Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Institute of Water and Energy, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.

2 Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran, Iran.

3 Ph.D Student of Future Studies, University of Tehran, Iran.

4 M.A. in Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran.


Futures research is transdisciplinary knowledge to understand the changes and futures. In the context of interdisciplinary methodology, current study reviews the paradigms of futures studies referring to typology of Joseph Voros and introduces five research paradigms including Positivism, Post-positivism, Criticalism, Constructivism and Participatory. The differences and similarities of these paradigms in the levels of anthology, epistemology, and methodology would be discussed and then, characteristics of each paradigm in terms of research purpose, status of researcher, nature of knowledge, and accumulated knowledge would be argued. In the next step, the main techniques and methods of futures studies such Trend Impact Analysis, Delphi, Scenarios, Causal Layered Analysis, and etc. are discussed. Further, we try to identify the status of each technique and method in the five mentioned methodologies. Finally, we introduce Integral futures approach as a newest methodology in futures studies to consider how this meta-paradigm is used in the area of futures studies.