control of racial knowledge, particularly about people and communities of color (Ladson-Bilings, 2000)
  3. Critical theory perspectives focus on empowering human beings to be free from the racial, class, and gender constraints placed upon them (Fay, 1987)
  4. Queer theory-this is how the term used in this literature focuses on individuals inculcating themselves as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender group. Research that applies this theoretical perspective does not mean making the above individuals as raw objects that can be treated for granted, but rather trying to find the cultural and political sides of what makes them isolated in the social sphere. This theory even echoes the rights and experiences of oppressed individuals (Gamson, 2000)
  5. Disability studies focus on the meaning of inclusion in schools, involving school administrators, teachers, and parents who have children with certain disabilities (Mertens, 1998).


Creswell, J.W. (1999) Mixed method research: Introduction and application. In G.J. Cizek (Ed.). Handbook of educational policy (pp. 455-472). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Creswell, J.W. (2007). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choos¬ing among Five Approaches ( 3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Creswell, J.W. (2008). Educational Research: Ptoming, Conducting and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
Creswell, J.W. & Brown, M.L. (1992, Fall). How chairpersons enhance faculty research: A grounded theory study. The Review of Higher Education, 16(1), 41-62.
Creswell, J.W., & Miller, D. (2000). Determining validity in qualita¬tive inquiry. Theory into Practice, 39(3), 124-130.
Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. Sage publications.
Creswell, J.W. & Piano Clark, V.L. (2007). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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