The intent of a good theory is to supply a conceptual model for sing and understanding phenomena. From this position a theory is either utile or non utile. A theory helps guide and concentrate attending. identify and define of import variables. and contend the relationships among them. A good theory is non merely another ‘good thought. ’ but it is based on empirical informations that makes it an equal map of the district for the current clip. Furthermore. a good theory is ne’er “proven. ” which would intend that it holds up under all known conditions–that merely can non be tested. Alternatively. scientific method finds it easier to “disprove” or extinguish certain alternate accounts ( hypotheses ) which means that what is left over is more likely and closer to the “truth. ” Knowing how to measure a theory is an of import accomplishment in make up one’s minding which model is most appropriate for analyzing a given state of affairs. Alternately. if you must utilize a weak theory. at least you will cognize the safeguards for construing its informations. The undermentioned facets should be considered in measuring a theory. Parsimony
Parsimony is a long-standing standard for measuring theories based on the premise that one of the intents of a theory is to explicate world by simplification. This means that the account is saving and economical ; it requires premises and accounts within by and large accepted parametric quantities. If exceeding premises are required. the theory is non penurious and extended informations and/or principle would be necessary to warrant their usage. * Does the theory necessitate a ‘leap of faith’ in doing unconventional premises? * If unconventional premises are used. are these justified by ground or empirical grounds? * Does it truly add to our apprehension of a phenomena. or is it merely a restatement of something already accounted for adequately by another theory? Operationality
A good theory should hold cardinal footings and constructs that are operationally defined. That is. the agencies used to specifically show or mensurate them are portion of the definition. Many interesting thoughts are untestable because they can non be sufficiently reduced to their operations. An operational definition enables different research workers to carry on similar surveies and derive similar decisions. * Are the definitions spelled out in footings of the measurings required to obtain them? * Are the definitions sufficiently clear so that two or more people could follow them and obtain similar consequences? * Does it clearly place the cardinal variables and their relationships that are critically of import? Generativity
A good theory should bring forth hypotheses about events within the range of the theory. Besides referred to as a ‘heuristic’ quality of theories. it should propose thoughts or even excite contention. incredulity. and opposition as a agency of widening enquiry. It should excite thought and offer probationary accounts that account for a phenomena. * Does this preparation of the theory allow hypotheses to be formulated? * Are the averments exciting to believing and treatment? * Is much research generated by this theory?
Power or serviceability refers to the ability of the theory to account for events with increasing truth and public-service corporation. There are four degrees of power: * Description: The theory provides a linguistic communication to do favoritisms in experience. label variables And their relationships. This answers the inquiry. ‘What is it? ’ * Explanation: The theory emphasizes relationship among the variables in the theory. their way. magnitude. and influence ( causing ) of outcomes. This answers the inquiry. ‘How does it work? ’ * Prediction: Understanding of the relationship among variables under different conditions and across clip enables extrapolation of expected results that have non yet been observed. This answers the inquiry. “What happens following? ” * Control/intervention: A thorough apprehension of the variables. their relationships. and influences may allow intercession to alter the result. This answers the inquiry. ‘What can be done about it or how can we act upon it? ” Falsifiability
A good theory must be defined clearly plenty and have propositions questionable plenty to enable experiments designed to confute it. That is. a theory must be unfastened to alter and disconfirmation. It is through rejection of wrong thoughts that cognition is advanced. Premisess that are intact and unquestionable reflect religion and non theory. * It is possible to prove and to dispute the basic premises? * Are the standards clear that would warrant rejection of the premises? Importance
Important and relevant events should be accounted for by the theory. It’s range ( e. g. . macro/micro ) is non every bit of import as whether the theories are covering with inquiries of importance and relevance-the deductions and effects of its being accurate. * What difference does utilizing this theory do?
* Does the account derived from its usage truly do a difference? Internal consistence
The constructs and propositions contained within a theory must be logically consistent with each other. They should be logically related. construct on each other. or contribute to the explanatory power of each other. * Do the constructs contradict each other? If so. is there an acceptable account of the contradiction? * Do the constructs logically build on each other and organize a rational account? * Are the premises on which the decisions warranting the constructs are based. justified and logically consistent? Scope
Theories vary in their scope or fullness with which they purport to account for assorted events. ‘Micro’ theories deal with selective. possibly even vague events. while ‘macro’ theories attempt to include many variables over a larger context. * What does it purport to account for and NOT history for? * Do the propositions cover all relevant elements within the declared range? * Does it run within its scope of convenience or is it unsuitably extended outside its range? Organization
A utile theory efforts to convey together several constructs and discourse them in a meaningful manner. It does non handle constructs in isolation. but helps depict their relationships. In add-on. it consistently builds on and expands current cognition. * What are the premises and value prejudices underlying the propositions of the theory? Are they acceptable. consistent. and justifiable? * How are the constructs related to each other?
* Is old cognition used as a foundation for widening current theory. or is it merely a hodgepodge of known information and goes no farther? * If the theory is hierarchal ( one degree includes or operates on another ) . are usage of these degrees adequately supported? Empirical support
A sound theory should enable itself to be tested in ways that provide grounds whether its propositions should be accepted or rejected. * Have experiments been conducted that shed visible radiation on the truth and public-service corporation of the theory? * How is contradictory grounds handled?
* Are the research designs appropriate for pulling decisions about the adequateness of the theory? * Is at that place grounds. non merely logic. that tends to back up the averments of the theory? Measurement
Related to empirical support. measuring refers to the qualities of the instrumentality used to obtain empirical informations. To measure this facet you might inquire: * What is the degree of measuring of informations available ( e. g. . nominal. ordinal. interval. ratio ) ? Are the decisions based on this degree of measuring justifiable? * Does the format of the measuring truly allow variableness along of import dimensions? * How are the mensural concepts defined? Are they consistent with the theory? * Is the normative sample appropriate and sufficient?
* Are the statistics used in handling the information and depicting the consequences allow? * Does the research design truly command for internal and external beginnings of influence ( design controls ) so that sound decisions can be drawn? * Are dependability and cogency adequate to pull decisions?