Theory Building in Experimental Design Research

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific

4 Citations (Scopus)


As an introduction, a brief overview of the types and process of experimental research is As an introduction, a brief overview of the types and process of experimental research is provided and the concept of research phenomenon is discussed. Then, various kinds of theories, such as: (i) explorative, (ii) descriptive, (iii) explanatory, (iv) predictive, and (v) regulative theories, are considered as
milestones of progression of knowing, and some philosophical stances and approaches of scientific theorizing are deliberated. Historically, there has been a move from empiricist and positivist approaches to pragmatist, interpretivist, and instrumentalist approaches of theorizing, which recognized the socially constructed nature of scientific knowledge. These approaches are concisely
reviewed and, after that, a systematic procedure of theory building and testing is proposed, which harmonizes with the epistemological and methodological objectives of experimental research. It consists of an exploratory part, which includes
knowledge aggregation, assumptions on conducting data generation, and deriving a specific theory, and a confirmative part, which includes justification, validation and consolidation of the proposed theory. As an exemplification, the differences
of probabilistic theory building in various manifestations of experimental research are summarized. Finally, some propositions are made.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExperimental design research
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches, perspectives, applications
EditorsPhilip Cash, Tino Stanković, Mario Štorga
Number of pages23
EditionPart IV
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-33781-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-33779-1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Theory building
  • Experimental design research
  • Natural and created phenomena
  • Milestones of knowing
  • Philosophical stances
  • Testing of theories
  • Statistics supported theorizing


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