Identifying What We Take for Granted in Our Research: Suggestions for Assumption Hunters

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

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William B. Strean University of Alberta

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The theme of this special issue, following from the 1996 NAFAPA meeting, is “Questioning Our Research Assumptions.” Before assessing the validity of assumptions, they must first be identified. This paper describes how researchers can go about locating what they take for granted in their work. Attention is given to three types of assumptions: paradigmatic, prescriptive, and causal. The specific strategies discussed are examining the gap between conclusion and reasons, analyzing the ideas that support reasons, identifying with the researcher’s point of view, identifying with opposing viewpoints, learning more about relevant issues, and considering barriers in current thinking.

William B. Stream is with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, E-401 Van Vliet, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H9, Canada (E-mail: BSTREAN@PER.UALBERIA.CA).

The author would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful and constructive comments.

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