Theoretical Principles: Meaning, Examples & Importance

Wondering what theoretical principles are? From forecasting to explaining numerous phenomena, these principles serve as a framework to aid the understanding of various aspects of life. 

This article explores what theoretical principles are, some examples of theoretical principles, and their importance in research.

What are theoretical principles? 

Instead of focusing on a subject’s applications or practical features, a theoretical principle or study relies on or applies the concepts and general principles that pertain to a particular subject.


You apply theoretical principles under the presumption that they are accurate. They are still just theories because they haven’t been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

When you refer to a scenario as theoretical, you are implying that, despite being supported as being true or being in the manner indicated, it may not actually be true or exist in that manner.

To advance to the next layer of a layered theory, you will employ them as fill-ins because of their believability. For instance, while choosing how to meet with a planetoid, we use the fundamentals of the laws of gravity. 

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What are examples of theoretical principles?

Newton’s laws of motion, the conservation of energy and momentum, the variational principle,  Schrödinger’s equation, and Maxwell’s equations are a few examples of theoretical principles.

Theoretical physics offers some excellent examples of theoretical principles. The principle of total energy conservation in classical mechanics is one of the most well-known examples.

The Hamilton principle of the least action is another example, which leads to all of classical mechanics and then, via a generalization proposed by Feynman, all of quantum mechanics.

The principle of universality of the behavior of physical systems near a point of phase transition is another example from physics.

It turns out that the symmetries of the system, rather than the details of their microscopic dynamics, drive this behavior.

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What is a theoretical principle in research?

This is a theoretical framework, and it is the structure that holds or supports a research study’s theory.

The theory that explains why the particular study issue is relevant is defined and introduced in the theoretical framework.

Why theoretical principles are important in research

The structure that a research study’s hypothesis can be held or supported is known as the theoretical principle or framework. Theories are developed to explain, forecast, and comprehend phenomena.

They also frequently challenge and advance current knowledge while staying within the bounds of crucial limiting assumptions. The theory describing the existence of the research problem is introduced and described in the theoretical framework.

A theoretical framework is made up of concepts, their definitions, and references to pertinent academic works that are employed in the theory that is used for your specific study.

The theoretical framework shows comprehension of ideas and concepts that are pertinent to your research paper’s topic and that link to the more general fields of knowledge is taken into account.

  • The reader can critically assess theoretical premises when they are stated in an explicit manner.
  • Knowing the boundaries of those generalizations is made easier by having a theory. A theoretical framework identifies the major variables that affect an interesting event and emphasizes the necessity to consider how and when those key variables might change.
  • The researcher is connected to existing knowledge by the theoretical framework. You are provided with a foundation for your hypotheses and method of research selection, guided by a pertinent theory.
  • It enables you to mentally switch from merely reporting a phenomenon you have seen to making generalizations about different features of that occurrence.
  • You are compelled to answer the why and how questions by outlining the theoretical presumptions of a research investigation. 

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What are ethical principles and theories?

The shared objectives any theory strives to accomplish in order to be successful are ethical principles. These objectives include fairness, respect for autonomy, beneficence, and the least damage.

What is the difference between a theory and a principle?

A theory is established when researchers explain an observable event with existing concepts while a principle is an acknowledged reality. As a result, theories are constructed using principles.

Can theories become laws?

Even with the development of additional or superior data, a theory does not transform into a scientific law.


When the anticipated outcome repeatedly happens, a theory is thought to be confirmed. You use theoretical principles under the assumption that they are accurate.

However, they are still a theory because they haven’t been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Most science-related fields operate on theoretical principles and are subject to change later in the future due to new discoveries. 

In science, there are surprisingly few established facts. Instead, they frequently discuss the strength of the evidence supporting their beliefs. The stronger and more widely accepted the hypothesis is, the more evidence there is to support it.

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