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A paradigm is "a world view, a way of ordering and simplifying the perceptual world's stunning complexity by making certain fundamental assumptions about the nature of the universe, of the individual, and of society. Paradigms are normative; they determine what the practitioner views as important and unimportant, reasonable and unreasonable, legitimate and illegitimate, possible and impossible, and what to attend to and what to ignore. In learning a paradigm, theory, method, and standards are acquired together, typically in an inextricable mixture. Moreover, through the theories they embody, paradigms prove to be constitutive of all normal scientific activity, including underlying assumptions made, problem definition, areas of investigation, questions posed and, particularly, data interpretation, conclusions drawn and policy recommendations made at the end of the research process (Kuhn, 1970). Thus all theories as well as the methods generated by them are, ultimately, paradigm based."
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