Difference Between Paradigm and Theory


Main Difference

The main difference between Paradigm and Theory is that the Paradigm is the background and frame that allows the Theory to test, whereas the Theory explains the phenomenon based on certain criteria.

Paradigm vs. Theory

Paradigm is a model that consists of theories, postulates, etc. The theory is scientific principles that explain a phenomenon. Paradigm is the first view of the world. The theory is said to be a set of statements. Paradigm is said to be a theme or plan. The theory is a hypothesis. Paradigm is a solid view of many factors. The theory is a statement that we all should know. Paradigm is a combination of theories, postulates, standards, and research methods — a theory based on a proven hypothesis.


Paradigm is a specific way of looking out the issues and social reality. The theory is a rigid kind of frame. Paradigm is flexible and less precise. The theory is not flexible and more precise. Paradigm acts as a reference point for the theory. The theory is a verified hypothesis. Paradigm can also have several theories within its framework. A functional theory should be illustrative and predictive.

A paradigm is a type of group practice; values, concepts, and an assumption that is related to a way of understanding the reality of the community and share reviews, mainly in all different academic disciplines. However, the theory is a set of rules that used to describe a group of facts or phenomena that repeated, tested, and widely accepted; it can also use to estimate the given phenomenon. In the paradigm, framework theories are getting developed. Theories describe the principles of research.


In the paradigm, we describe all our headings experiment conducted, used equipment, and provide guidance on the interpretation of results. However, the theory explains general principles; it is a system of intended ideas. The theory is an undoubted hypothesis.

Comparison Chart

Paradigm is a set of assumption and conceptsThe theory is a statement
Based On
Postulates, research methods, etcHypothesis
Consists Of
Experimental or research theoriesScientifically general principles
Act As
Point referenceIdea or strong hypothesis
Behind theoriesStatement of research work
More generalMore focused

What is Paradigm?

Paradigm is an intellectual substructure through which we can see the world around you. A paradigm can be so immense and widely accepted as almost no one noticed, just like the air that you breathe usually doesn’t notice. Paradigm also explained by the Oxford dictionary, i.e., and paradigm defined as a world or view of different theories and methodology of a specific scientific subject and research. In American Heritage dictionary paradigm is a package of assumptions, values, concepts, and practices that set a method to predict the reality of our community, specifically in an intellectual discipline. A paradigm is an important change in general concepts and experiments of a scientific discipline.

Paradigm is more important than a theory. In 1962 term paradigm was brought to prominence in the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s book “The structure of scientific revolutions.” Kuhn argued that unlike other disciplines, science progressed by broad paradigm. In a broad paradigm, the entire scientific community of science comes and accepts a new way of thinking about the world or any other research. Thomas Kuhn, an American philosopher, and physicist define the paradigm in his way. He said that paradigm means universally organized scientific accomplishments that come up with results of model problems of a community.

What is Theory?

A theory is an approved and strong scientific principle that is supported by several experiments and observations or evidence. A good theory has strong descriptive power. It helps the scientists to describe the research work and to make predictions about future events. In the 19th century, Charles Darwin proposed the theory of natural selection that is the theory of evolutionary biology. In the 20th century, Einstein proposed the theory of revolutionized physics. Other well-known theories, i.e., geological theories of plate tonics and the medical theory of germ diseases, natural selection theory, special relative theory, quantum theory, cell theory, and theory of general relativity.

The theory is an acceptable scientific principle to explain a phenomenon. According to American scientists, a theory is a set of statements or principles to explain different facts or phenomena. A theory explains the repeated tests and widely accepted by scientists. It can also be used to make predictions and assumptions about a natural phenomenon. In the Oxford dictionary, a theory defined as “an idea that is used to explain something on the basis of general principles.”

Typically a theory is based on hypothesis. Proved or accepted hypothesis is generally becomes a theory. Persistent observations and recurrent experiments give on to a proven theory. A theory gives an account of a phenomenon; for example, why something happens? The authenticity of theory relies on the evidence used to support it. Few theories are revised with the passage of time and with new remnants of verification that may expose.

Key Differences

  1. Paradigm is a point reference of Theory, whereas Theory is a hypothesis with strong results.
  2. Paradigm is a philosophical type of explanation. On the other hand, The theory is an ideological type of explanation.
  3. Paradigm explains the whole background of research and study; conversely, the Theory is just a statement.
  4. Paradigm is general, narrower, and more focused rather than a Theory.
  5. Paradigm is flexible and can be changed. However, a Theory is a strong statement, not flexible, and can’t be changed.
  6. Paradigm is a theoretical or intellectual framework; on the other hand, Theory acts as a general picture without expectations.
  7. Paradigm has an estimate of resilience; on the flip side, the Theory is a natural phenomenon.
  8. Paradigm isn’t rigid and mechanical in its approach, while the Theory is rigid and can’t change again and again.
  9. Paradigm helps us to understand research work and its usage, while a Theory allows us to understand natural phenomena and all other relations.
  10. Paradigm is a specific way of looking at things, while the Theory is not flexible.
  11. Paradigm is consists of postulates, theories, and another research method; on the other hand, the Theory is consists of a proven hypothesis.


It concluded that Paradigm is a process of building Theory, and Theory is a part of the Paradigm.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss