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Chapter 34: The Role of Theory in Quantitative Data Analysis
The Role of Theory in Quantitative Data Analysis
Theory and Data Analysis
If you take theory and models seriously, then (a) you need to elaborate clearly for yourself ‘what counts’ and how things supposedly fit together, and (b) you must hold yourself accountable to data… . From my perspective, theory is – or should be – the lifeblood of the empirical scientist. (Schoenfeld, 2010, p. 105)
The process of theorizing, collecting evidence, testing theory, revising theory, and then working through the cycle again is the basis of science. Theory is no less important when conducting a data analysis using quantitative methods. All statistical textbooks spend significant space on discussing the assumptions ...