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Examples of Theoretical Framework

We emphasize the importance of searching for a theoretical framework for a reason - theories are important vehicles for developing scientific knowledge. This is especially true in the social sciences, where representations of the social world are required in order to facilitate the development of relevant measures. Since the research methods for medical education research originate from the social sciences, theory is an important consideration.

To illustrate, consider the following three well known theories of learning and behavior change, by emphasizing different mechanisms that motivate learning and behavior:

  • Classical Condition. Eliciting a desired behavior by pairing two or more stimuli.
  • Operant Learning. Increasing the probability of eliciting a desired behavior by using reinforcement or punishment schedules to support a past behavior.
  • Social Learning or "Modeling". Eliciting a desired behavior, indirectly, by having learners observe the behavior of others ("models") and

Further review of the literature will likely be required to explore potential theoretical frameworks, and the relevant concepts.

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