Investigating the Psychological World
Scientific Method in the Behavioral Sciences
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: The MIT Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Although modern science is made up of many parts, scientific method is its centerpiece. The centrality of method to science stems from the fact that it provides scientists with the primary form of guidance in their quest to obtain knowledge about the world. As fallible inquirers, scientists face...
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In the mid-1990s, Hillary Clinton argued that it takes a village to raise a child. The assertion occasioned a skeptical response from a number of quarters, but there can be no doubting the claim that it takes a village to raise a book. This book is no exception, for it has depended on the support...
1. Method, Methodology, and Realism
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Modern science is a complex human endeavor comprising many parts. It articulates aims that it seeks to realize; it employs methods to facilitate its investigations; it produces facts and theories in its quest to obtain an understanding of the world; and it is shaped by the institutions within...
2. Detecting Psychological Phenomena
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Since the 1950s, much psychological research has employed a top-down research strategy in which a minimalist account of the hypotheticodeductive method, in tandem with null hypothesis testing, is used to test hypotheses and theories ( Rorer, 1991 ; Rozeboom, 1997 ). This practice...
3. Theory Generation: Exploratory Factor Analysis
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Exploratory factor analysis is a multivariate statistical method designed to facilitate the postulation of latent variables that are thought to underlie and give rise to patterns of correlations in new domains of observed or manifest variables. Intellectual abilities, personality traits, and social...
4. Theory Development: Analogical Modeling
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This chapter focuses primarily on the development of scientific theories. In particular, I aim to show that ATOM develops its theories by adopting a strategy of analogical modeling. However, before considering this strategy, I will provide a brief and selective overview of the nature and place...
5. Theory Appraisal: Inference to the Best Explanation
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Contemporary scientific methodology boasts a number of general approaches for evaluating scientific theories. Prominent among these are the hypothetico-deductive method, which evaluates theories in terms of predictive success; Bayesian accounts of confirmation, which assign...
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In this concluding chapter, I round out my characterization of ATOM. I begin by outlining a promising theory of the nature of research problems and show how it is deployed in ATOM. I then offer some supplementary remarks about the nature of ATOM. This is followed by two applications...
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2014
Series Title: Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology