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Contrast positivism and social constructionism Psychology Essay (Essay Sample)


Compare and contrast positivism and social constructionism and how these paradigms inform research methods in psychology.


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Compare and contrast positivism and social constructionism and how these paradigms inform research methods
Philosophical systems guide and inform how different research studies are conducted. Philosophical perspectives / ideologies form an important part of research and the research methodologies that a researcher undertakes (Kivunja & Kuyini, 2017). Philosophy involves understanding the underlying ideas, perspectives, and views that inform a certain practice (Ward, Hoare, & Gott, 2015). This essay critically discusses through comparison and contrast positivism and social constructivism research paradigms. The essay defines each of these paradigms, covers the assumptions/ideologies behind each of these paradigms, and how each of these paradigms inform research practice, with an emphasised focus on the link between each paradigm and the research methodology that share the same assumptions.
Positivism and Social Constructivism
Positivism refers to a research approach that relies on scientific evidence such as experiments and statistics to determine knowledge of a society / people (Aliyu, Bello, Kasim, & Martin, 2014; Hwang, 2019). Positivism is a philosophical system that only recognises information/knowledge which can be scientifically verified or that which is capable of mathematical or logical proof (Aliyu et al., 2014). On the other hand, social constructionism refers to a philosophical approach and paradigm in which knowledge is viewed as being constructed through social processes and interactions (Andrews, 2012; Walker, 2015). Social constructivism refers to the way in which people socially construct the reality of experience and make meaning of it (Walker, 2015).

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