ERIC Number: ED236502
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
Theory Construction Principles in Applied Research: Can We Learn from (Others') Mistakes?
McDonald, Marvin J.; Hartsough, Don M.
Social science theorists such as Lewin, Campbell, and Wimsatt have established the basis for scientific community psychology and in particular mathematical psychology. Their tools of triangulation and robustness analysis have furthered the methodology by defining the logical effects of mathematical concepts in a theoretical system. Mathematical psychology can contribute to support systems work in bridging the current gap between qualitative-theoretical emphases and quantitative-methodological emphases. Theory construction in the tradition of action research is seriously lacking in the field and is important for reasons of research adequacy. Theory construction tasks are unique, given that mathematical psychology is defined by the use of sophisticated mathematical methods rather than a particular topic area. Mathematical modeling can make valuable contributions to the development of theory (discursive), can clarify and extend concepts (explicational), can describe data sets (representational) and formally can define concepts as related to data sets (theoretical-construct). These models can facilitate communication between applied researchers and target systems. (BL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Community Psychology; Mathematical Psychology; Theory Development; Triangulation
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (55th, Chicago, IL, May 1-7, 1983).