A paradigm is generally defined as an interpretation of a reality which starts from a previous investigation. It is also taken into consideration that it depends on the observation and study of a specific topic. It is common to use this term in science because it allows a more specific hypothesis to be formulated.

There are many examples of paradigms among which the so-called behaviorist stands out, some others are the quantitative and the empirical. The origin of this word etymologically is found in a word belonging to Greek, specifically the word “paradeigma” which was used to refer to an example a model. That currently has the same association for which it is used to write patterns or models to follow. 

In the same way, a paradigm will also designate a set of ideas or beliefs , in the same way it can gather rules to follow that adhere to an ideal. In the case of the social sciences, this term is applied to refer to particular characteristics identified in a culture or society.

Technically this word would begin to be used in the middle of the 20th century, precisely within the scientific field in various investigations . These same focused their studies on epistemology, psychology and also on pedagogy. Eventually the use of that word would be expanded and made more common.

Taking into consideration the wide variety of paradigms that are currently being used regarding different topics, we will now write the particular characteristics of the interpretive paradigm. As in other typologies, in this case it can be seen that it has a particular utility.

What is an interpretive paradigm? 

The interpretive paradigm is related to knowledge, for this it is taken as a reference to a set of beliefs that have been raised in order to understand reality. They raise questions of different kinds, which are of interest within the scientific and social field. These same eventually undergo changes according to the advances and discoveries that are added.

To understand it in a simple way, this is a paradigm that integrates all the beliefs that are based on the own perception and interpretation of a reality. Considering that these same ideas will be replaced by new ones, it is always important to consider that at some point this transition will occur.

These types of paradigms tend to have similarities between the old and the new proposals. The interpretive paradigm always seeks to interpret in the best way assumptions about different ideas, in addition, it is required that all the information is known to all equally.

The interpretive paradigm always depends on the interaction between the subject and the object of study . Both elements are considered to be inseparable, observation is the first applied methodology that allows a closer relationship and shaping a more precise idea. Research will always be influenced by the ideas and points of view of the researcher himself.

A good example of the interpretive paradigm is applied to the field of psychology, in this case psychologists or therapists use this method to study the subject or patient. The interaction between both individuals will allow to have more details about the behavior of the other.

Unlike other typologies, in this case the objective is not to make generalizations. This is an investigation that tries to elaborate an ideographic description , for this, each aspect considered relevant during the investigation process is deepened. It can be said that it reflects the intentions and objectives of the researcher himself, he continually evaluates, studies and analyzes each element.

In this type of paradigm, it is always stated that the researcher is in charge of discovering and adequately identifying the meaning of human actions. It has a close relationship with the study of social life as well as the personal world of individuals. In this way, there is a better understanding of the motivations and beliefs that influence different social practices.

What are their characteristics? 

The application of this type of paradigm allows us to understand that reality is more dynamic and diverse , it has a qualitative and also phenomenological character; as well as more natural and humanistic. Interest is entered in identifying the meaning of all actions and practices. Other key features are described below:

  • It is oriented to the discovery of new knowledge through the interpretation of different ideas , these same can be influenced by references that can be part of the research process at a certain moment.
  • It is important to mention the relationship between the researcher and the object of study . This element is very important because otherwise it would not be possible to carry out this process. In addition, depending on the type of analysis that is being carried out, both elements must have a clear and precise communication.
  • It is always discovery-oriented . This means that eventually new information will always be added. It can even replace a previous one.
  • This is a type of paradigm in which the resource of the interview is used, systematic observation and different study techniques are also applied . All these allow to produce new knowledge becoming the predominant practices.
  • An identification, description and interpretation of the object of study is made, taking into consideration all the qualitative aspects that until now have been observed.
  • This paradigm is not intended to raise casual explanations, it is about deepening and understanding the knowledge that one has a finger in reality.
  • An investigation is carried out in which the methods and techniques are resources that allow the acquisition of essential knowledge.
  • A diverse variety of basic concepts is proposed, these same raise philosophical approaches applied to different cases. You can have an explanation and prediction of a reality having a better chance of hitting the meaning of the object of study.
  • The main objective is to study in depth all behaviors, applied to the social sciences, it has made it possible to determine reality in a subjective way, taking into consideration that it is not possible to analyze by applying quantitative methods.
  • It is characterized by applying a naturalistic investigation , it tries to identify the development of different events without manipulating the information obtained.
  • An inductive analysis is applied that allows to explore the selected topic by asking questions that have a broad perspective. But these in turn emphasize details that have been identified as important, in this way different hypotheses are deduced and raised.
  • holistic perspective is maintained , this means it is about understanding cause and effect.
  • Qualitative data is mainly handled , these can be personal experiences or other similar information that has been collected.

Finally, it is important to mention that this is a type of paradigm that is usually applied to the field of social sciences . This means that it allows to have a better approach to subjects such as culture, politics, religions and economic development for example. It is also applicable to psychology, taking into account that it is a science that depends entirely on the application of different methodologies that facilitate proper interpretation and analysis.

Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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