Almost all research studies in social and behavioral sciences regardless of disciplines/programs
require a rationale or base for conducting research. This rationale/base is often called theoretical
framework. A host of researchers have provided varying definitions of theoretical framework (Sekaran,
2000; Camp, 2001; Elliott; 2005, Tuckman, 1999). A theoretical framework is a conceptual model of
how one theorizes or makes logical sense of the relationships among several factors that have been
identified as important to the problem (Sekaran, 2000). In essence, it attempts to integrate key pieces of
information especially variables in a logical manner, and thereby conceptualizes a problem that can be
tested. Theoretical framework visually tells the big picture (research) of the study, identifies literature
review categories and directs research objectives. A typical theoretical framework provides a schematic
description of relationships between and among independent, dependent, moderator, control, and
extraneous variables so that a reader can easily comprehend the theorized relationships (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Relationships Between Variables
Although theoretical framework helps build a base for the study, very few studies have discussed
linkages between theoretical framework and research types. The focus of this poster presentation is to
describe the connection between theoretical framework and research types. Radhakrishna, Leite, and
Baggett (2003) presented a typology for research designs used in agricultural education. Using the
quantitative research paradigm, they classified research designs into three categories: descriptive,
descriptive-correlational, and experimental. The decision to select a research design depends on the
goals of one’s research study. It also depends on the review of literature which... [continues]
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