A Practical Framework for Building Theories in Psychology

 APS Journals Access – Association for Psychological Science – APS

Theory Construction Methodology: A Practical Framework for Building Theories in Psychology
Denny Borsboom, Han L. J. van der Maas, Jonas Dalege, Rogier A. Kievit, and Brian D. Haig
Perspectives on Psychological ScienceBorsboom and colleagues propose a five-step methodology for constructing explanatory theories: The theorist (a) identifies the empirical phenomena that become the target of explanation, (b) constructs a prototheory that putatively explains the target phenomena, (c) uses the prototheory to construct a formal model (a set of equations that encode explanatory principles), (d) assesses the explanatory adequacy of the model, and (e) studies the overall adequacy of the theory by evaluating whether the phenomena are reproducible and the explanatory principles are parsimonious and plausible. The authors explain this theory construction methodology using the mutualism model of intelligence.

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