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Theory

Encyclopedia
Edited by: Published: 2010
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Theory is generally understood as a systematic representation of a genuine problem, articulated as far as possible in mathematical terms in the natural sciences or logical (or strictly linguistic terms) in the life and social sciences. The systematic nature of theory is normally aimed at providing explanatory leverage on a problem, describing innovative features of a phenomenon or providing predictive utility. The empirical adequacy required of a theory is a controversial feature of theories and often differs radically across disciplines. As most research in the sciences and social sciences is theory driven, that is, is concerned with the refinement or refutation of theoretical claims, the design of that research will have an immediate impact on the nature of theory construction and the presumed relationship among ...

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