By K. B. Madsen (auth.), K. B. Madsen, Leendert P. Mos (eds.)

As a stick to as much as quantity 7, participants proceed to discover the newest advancements in developmental psychology. the following, researchers specialize in the mixing of concept and study and evaluates theoretical growth and complex examine. carrying on with with the winning layout of prior volumes in Annals of Theoretical Psychology, quantity 10 provides 4 significant contributions--each observed through commentaries and replies to commentaries.

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In psychology, however, we cannot do this. By definition, we are dealing with organisms and their behavior; as a consequence, we are not allowed fo cut up the organism in such a way as to isolate certain aspects. The integrity of the oranism must be maintained, and that means inevitably that the personality, the intelligence, and other important functions of the organism will play an important part in whatever measurement we may be concerned with. To relegate these individual differences to the error term, as experimentalists are wont to do, simply means that the error term will become enormously exaggerated in size and the main effects (unless in trivial and obvious experiments) will be much smaller than is acceptable in a scientific discipline.

There are usually many reasons for the (apparent) failure of a prediction, but far fewer for its success; consequently, failures are of much less interest than successes in evaluating a theory at an early stage. In particular, failures may arise not because the theory is in error but because the deduction made in a particular subfield makes use of a theoretical model in that subfield which is incorrect; this does not in any way invalidate the general theory. As an example, we may take the prediction that extraverts would show a more pronounced bowing in the serial position curve effect in nonsense syllable learning.

I quoted these words on the front page of my book Dynamics of Anxiety and Hysteria (Eysenck, 1957) to indicate the heuristic nature of the theory there developed, and I believe that they contain the key to a proper understanding of the function of theory in psychology-where nearly all theories are weak theories almost by definition. The value of a weak theory, to put it briefly, lies in the fact that it directs attention to those problems which most repay study from a systematic point of view; in Thomson's words, it defines a policy of action and research.

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