in scientific research, I get confused in using terms like a model, a framework, an approach, a Method and a scheme so what is the difference between them? when I should use each of them to express my work?

  • 1
    What area of science are you talking about? Physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, social science, etc. – nick012000 Jan 4 at 7:47
  • computer science and networking – Asrar Baktayan Jan 4 at 17:33

In electrical engineering, a model is a (usually simplified) mathematical description of a real phenomenon. Models are developed to be able to apply mathematical tools/algorithms to real-life problems.

The term framework usually refers to a software framework (this probably applies in your case if you are in computer science). That is, a set of software tools that provide some functionality and can be extended by other programmers.

An approach is a way to tackle a problem. Once you have a mathematical model, you decide on a way to solve the model equations: this is your approach.

The term method is usually used as a synonym for algorithm. Applying your approach to your model, you design an algorithm that solves your problem, and this is your method.

The term scheme refers to a strategy, and is somewhat broader than method. For example, "quicksort" is a method that solves the specific problem of sorting a vector, but the way Stack Exchange stores the information about its users and serves it efficiently when it is needed, using (probably) a minimal amount of sorting operations might be called a scheme.

However, some of these terms are sometimes used as synonyms, in order to avoid repetition of words in articles. The same method might be alternatingly called "method", "algorithm" and "approach" in a paper, and "framework" and "scheme" might also be used interchangeably.

| improve this answer | |

I can only answer this in the context of psychology, and within the context of my own understanding. A model and a framework I would interpret as more a system of how concepts are understood and explained; of the two, a framework is broader and more general, and a model usually refers to specific variables relating in a particular way to each other.

Approach and method I would use when describing a specific study or endeavour, which might be conducted within a particular framework, again going from the more general to the more specific.

For example, I might look at persuasion in the framwork of the Elaboration Likelihood Model; which although is called a model I would still consider a framework. In my study I would be interested specifically at the model of how credibility of the sender and the persuasiveness of the message are related to each other. My approach would likely be a quantitative one (rather than a qualitative), and my particular method could describe what I am actually doing in the study - perhaps a 2x2 experiment which varies two variables (sender credibility, difficulty of message).

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.