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
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 …?
The Weather Channel
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