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test 1 notes - THEORY AND ARGUMENT Theories are arguments o...

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THEORY AND ARGUMENT Theories are arguments o They summarize evidence (INDUCTION) o They generate hypothesis and other implications (DEDUCTIONS) o They begin by collecting clues into a first suspicion or hypothesis (ABDUCTION) o The type of methodology—quantitative, critical, qualitative—doesn’t matter in these respects Arguments as method o Use methodology to test theory o Actually, method is argument o Example: which design is better? Design one One shot case study o Terrify your students o Test the students o Conclude that terror improves performance Design two Two o Random assignment o Frighten—be nice to students o Test students o Notice 2 nd group scored higher o Conclude that being nice is better Argument = method o Second design (two group no-pretest experiment) is better than first (one shot case study) o For reasons (arguments) that you find in a design book Comparison versus intuitive sense; control; comparable groups; etc These reasons have been worked out over the classes o Examples of argumentative conclusions in social science Results shouldn’t depend on the investitgator Data and procedures must be public Comparisons are required Things that could happen 5% by chance aren’t real Need 70% reliability in measurement Argument as method o “formal research procedures are nothing more than a codification of the principles of critical thought” o Follow instructions and avoid fatal criticism (mistakes) o To do theoretical work you need theory and data Theory offers premise
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Data can test and extend the premise Conclusions are new thoery o Example: Theory says A causes B Data say A causes B only for males Conclusion: need a theory that includes A and B and also distinguishes male from female Arguing toward theory o Theory and data should be of high quality o Theories quality Truth, beauty and justic What are high quality data? o Data Authentic (reliable and valid) Even recognizing the phenomena is not simple: operationalization can be controversial (e.g. relational happiness—scale? Duration? Observer judgments?) Investigator, interpretive, or distanced (e.g. data from respondents point of view or quasi-objective) Good arguments may not be conclusive o Why is social science tentative? If H is true, data will show x; The data shows x; So h, is true o But this is invalid (affirming the consequences): If p then q Argument as Method o So we try to falsify not verify o The more falsification efforts something survives, the more confidence we have in it 2/1/10 People make decisions primarily by using their unconscious minds Model (=theory, etc) “simplified picture of a part of the real world”
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test 1 notes - THEORY AND ARGUMENT Theories are arguments o...

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