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Introspective Inspection
Dr. Clayton Mullen
DOI : https://doi.org/10.47191/ijmra/v3-i12-05

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This summary review examines the inspection process in relation to fundamental research paradigms and factors influencing those paradigms. The objective is to offer a brief insight into the inspection process through the prisms of science, philosophy, and psychology but not to advocate for a specific approach. The reader is encouraged to consider factors related to the interchanges of an observer, the phenomena that are observed, and the combination of the observer and the observed. Arming the observer with broader knowledge can bolster approaches to inspection. At a minimum, the discussion will encourage introspection. The term ‘observer’ is used contextually in this paper both as the act of receiving information from the external world and as a practitioner assessing phenomena. An awareness of the different avenues of inquiry and factors influencing inquiry may assist with conceptual and practical approaches to observation and inspection. Gathering information through observation has obvious similarities with data collection in formal research. The act of observation shapes our interpretations of reality and how information is processed into knowledge. Practical field-level inspections lack formal research structure; however, envisioning inspections from a theoretical perspective allows appreciation for both quantitative and qualitative approaches. A combination of qualitative and quantitative paradigms is termed mixed-methods or mixed methodology. This conceptual quantitative-qualitative amalgam includes reconciling their philosophical roots with positivism, interpretivism, and constructivism. Comparisons between research methods and field-level inspection are explored through information research and summary review. The constructs of the observer effect, solipsism, social capital, and locus of control inform the discussion.


Inspection, research, ontology, epistemology, methodology, observer effect, solipsism, social capital, locus of control.


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