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How to Build Social Science Theories

How to Build Social Science Theories - 04 edition

ISBN13: 978-0761926672

ISBN13: 978-0761926672
ISBN10: 0761926674
Cover type: Print On Demand
Edition/Copyright: 04
Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.
Published: 2004
International: No
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How to Build Social Science Theories - 04 edition

ISBN13: 978-0761926672

Pamela J. Shoemaker, James William Tankard and Dominic L. Lasorsa

ISBN13: 978-0761926672
ISBN10: 0761926674
Cover type: Print On Demand
Edition/Copyright: 04
Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.

Published: 2004
International: No
Summary

As straightforward as its title, How to Build Social Science Theories sidesteps the well-traveled road of theoretical examination by demonstrating how new theories originate and how they are elaborated. Essential reading for students of social science research, this book traces theories from their most rudimentary building blocks (terminology and definitions) through multivariable theoretical statements, models, the role of creativity in theory building, and how theories are used and evaluated. Authors Pamela J. Shoemaker, James William Tankard, Jr., and Dominic L. Lasorsa intend to improve research in many areas of the social sciences by making research more theory-based and theory-oriented.

The book begins with a discussion of concepts and their theoretical and operational definitions. It then proceeds to theoretical statements, including hypotheses, assumptions, and propositions. Theoretical statements need theoretical linkages and operational linkages; this discussion begins with bivariate relationships, as well as three-variable, four-variable, and further multivariate relationships. The authors also devote chapters to the creative component of theory-building and how to evaluate theories.

How to Build Social Science Theories is a sophisticated yet readable analysis presented by internationally known experts in social science methodology. It is designed primarily as a core text for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in communication theory. It will also be a perfect addition to any course dealing with theory and research methodology across the social sciences. Additionally, professional researchers will find it an indispensable guide to the genesis, dissemination, and evaluation of social science theories.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Nature of Science

Definition of Basic Terms
Outline of Future Chapters

2. Theoretical Concepts: The Building Blocks of Theory

Terminology
Definition Creation

3. Theoretical Statements Relating Two Variables

Definition of Terms
Assumptions
Hypothesis Creation

4. Theoretical and Operational Linkages

Explanation of Linkages
Presentation of Outcomes

5. Theoretical Statements Relating Three Variables

Five Types of Three-Variable Relationships

6. Theoretical Statements Relating Four or More Variables

Formulation of Theoretical Statements
Visualization of Four-Variable Relationships
Time Ordering
Path Analysis Among Multiple Variables
Nonlinear Relationships and Non-Addictive Effects

7. Theoretical Models

Definition of Terms
Use of Models
Criticisms of Models
Types of Models
Representations of Theories in Model Form
Derivation of Theoretical Statements From Models
Developments in Model Building

8. Creativity and Theory Building

How Theories Begin
Points for Creative Thinking
Principles of Creative Thinking
Creative Techniques for Building Theories
Metaphor and Analogy

9. Using and Evaluating Theory

Atheoretical Research
Usefulness of Theories
Ways of Evaluating Theories
Theory Building
Platt's "Strong Influence" Constraints
Suggestions for Good Theory Building
References
Appendix A. Guidelines for Preparing Tables and Figures
Appendix B. Acceptable Levels of Measurement for Various Statistics

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