This is an epistemological approach that gives a true account of nature and society through reason and premise observation. Positivism relies heavily on faith to explain the power of human reason. The knowledge under study should be in the objective context as the research seeks to generate authoritative knowledge about the social world. The objectivity seen in the National Research project gives a clear perspective that the writer took a positivism approach in the study. In this approach, logic and standards must be unveiled to give the validity of the knowledge under study. Positivists believe in the transfer of assumptions and methods of natural science to the study of social objects (Wüthrich, 2011). As a result, one can only understand the actual world through our senses. However, the approach puts more emphasis on the experienced gained through observation. According to the positivism approach, any knowledge gained without experience is considered metaphysical or non-existent. Positivists put their concepts under six imperative levels: naturalism, phenomenalism, nominalism, atomism, scientific laws, and values.

In atomism, the approach proposes that scientific study cannot be broken down into any smaller sections since they are foundational to the entire study. This implies that the slightest observable characteristics in social sciences align with individual human beings. The society brings out collective individuals. In science, laws develop by looking for empirical evidence among the objects under study in different situations. This means that positivism values cause and effect. As a result, the approach uses probability and statistical correlation as a necessary evidence for determining causation. The National Research Project borrows a lot from the positivism epistemological approach. This is evident in the methodology section of the research. As seen in the article on the National Research Project, both quantitative and qualitative techniques are paramount in data collection and interpretation (Turner & Sullenger, 1999). Scientific methods are used extensively to establish the cause and effect between photographing and emotional disposition among tourist. In the first place, the article reveals that questionnaires are utilized to get tourists’ reactions and how their lives change after taking photographs of the places they tour. The quantitative data was being collected with the help of a standardized cross-sectional questionnaire. By using a questionnaire, the researchers' influence remained as low as possible, whereby comparability and reliability of the results were being maximized. The structure basically consisted of three different parts; the first part being about the photographic behaviour of tourists. This technique has been borrowed from the natural science and incorporated in the social science of people’s behaviour during their tourism activities.

More scientific knowledge comes out in the results section. There are a wide range of variables compared to determine the relationship between photographs and the emotions of people during their tourism endeavours. Samples of the participants are taken from different cities and locations of the world to minimise cases of bias and increase objectivity of the results. Similarly, the participants vary in age and gender. In the sample population of tourists in six Dutch cities, the main demographic characteristics were explored. Of all tourists who participated in the survey, 47.1% were male and 52.9% were female. Therefore, the gender split in the sample population was almost equal. The majority of 75.3% identified as non-Dutch residents and overall there was an overrepresentation of European tourists who accounted for 62% of the whole sample population. The second most represented group of tourists were Asians who accounted for 16.5% (Tribe, 1997). In the case of correlation as proposed by the positivism approach, the research project incorporates two significant correlations for each question of the hypothesis. The research compares the Pearson correlation for the photohabititholiday and that of life satisfaction. At the next level of the questions, the study takes a constant in comparison with standardized and unstandardized coefficients.

In the case of qualitative data collection, the research project borrows from the positivism approach through application of the observation technique. Behavioural patterns of the participants are observed as they indicate enjoyment, amusement and contentment vocally (Morris, Leung, Ames & Lickel, 1999). In the research, people raised their voices in circumstances that they appeared to enjoy. The study indicates that participants were laughing as they took photographs of other people or objects that interested them. For example, a group of Asians in their forties were observed to very focus on taking photographs of windmills and flowers in Kinderdijk. They were standing in the way of other tourists while raising their voice when talking to each other. On the other hand, the researchers asked participants in the study to show or give personal views on the memorable photographs. This elicited laughter implying that they enjoyed the photographs. Therefore, there is evidence that positivism provides a lot of technique that can be used in carrying out research studies like the case of the National Research Project. This emanates from what other scholars have indicated in the literature review as well as the methodology incorporated in the research activity. Given that analysis of the results applied stratified techniques, scientific laws are central to the study which is the same case with positivism.


In epistemological research approach of Interpretivism, researchers propose that the perspective of all knowledge including meaningful reality is in conjunction with human practices. This implies that knowledge in sciences like the social sciences depends largely on human interaction with the world around them. Development and transmission of such knowledge inclines on the social context. According to Interpretivism, people in their social context are not atomistic but rather involve themselves with mutual discovery through correlations. As a result, such social interactions lead to unintentional consequences for the continuously evolving systems (Chalmers, 1976). When carrying out research with the application of Interpretivism approach, participants have a free will and therefore, tend to behave in a particular and spontaneous manner. The aim of a researcher in this context is to ensure that participants’ motives are well established. In this approach, means and ends of the research are paramount to the realization of the objectives of the study. On the other hand, the researcher establishes relationships, plans and perspectives of human actions.

In the event of handling research results, it is significant to make knowledge that is known to be strange and vice versa. This means that nothing about the subjects is taken for granted. The participants’ behaviours remain in the social context as human interactions affect their ultimate characteristics (Graburn & Jafari, 1991). It is critical to observe the invisibility of daily lives of the correspondents. Even though most characteristics of people under study seem ordinary, it is upon the researcher to give a new perception of the same behaviour to the reader of the study findings. This embeds in the factors of defamiliarization. Importantly, the aspect of traversing the historical circumstances surrounding the participants prevails, and the researcher looks at their current behaviour.

Considering the national field project, there are minimal aspects that become evident in conjunction to the approach of Interpretivism (Wüthrich, 2011). The paper looks at the link between photographic behaviour of tourists and their level of happiness. In the first place, the paper explores the act of observing tourists in their social contexts as they take photographs during their trips. In this paper, the knowledge believed to be known is perceived in a different research relationship. The literature review of the paper explores what other people have said about the concept of photographing among tourists and their life satisfaction. For instance, the review offers an insight in the use of photographs to elucidate techniques in their research about the social construction of sense of the places that participants toured. This attaches meaning to the activities carried out during exploration of new places among tourists. This clearly shows that the researcher in the National Research Project avoided aspects of Interpretivism. As evidenced in the literature review, photographs have a number of implications in tourism. In the first place, they trigger a feeling of anticipation as well as certify the experience of tourists (Graburn & Jafari, 1991).

Interpretivism approach adds more emphasis on the application of scientific techniques in the social context as opposed to the National Research Project focused on photography as a means of increasing interest for the activity among tourists. As a result, the research observed subjects in their natural social contexts as they positioned themselves for the photographing activity. Their disposition in terms of facial expression and body posture are vital in the research to prove the assertions of Interpretivism approach of epistemological approach. The objects in this study are not taken for granted since their slightest characteristics during their trip are given a priority. On the other hand, the study reconstructs social lives of tourists in the National Research Project in a way that is true to life. This implies that the paper incorporates the attitudes of the community through exploring the context and circumstances of others to embrace their points of view (Wüthrich, 2011). That is why the researcher in this paper focused on literature reviews to establish what other scholars assert about the subject of taking photographs as crucial to life satisfaction among tourists.

Similarly, the paper has methods used to collect and interpret information to test the hypotheses of the study. Interpretivism relies heavily on ethnography as well as grounded theories to carry out research. There are a variety of ethical issues in the paper since the participants’ permission to be used in the research was central to the entire study. According to the Interpretivism approach, understanding of the underlying behaviour among the subjects is dependent on looking over their shoulders. This helps the researcher to establish what the subjects are up to during the field study (Wüthrich, 2011). From the national Research Project, qualitative data collection involved looking at the behaviour of tourists before, after and during the collection of questionnaires at different destinations. This considered the assertion in the literature review that vocal and facial expressions show an individual’s emotions. An intense observation of what happened to their voice during, after and before the photographing activity became central to the researcher in the National Research Project. Some of the tourists had to change their positions to take the best photos as they appeared happy to engage themselves in the activity.                

Critical Approaches

This type of approach incorporates a wide range of techniques to carry out the study. The three most important aspects to look at in the critical approach include epistemology, ontology and methodology. In the case of epistemology, the research looks at how knowledge is produced and the knowledge itself in entirety. For instance, a researcher may be interested in the way social inquiry produces knowledge. The information needed should be explored using scientific techniques and draw the relationship between such knowledge and the society (Graburn & Jafari, 1991). The case of National Research Project, for instance, established the relationship between taking photographs among tourists from different destination through exploration of the currently available literature. The research looked at literature reviews from a wide range of scholars and how they related emotions and the level of satisfaction among the tourists. Notably, photographs are part of the public or private experience. In most cases, public photographs give data that is different from the viewers’ of researchers’ individual experience. The focus of the research carried out by such scholars like Kyle and Chick reveals that personal meaning attachment is central to any form of research. In another perspective, photographs bring out a sense of obligation as opposed to the enjoyment factor attached to the activity.

Ontology on the other hand concerns the issues or things that are known to exist. This implies that the researcher looks at explicit formal specification of the manner of presentation of the participants, ideas and other concepts assumed to exists in particular interest. In this case, the community’s viewpoint of the social relationship of the tourist and the level of satisfaction is critical to research. For example, it is clear that there is a link between photographs taken during exploration by tourists and the emotions they hold about the destinations they visited. It serves as a reminder of the good feeling they had in new places. From the research project, statistical analysis of the results found indicated that increased frequency of taking photographs on a trip increased the frequency of experience of positive emotions. Based on this, private photographs resulting from exploration should be read in the context and not as a whole assumption of the emotions carried along with the pictures (Hansson, 2008).

A researcher should consider the methodology in which case the main interest is the manner in which data is collected to evaluate the validity of the hypothesis. Such methods like Interpretivism and positivism draw a correlation between social science and the natural science. The social sciences like tourist incorporate both qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect information. For instance, antiquity is a vital in determining the forces that affect emotions among tourists and their photographs (Cobern & Loving, 1998). This leads to self-cultivation and skill attainment as seen in the National Research Project. The study applied such methodology as observation, focused groups that received questionnaires to give vital information on their feeling about photographs. To minimise cases of subjectivity, samples are taken from different places of the world putting into consideration matters of gender and age. The analysis section and findings applied comprehensive techniques like dividing data into sections to correlate different variables that given the ultimate prove to set hypotheses. Personal interests of the participants are analysed in the study as participants behave differently within their natural activities.

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