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Research and Criteria

Out of the 4 major criteria that are used to evaluate theories, which of the four is the most important or are they all-important? Do all the criteria need to be satisfied to be valid?

1. Explains the past; predicts the future
2. Testable and falsifiable
3. Parsimonious
4. Promotes research.

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In evaluating a theory, we are testing whether or not it holds any basis to provide explanation for numerous observations with similar variables. Think of the theory of gravity, for example - where current theories must be able to predict, accurately, the observed effects of gravity. The theories are able to predict what would happen if a ball was dropped from 2 feet up, just as well as it can predict what would happen if the moon were just a couple hundred meters closer to the Earth.

The same concept applies to theories in psychology - can they accurately predict multiple cases? Erickson's theory of psychosocial development: does that apply to just a ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses the research and criteria to evaluate theories.