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German Expressionism

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Assess the usefulness of Positivist Research.

Positivism refers to the application of scientific methods and logic in the study of society and the social world. Positivists believe that human behaviour can be studied in order to find Laws of Human Behaviour, which could then be used to predict the behaviour of people within society. Positivist research tends to make use of quantitative methods in order to derive data- data which can then be sorted and stratified in order to identify trends, and from these trends, derive possible meanings. In order to assess the usefulness of Positivist Research, one will need to explore both the advantages and shortcomings of Positivists Methodology, and compare it in relation to other methods such as interpretivist methodology as well as realism and triangulation.

Positivist Research can be said to be useful as it has a wide sample size and greater validity with regards to representation and repeatability. This means that information gathered using Positivist research is comparatively more representative of society than information gathered from other research methods, including interpretivist research which lacks a sufficiently large sample size and is generally unrepresentative of society. Positivist research as well as the quantitative methods associated with them also limits the extent to which researchers are involved with the research subject, hence reducing the possibility of imposition upon the subjects, or the occurrence of the Hawthorne Effect and self-representation. This makes Positivist Research clearly more valid than other methods and hence makes it useful in regards to the study of society. Positivism also clearly avoids the problems of selective observation which affects the outcome of interpretivist research, as well as the imposition dilemma faced by most interpretivist researchers.

Positivist…...

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