ERIC Number: EJ792378
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 9
A Big Chapter about Small Theories: Theory as Method--Small Theories of Treatments
Leviton, Laura C.; Lipsey, Mark W.
New Directions for Evaluation, n114 p27-62 Sum 2007
"Theory as Method: Small Theories of Treatments," by Mark W. Lipsey, is one of the most influential and highly cited articles to appear in "New Directions for Evaluation." It articulated an approach in which methods for studying causation depend, in large part, on what is known about the theory underlying the program. Lipsey discussed the benefits of this approach in relation to four major issues in evaluating program effectiveness: how to base the research design on "relevant" constructs and variables; how to best "detect" outcomes subsequent to treatment; how to assure that outcomes can be "attributed" to treatment; and how to "interpret" the overall pattern and offer practical implications. This article situates Lipsey's article on small theories in the now much-broader literature on program theory, and highlights key contributions like the focus on relevant constructs and causal attributions.
Descriptors: Attribution Theory, Research Design, Program Effectiveness, Causal Models, Evaluation Methods, Influences, Validity, Inferences, Predictor Variables
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/browse/?type=JOURNAL
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A