theoretical vs conceptual framework

Conceptual framework is developed by the researcher to solve a particular problem that he wants to find solution whereas theoretical framework is based on theories or general representation of relationship between various things. Technology as an augmentation of human performance has been central to my design practice — for creativity, communication and content. I have been a strong advocate of Owers’ ideas regarding the evolutionary symbiosis of technology and humankind, which provides a context for justifying educational design with technology. Mental models are complex and dynamic relationships which can be employed to explain and predict more complex issues and may be based on networks of facts and skills. As such they are the most important form of knowledge to be improved through the expression and evaluation argued for in the Expressive Constructivism model of learning and thus are the subject of this discussion here. This immaturity means that Learning Design is not territory which I have explored in any detail in my practice, preferring designs to provide infrastructure and tools for human decision making in a freer sense.

theoretical vs conceptual framework

The terms theory and hypothesis are often used interchangeably in everyday use. However, the difference between them in scholarly research is important, particularly when using an experimental design. Theories arise from repeated observation and testing and incorporates facts, laws, predictions, and tested hypotheses that are widely accepted [e.g., rational choice theory; grounded theory]. [I could choose to test Instrumentalist or Circumstantialists models developed theoretical vs conceptual framework among Ethnic Conflict Theorists that rely upon socio-economic-political factors to explain individual-state relations and to apply this theoretical model to periods of war between nations]. The researcher’s understanding/hypothesis/exploration of either an existing framework/model or how existing concepts come together to inform a particular problem. Shows the reader how different elements come together to facilitate research and a clear understanding of results.

How Do You Write A Framework?

If more than one theory is used, the researcher must also describe how the theories inform each other and how they inform all aspects of the study. This is the work the researcher engages in to demonstrate how theory informs all aspects of the study design. In this design, the researcher develops the theoretical framework before the study is carried out; however, the theoretical framework can be adjusted during the research processes in response to the insights and understandings being developed. For instance, many research questions asked in this study design are broad and open ended (e.g., in a study using sociomateriality theory, a researcher might ask, What is a resident’s experience of interprofessional collaboration in clinical learning environments?).

Register for comprehensive research tips and expert advice on English writing, journal publishing, good publication practices, trends in publishing, and a lot more. Pavlov used stimuli and response to study conditioning in animal subjects , which led him to predict that upon being conditioned to one set of stimuli, the animal would later respond in the same way to the presentation of any one of the stimuli . In the first quarter of 2021 we explored design steps, starting with a January focus onFinding the Question.We learned more about the design stage in February by focusing onChoosing Methodology and Methods.The March focus was onDesigning an Ethical Study.

How Do You Start A Theoretical Framework?

This article is useful to my proposed dissertation because it explains the efficacy of a financial diversification strategy. This focus is appealing to me because my dissertation also focuses on exploring the viability of using a financial diversification strategy to improve the financial position of Clayton County Library. Mayer et al. provide useful insights into how this strategy may influence a firm’s financial volatility. They explore this issue by explaining how the modern portfolio theory could promote revenue diversification, as a strategy for reducing the financial volatility of a firm. A theoretical framework is a broad and established set of rules, truths, or principles on which the study is founded. Examples include Newton’s laws of motion in physical sciences and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in social sciences.

theoretical vs conceptual framework

This kind of self-report is, I believe, no more or less useful than any other evidence we gain from human behaviour, and clearly needs to be handled with care. Nevertheless, table 5 lists some examples of mental models and distinguishes between mental models (learner’s knowledge) and externalised conceptual models . A conceptual framework includes the ideas that are used to define research and evaluate data. They usually fall within a theoretical framework and are often laid out using visuals and graphics. Like theoretical frameworks, they are often included at the beginning of a paper or experiment. Theoretical and conceptual frameworks basically differ in terms of scope. While a theoretical framework explores the relationship between things in a given phenomenon in a broad and general way, a conceptual framework is more specific and represents the researcher’s idea on how the research problem will be explored.

Postcolonial Theory

Identify your key concepts The first step is to pick out the key terms from your problem statement and research questions. Mental models are not only faulty , but also unconscious in the sense that they may be unknown and even their nature unknowable to the person employing them. Nevertheless they may provide effective capability and thus form the basis of tacit knowledge .

theoretical vs conceptual framework

It frames for how you the researcher/instrument will collect, analyze, and discuss the findings, in addition to, how you discuss the related literature. The theoretical framework could also include a detailed, broad, or specific study.

A concise way of viewing the conceptual framework is a list of understood fact-based conditions that presents the researcher’s prescribed thinking for solving the identified problem. These conditions provide a methodological rationale of interrelated ideas and approaches for beginning, executing, and defining the outcome of problem resolution efforts (Leshem & Trafford, 2007).

Like Eilders , Schwarz , Johnson , and Staab , this study proposes that news selection research should be comprehensively approached at the micro-, meso- and macro-levels of analysis. The theory of newsworthiness is applied in this study to the behaviour of journalists in selecting the news. These are represented as micro-level investigations, which correspond with individual level analysis in the Shoemaker and Reese model. It is, however, crucial to note that the assumptions in this study differ in some ways in comparison with the entire argument of Shoemaker and Reese because the theory of newsworthiness was conceptualised significantly at the routine level in the Shoemaker and Reese model. However, Shoemaker and Reese argue that the day’s news is influenced by many factors and therefore “influences from all levels of analysis determine the day’s news; they are not as visible a target” (p. 172). The basic rationalisation in this study is that news factors and values are individual behaviour and attributes that most journalists gained through education, either in school or on the job. Even though most news organisation have compelling styles to which all newly employed journalists must adapt, the bottom line is that each journalist learns differently, and applies and interprets these values and styles differently.

The theoretical framework describes a broader relationship between things. The conceptual framework is much more specific in defining this relationship.

The Importance Of A Theoretical Framework

I do not believe that it is fruitful, especially for the design practitioner, to spend too long identifying mental models’ structural properties nor attempting to use mental models as a basis for formal prediction or explanation. In my view, the biological representation and processing of mental models, in both the network and dynamics of the neural connections in the brain or the phenomenology of the mind, is simply too complex, diverse and subtle. To add further futility , the act of discovering mental models, through dialogue with learners, can change the mental model itself (Rogers et al. 1992). The capacities to know, decide and act are represented by learners’ knowledge. I prefer to consider the first, mind, as primary, and intimately connected with action, as proposed by Piaget in the term schemata -systems of knowledge in the mind arising from the interplay of experience and activity . The secondary meaning, that of externalised or articulated knowledge, is not normally functionally independent of human interpretation, but may be viewed as essentially information. Piaget’s argument for biological stages in the development of learner’s knowledge, linked to age, is developed by Vygotsky’s more fluid perspective , where learner’s capacity may be greater when supported by another, named the zone of proximal development.

  • This section begins by presenting findings on the impact of child maltreatment on later development.
  • I regard learning as less likely to succeed when too tightly prescribed and in its nature, a creative activity which benefits from openness in outcome rather than to be restricted to such sequences with too closely focussed learning outcomes.
  • Given this, always note the limitiations of the theoretical framework you’ve chosen [i.e., what parts of the research problem require further investigation because the theory does not explain a certain phenomena].
  • In my view, theoretical frameworks set expectations, because theories are constructs that help explain relationships between variables and specific outcomes and responses.
  • The theoretical framework introduces and describes the theory which explains why the research problem under study exists.

Due to this agency of cultural reception, I argue that news values and newsworthiness are significant at the individual level analysis, first and foremost. It does not imply that others could not use it at the routine and institutional levels since any individual behaviours routinised or institutionalised become routine and institutional level analysis respectively. The analysis here could be descriptive or predictive (Golan, 2008; Wu, 2000).

Investigate Theory

For example, in this article, Beck offers social movement theory as a conceptual framework that can help understand terrorism. As I explained in my metaphor above, social movement theory is the lens through which you see terrorism, and you get a clearer understanding of how it operates precisely because you used this particular theory. Three of the most challenging concepts for me to explain are the interrelated ideas of a theoretical framework, a conceptual framework, and an analytical framework. While I find these concepts somewhat fuzzy and I struggle sometimes to explain the differences between them and clarify their usage for my students , this blog post is an attempt to help discern these analytical categories more clearly. Economists use the conceptual framework of «supply» and «demand» to distinguish between the behavior and incentive systems of firms and consumers. Like many conceptual frameworks, supply and demand can be presented through visual or graphical representations . Both political science and economics use principal agent theory as a conceptual framework.

However, the study adopted the idea that the “theoretical frameworks are any empirical or quasi-empirical theory of social and/or psychological processes, at a variety of levels (e.g., grand, mid-range, and explanatory) that can be applied to the understanding of phenomena” (p. 27). A conceptual framework, on the other hand, is not very different from a theoretical framework. According to Matthew Miles, Michael Huberman and Johnny Saldaña , “a conceptual framework explains, either graphically or in narrative form, main things to be studied — the key factors, variables, construct — and the presumed interrelationships among them” (p. 20). It could be argued that conceptual frameworks are founded on theory/theories and as such represent the specific direction by which the research will be undertaken by identifying “who, what will, and will not be studied” (Miles et al., 2014, p. 21). The conceptual framework in this present study is deduced from the theoretical framework with more focus on the specifics of the study’s arguments.

Thanks to this work, the study is well positioned to advance knowledge because it puts the theory to the test and unites findings across research contexts. Not surprisingly, then, peer reviewers of objectivist deductive research look for a theoretical framework to be made explicit because the framework shapes the design of the study and describes how the current research joins a lineage of inquiry done using the same theory. In order to come up with their own set of theoretical and conceptual framework that will guide the conduct of the research, students have to review literature pertaining to their chosen research topic.

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter. Olivia is a Graduate in Electronic Engineering with HR, Training & Development background and has over 15 years of field experience. Discuss the assumptions or propositions of this theory and point out their relevance to your research. Before starting your submission, please check that this journal’s publishing policy is compatible with your and your co-authors’ funding agreements.

First, identify your key concepts and define any uncommon terms, phrases or words in your document to provide a basis of understanding and a point of reference for the reader. Frameworks have also been used to explain conflict theory and the balance necessary to reach what amounts to resolution. Within these conflict frameworks, visible and invisible variables function under concepts of relevance. Boundaries form and within these boundaries, tensions regarding laws and chaos are mitigated. These frameworks often function like cells, with sub-frameworks, stasis, evolution and revolution. Anomalies may exist without adequate «lenses» or «filters» to see them and may become visible only when the tools exist to define them.


Brains et al 2011 also identify exploration, explanation and description as research purposes. This framework, composed of one formal theory, serves as the base for research. Whether you’re studying times tables or applying to college, Classroom has the answers. Review past related literature to find answers to your research question. Conceptual frameworks are commonly seen in qualitative research works.

Conceptual framework focuses on the fundamental concepts characterizing the study variable to give an informed understanding of the study. Manipulable space/field/’scratch pad’/language, for creating or articulating models, programs, plans or conceptual structures. In these circumstances, I as a designer have had to create a theoretical position which draws from the best, yet can provide a more straightforward basis for design decision-making.