The questions remain; what is the meaning of the tail word ‘theory’, and what makes it qualify to cut across all disciplines. This paper gives a clear, concise, descriptive and comprehensive summary of the term ‘theory’.
The term theory is derived from a philosophical Greek word theoria, which means to look at, behold or view and contemplate or speculate on the action presented for understanding its meaning (Reynolds 1971). For instance, theory in any empirical research needs to be built on one or several hypotheses that are supported well with evidence. There must be proper reasoning based on hypotheses and evidence as well as connections that are logical to suggest the effectiveness of the research. Therefore, theory in any empirical research can be understood as a group of propositions, Assertions, assumptions or factors considered acceptable that are meant for Prediction, or cause and effect relationship in a set of observed phenomena and the relationship must be plausible (Berger and Luckmann 1966). This is contrary to theory in social sciences where, for example, ecologists theorize that man evolved from the monkey species. Christians believe that a supernatural power by name ‘God’ created man, and the theory about the origin of man is an open-ended-scheme (Berberoglu 2005). All these theories are considered to be true explanations with provision of enough evidence or explanation from the point of view of the followers.
Theories in social sciences and particularly in sociology, for instance, are developed by focusing on the kind of research methods used in the study as well as the formal methods displayed. All these aspects are complimentary to each other rather than competitive. If the aspects are well used in a research, the results arrived at would be so useful to policy makers, graduate students and scholars of sociology. The main reason why sociologists develop theories is to explain or make an