What is Theory

What is Theory PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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First thoughts.... Most people REBEL against it --not seen as relevant for real worldBut we use it every day! e.g. will it RAIN today?. Using theory every day.... Will it RAIN today?How do we know?Look outside for

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What is Theory

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1. What is Theory?

2. First thoughts... Most people REBEL against it --not seen as relevant for real world But we use it every day! e.g. will it RAIN today?

3. Using theory every day... Will it RAIN today? How do we know? Look outside for …? Feel outside for …? Check out the thermometer …? More ideas? The Weather Channel www.booneweather.com

4. Using theory every day... What do all these things have in common? (looking, feeling, using thermometer, etc.) All forms of observation All forms of measurement Using our empirical senses to make predictions about the weather Theory is science at work in the real world – can be verified or falsified by observing / measuring

5. Theory is science... Explanations without science -- tend to be wrong! thunder -- the Gods are angry! influenza -- sickness is “influenced” by the stars! demonology -- crime comes from possession by evil spirits

6. The Exorcist …

7. Are demons real? If a criminologist said crime was caused by DEMON POSSESSION is this a theory? No, it is not scientific because DEMONS cannot be observed / measured Demons cannot be seen, heard, touched, smelled, or tasted This makes demonology PHILOSOPHICAL

8. What is theory? Some definitions … “an explanation … a sensible relating of some particular phenomenon to the whole field of knowledge” (Vold, Bernard, and Snipes) “makes statements about the relationship between two classes of phenomena” (Bohm) “generalizations of a sort; explains how two or more events are related” (Williams and McShane)

9. What is theory? Some definitions … “a systematic collection of concepts and statements purporting to explain behavior” (Shoemaker) “a set of related propositions that suggest why events occur” (Hoover) “an attempt to make sense out of observations” (Shoemaker) “statements between actual events; about what is and what will be” (Akers)

10. My definition ... STATEMENT OF A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TWO OR MORE PROPOSITIONS AND CONCEPTS which explains and/or predicts some behavior And that is testable … Key words: relationship, propositions, concepts, explanation, prediction

11. Functions of theory... Explanation – tells us why something happens Prediction – tell us when and/or where something will happen

12. Parts of theory... Propositions -- statement of relationship between concepts Concepts -- words which represent real-world things Nominal Definitions of Concepts – tells us what the concepts mean … Operational Definitions of Concepts – tells us how the concepts will be measured …

13. Example ... See pages 19-20 (Social Bonding Theory)

14. Another Example ... Proposition – abnormal neurotransmitter levels produce aggression Concepts – abnormal neurotransmitter levels, aggression

15. Another Example ... Nominal Definitions abnormal neurotransmitter levels – unusually high or low levels of brain chemicals aggression – acting in a hostile manner toward another

16. Example ... Operational Definitions – abnormal neurotransmitter levels – high or low levels of a brain chemical as measured in the spinal fluid of a person aggression – the number of hostile acts of a child observed by a teacher or parent

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