02.12.08 - THEORIES AND HOW THEY ARE TESTED Theories are on...

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THEORIES AND HOW THEY ARE TESTED Theories are on the “rational” side of science. How is data, the “empirical” part of science, used to test theories? Working with Ideas: The Rational Side A theory is someone’s understanding of how things work. For example, frustration-aggression theory “understands” aggressive behavior as a response to frustration. Social learning theory “understands” aggression as an imitative response to certain social experiences, especially role models who have been seen exhibiting aggressive behavior. Notice that these theories of aggression are complementary – each addresses an idea that the other does not. Both frustration-aggression theory and social learning theory can be part of a more general understanding of aggression. Theories do compete with each other, but they also often combine. Most theories are proposals about what causes what, and under what conditions. Induction and deduction are types of reasoning, part of the rational work of science. See the diagram in the Martin text on page 56 where the roles of induction and deduction are placed in context. Induction means that we draw a general inference from specific observations. For example, our observed data might lead us to think of a new theory, or conclude that a theory is supported because it is consistent with the data.
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This note was uploaded on 04/30/2008 for the course BIO 262 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '08 term at Rhode Island.

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02.12.08 - THEORIES AND HOW THEY ARE TESTED Theories are on...

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