Conceptual Framework

A conceptual framework is used in research to outline possible courses of action or to present a preferred approach to an idea or thought. For example, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin used the "hedgehogs" versus "foxes" approach; a "hedgehog" might approach the world in terms of a single organizing principle; a "fox" might pursue multiple conflicting goals simultaneously.

Conceptual frameworks (theoretical frameworks) are a type of intermediate theory that attempt to connect to all aspects of inquiry (e.g., problem definition, purpose, literature review, methodology, data collection and analysis). Conceptual frameworks can act like maps that give coherence to empirical inquiry. Because conceptual frameworks are potentially so close to empirical inquiry, they take different forms depending upon the research question or problem.

Several types of conceptual frameworks have been identified, such as

  • Working hypothesis
  • Descriptive Categories
  • Practical ideal types
  • Models of operations research
  • Formal hypotheses

These are linked to particular research purposes such as:

  • Exploration or Exploratory research
  • Description or Descriptive research
  • Gauging
  • Decision making
  • Explanation
  • Prediction

Proponents claim that when purpose and framework are aligned, other aspects of empirical research such as methodological choices and statistical techniques become simpler to identify.

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 (or freedom) 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.

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... Regulation at the local level, or "in house", is based on national government guidelines ... There is however no governmental inspections of the institutions and no reporting requirement on the number of animals used ...
Hypothesis - Hypotheses, Concepts and Measurement
... a set of hypotheses are grouped together they become a type of conceptual framework ... When a conceptual framework is complex and incorporates causality or explanation it is generally referred to as a theory ... that describes the relationship between a conceptual framework and the framework as it is observed and perhaps tested (interpreted framework) ...
Aggregate Level Simulation Protocol - Conceptual Framework
... A conceptual framework is an organizing structure of concepts that facilitates simulation model development ... Common conceptual frameworks include event scheduling, activity scanning and process interaction ... The ALSP conceptual framework is object-based where a model is composed of objects that are characterized by attributes to which values are assigned ...

Famous quotes containing the words framework and/or conceptual:

    The city is a fact in nature, like a cave, a run of mackerel or an ant-heap. But it is also a conscious work of art, and it holds within its communal framework many simpler and more personal forms of art. Mind takes form in the city; and in turn, urban forms condition mind.
    Lewis Mumford (1895–1990)

    The dominant metaphor of conceptual relativism, that of differing points of view, seems to betray an underlying paradox. Different points of view make sense, but only if there is a common co-ordinate system on which to plot them; yet the existence of a common system belies the claim of dramatic incomparability.
    Donald Davidson (b. 1917)