The Empirical content of theories in judgment and decision making: Shortcomings and remedies
AbstractAccording to Karl Popper, we can tell good theories from poor ones by assessing their empirical content (empirischer Gehalt), which basically reflects how much information they convey concerning the world. ``The empirical content of a statement increases with its degree of falsifiability: the more a statement forbids, the more it says about the world of experience.'' Two criteria to evaluate the empirical content of a theory are their level of universality (Allgemeinheit) and their degree of precision (Bestimmtheit). The former specifies how many situations it can be applied to. The latter refers to the specificity in prediction, that is, how many subclasses of realizations it allows. We conduct an analysis of the empirical content of theories in Judgment and Decision Making (JDM) and identify the challenges in theory formulation for different classes of models. Elaborating on classic Popperian ideas, we suggest some guidelines for publication of theoretical work.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Society for Judgment and Decision Making in its journal Judgment and Decision Making.
Volume (Year): 6 (2011)
Issue (Month): 8 (December)
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empirical content; theory of science; critical rationalism; methodology; formalization; falsification; critical testing.;
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