Theory slides - W hat ar e the goals of theor y? • T o...

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Unformatted text preview: W hat ar e the goals of theor y? • T o under stand • T o pr edict • T o influence • T o contr ol Steve Weber UC Berkeley T o build a theor y…... • Categor ization • What infor mation is r elevant? • What infor mation can you ignor e? • D escr iption is never just descr iption Steve Weber UC Berkeley C or r elation is not causality Sta ti sti cs expl a i n nothi ng I f w e under stand the pr ocess, w e can under stand the conditions u nder w hich it w ill happen. Steve Weber UC Berkeley T heor ies do: • Explanation • Pr ediction • Pr escr iption Steve Weber UC Berkeley H ow do you k now if a theor y is ‘valid’? Testing Evaluation Faith = BAD Steve Weber UC Berkeley T he Classical Physics M odel • • • • F undamental deter minants of phenomenon Small number of var iables Clear ly defined r elationships betw een them M easur able! • Par simony is a good thing Steve Weber UC Berkeley T he Social Science Challenge • Equifinality and M ultifinality • H ar d to measur e var iables • Sets of theor ies or contingent gener alizations r equir e b oundar y conditions: w hen do they apply and w hen d on’t they? » Progress is about moving from probabilistic statements to contingent statements Steve Weber UC Berkeley So w hat’s a ‘good’ theor y? • Accur acy • Par simony • Causality • H eur istic Value Steve Weber UC Berkeley ...
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Theory slides - W hat ar e the goals of theor y? • T o...

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