On the permissiveness of the abductive theory of method

Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Journal of Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.12). 09/2008; 64(9):1037-45. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.20507
Source: PubMed


In this article, the author examines Romeijn's (2008) contention that the account of theory construction in the abductive theory of scientific method suffers from the problem of the underdetermination of theories by empirical evidence. Following Romeijn, the author focuses on the issue of underdetermination as it affects the method of exploratory factor analysis, the strategy of analogical modeling, and the theory of explanatory coherence. The author argues that in each case there are sufficient methodological resources available to researchers to use these methods to good effect. Additionally, he comments on the normative force of the abductive theory of method.

1 Follower
8 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This special issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychology comprises six theoretical papers that are concerned with the interconnected topics of scientific method, abductive inference, and clinical reasoning. The first four papers deal with the nature and limitations of a broad abductive theory of scientific method, and its application to clinical reasoning and case formulation. These are followed by three papers which in turn consider the prospects of using explanatory criteria to appraise competing models of psychopathy, examine the merits of a number of different psychometric perspectives on the assessment of psychopathology, and reject a core supposition of the orthodox approach to hypothesis testing.
    Journal of Clinical Psychology 09/2008; 64(9):1013-8. DOI:10.1002/jclp.20505 · 2.12 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The proportion of publications of qualitative research in mainstream psychology journals is small. Thus, in terms of this important criterion, despite its recent rapid growth, qualitative research is marginalized in psychology. The author suggests that contributing to this situation is the lack of a coherent and unifying methodology of qualitative research methods that elucidates their credibility. He groups the many qualitative research methods into 3 main kinds, then applies to them 4 propositions offered as such a methodology: (1) Qualitative research is hermeneutical, entailing application of the method of the hermeneutic circle to text about experience and/or action. (2) Implicit in the use of the hermeneutic circle method is the activity of educing and articulating the meaning of text, an activity that modifies and interacts with C. S. Peirce's (1965, 1966) logical operations of abduction, theorematic deduction, and induction. (3) The cycling of these 4 moments enables demonstration, achieved rhetorically, of the validity of the understandings resulting from the exegesis of the text under study. (4) This demonstrative rhetoric is enhanced when researchers disclose reflexively those aspects of their perspectives they judge to have most relevant bearing on their understandings. The author compares abduction as formulated here with other recent uptakes of it. As an installment on the generality of the methodology, he explores its fit with the descriptive phenomenological psychological method, conversation analysis, and thematic analysis. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
    Psychological Methods 07/2012; 17(3):385-98. DOI:10.1037/a0029250 · 4.45 Impact Factor