Article

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). 08/2008; 64(9):1037-45. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.20507
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
94 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The concepts generated by factor analysis were tested on a known physical model. 32 properties (behaviors) were measured for 80 balls, varying in size, weight, elasticity, and length of string on which some of their "performances" were measured. The variables were inter-correlated and factor analyzed. As expected from theoretical considerations, 4 factors were extracted; simple structure was attained by oblique rotation but not orthogonal rotation; factor interpretation was most clear for the oblique solution. Implications of the results are discussed.
    Psychological Bulletin 10/1962; 59:389-400. · 15.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The author discusses the abductive theory of method (ATOM) by Brian Haig from a philosophical perspective, connecting his theory with a number of issues and trends in contemporary philosophy of science. It is argued that as it stands, the methodology presented by Haig is too permissive. Both the use of analogical reasoning and the application of exploratory factor analysis leave us with too many candidate theories to choose from, and explanatory coherence cannot be expected to save the day. The author ends with some suggestions to remedy the permissiveness and lack of normative force in ATOM, deriving from the experimental practice within which psychological data are produced.
    Journal of Clinical Psychology 09/2008; 64(9):1023-36. · 2.12 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A broad theory of scientific method is sketched that has particular relevance for the behavioral sciences. This theory of method assembles a complex of specific strategies and methods that are used in the detection of empirical phenomena and the subsequent construction of explanatory theories. A characterization of the nature of phenomena is given, and the process of their detection is briefly described in terms of a multistage model of data analysis. The construction of explanatory theories is shown to involve their generation through abductive, or explanatory, reasoning, their development through analogical modeling, and their fuller appraisal in terms of judgments of the best of competing explanations. The nature and limits of this theory of method are discussed in the light of relevant developments in scientific methodology.
    Psychological Methods 01/2006; 10(4):371-88. · 4.45 Impact Factor