Probabilistic functionalism: A conception of research method

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Describes the accepted psychological research paradigm and discusses its inherent limitations. The author outlines an alternative paradigm that is adequate to the task of understanding organism-environment relationships. This alternative paradigm is formulated in terms of E. Brunswik's (1952) lens model. The author then develops some theoretical implications of the lens model. These include the importance of situational sampling, the nature and focus of analytic statistical procedures, and the characteristics of a molar functional approach as contrasted with those of a molecular reductionistic one. The author discusses the essentials of representative design and suggests the conception of construct validity as developed in psychometric theory as a general scheme adequate to guide theory construction. (62 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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