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Primer in Theory Construction, An A&B Classics Edition

by
Edition:
1st
ISBN13:

9780205501281

ISBN10:
0205501281
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
4/19/2006
Publisher(s):
Pearson
List Price: $52.00

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Summary

This brief text for students in the social and behavioral sciences provides a formal introduction to the way theories are constucted, stated, tested, and connected together to form a scientific body of knowledge.

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction
1(18)
For What Should Scientific Knowledge Be Useful?
2(6)
Typologies
2(1)
Prediction and Explanation
3(2)
Sense of Understanding
5(2)
Control
7(1)
Theory
8(2)
How Does a Concept or Statement Become Part of a Scientific Body of Knowledge?
10(2)
Desirable Characteristics of Scientific Knowledge
12(5)
Abstractness
12(2)
Intersubjectivity (Meaning)
14(1)
Intersubjectivity (Logical Rigor)
14(2)
Empirical Relevance
16(1)
Summary and Conclusion
17(2)
The Idea
19(26)
Kuhn Paradigms
20(5)
Example: Freud's Theory of Personality
22(3)
Paradigms
25(7)
Examples: Heider's Balance Theory
26(2)
Two Conceptions of Status Structures: Elitist and Pluralistic
28(4)
Paradigm Variations
32(10)
Examples: Variations on the Freudian Conception of Personality
32(3)
Variations on Heider's Balance Theory
35(7)
Identifying Paradigms
42(1)
Conclusion
43(2)
Concepts
45(22)
Definition of Concepts
46(3)
Abstract vs. Concrete Concepts
49(3)
Concept Measurement
52(5)
Quantification of Concepts
57(8)
The Nominal Level
58(1)
The Ordinal Level
59(1)
The Interval Level
60(2)
The Ratio Level
62(1)
General Comments on Quantification
63(2)
Summary and Conclusion
65(2)
Statements
67(16)
Existence Statements
67(2)
Relational Statements
69(7)
Associational Statements
70(1)
Causal Statements
71(3)
Deterministic and Probabilistic Statements
74(2)
Levels of Abstraction
76(1)
Theoretical Statements
77(1)
Relation of Theoretical Statements to Theory
78(2)
Relationship between Theoretical Statements and Empirical Data
80(2)
Summary
82(1)
Forms of Theories
83(34)
The Set-of-Laws Form
83(10)
Examples: The Iron Law of Oligarchy
84(1)
The Laws of Operant Behavior
85(3)
The Exercise of Influence in Small Groups
88(5)
The Axiomatic Form
93(5)
Example: The Exercise of Influence in Small Groups
94(4)
The Causal Process Form
98(11)
Examples: The Effect of First Impressions on Cognitions
99(1)
Creation of Oligarchies
100(2)
Operant Behavior, Law II
102(2)
The Exercise of Influence in Small Groups
104(1)
Status Incongruence and Mental Health
105(4)
Evaluation of the Three Forms of Theory
109(4)
Simulation or Model Building
113(3)
Summary
116(1)
Testing Theories
117(24)
Abstract Statements and Concrete Research
117(2)
Empirical Research and Confidence in Abstract Statements
119(3)
Statistical Decision Procedures
122(10)
Classical Statistical Inference
123(7)
Should the Hypothesis Be Presented before the Data Are Examined?
130(2)
Changing Confidence in Theories
132(2)
Comparing Theories
134(5)
Conclusion
139(2)
Strategies for Developing a Scientific Body of Knowledge
141(22)
Research-Then-Theory
142(4)
Theory-Then-Research
146(2)
Comparison of Strategies
148(6)
How to Get a New Idea
154(2)
Composite Approach
156(3)
Research Methods
159(2)
Conclusion
161(2)
Conclusion
163(8)
Potential for a Social Science
165(6)
APPENDIX: STUDENT EXERCISES
171(6)
Comments
171(1)
Assignment I: Empirical Generalization and Empirical Support
172(1)
Assignment II: Explanation of an Empirical Generalization
173(1)
Assignment III: Testing a Theory
174(1)
Assignment IV: Application of Theories to Natural Phenomena
175(2)
References 177(6)
Author Index 183(2)
Subject Index 185


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