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Research Article  |   March 1991
The Search for Useful Methodologies in Occupational Science
Author Affiliations
  • Michael E. Carlson, PhD, is Research Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
  • Florence A. Clark, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, 2250 Alcazar Street, CSA 203, Los Angeles, California 90033
Article Information
Research
Research Article   |   March 1991
The Search for Useful Methodologies in Occupational Science
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 1991, Vol. 45, 235-241. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.3.235
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 1991, Vol. 45, 235-241. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.3.235
Abstract

Debate currently exists on the soundness of various research methodologies in the social sciences. In the present paper, this question is addressed in relation to the emerging discipline of occupational science. First, the discipline of occupational science is defined. Next, two competing methodologies – Paradigm 1, Positivistic, and Paradigm 2, Naturalistic – are contrasted. The criteria of genuineness and trustworthiness are proposed as crucial for the evaluation of the soundness of available research methodologies for the extension of occupational science. Next, exemplars of research methodologies that meet these criteria are described. In the conclusion, the role that nonscientific ways of knowing, such as art and literature, may play in the understanding of human occupation is discussed.