During the 20th century, scholars embarked on the study of human and social behavior; those in the discipline of communication have often modeled themselves after the naturalistic ideas found in fields such as physics and biology, they take findings and concepts from the physical sciences and use them as basis for social research. These researches have maintained allegiance with meta-theorical assumptions from the physical sciences.
Now a day, positivism is use as a term of derision in social research. It has been divided in two groups.
• Classical Positivism
Was developed by August Comte, who argued that both theological and metaphysical explanations are less acceptable than those based on scientific evidence, the foundation of knowledge is empirical.
• Logical Positivism:
Personified by the Vienna circle, affirms by means of the “verifiability principle of meaning” that a statement is held to be meaningful if it is either analytic or empirically verifiable. This positivism was accounting for an ideal of science.
After these ideas, a post-positivism era came with many
methatheorical aspects, such as:
Ontology with realistic foundations provides a basis for progress, it is a position taken by post-pessimists.
Many post-positivist statements about the grounds of social knowledge and the role of values in the production of it are based on the objectivist.
Post-positivist assumptions about the grounds of social Knowledge and the role of values in the production of social knowledge are based on the objectivist, with the postulations:
“Knowledge can best be gained through a search for regularities among components of the social world”.
It was believed that progress can be made if researchers exercise care in their theorizing and research and critical of theorical assertions and empirical justifications.
Post positivists scholars thought that theories should provide general explanations that go further than the observation of individual events. It was important that this theories start wit units, specifically the laws of interaction and the conceptual boundaries.
The importance of this theories was that they work to establish some kind of order on unordered experience, they answer questions of why things occur (function of explanation), one should also be able to use the abstract explanation to predict what will happen in a similar situation (prediction) and last comes the control, if one can explain and predict phenomena, it is also sometimes possible to use that information to control future events.
Points to take in consideration while evaluating a theory:
v Consistent (internally and externally)
v Should have broad escape
v Must be fruitful
Scientific method- should be use in order to test and develop theories, because it imposes standards of control that reduce the influence of the researcher’s values on the process of observation and interpretation.
We know that absolute truth is not obtained to verify a theory, that’s why scholars should work together in order to obtain great results.
““POST POSITIVIST PERSPECTIVES ON THEORY DEVELOPMENT””