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NCJ Number: 47881 Find in a Library
Title: PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSUMPTIONS, EXPERIMENTATION, AND REAL WORLD PROBLEMS - A CRITIQUE AND AN ALTERNATE APPROACH TO EVALUATION
Journal: EVALUATION QUARTERLY  Volume:2  Issue:2  Dated:(MAY 1978)  Pages:235-260
Author(s): I MITROFF; T V BONOMA
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A METHOD FOR ASSESSING THE INFLUENCE OF KEY BACKGROUND ASSUMPTIONS IN BOTH LABORATORY EXPERIMENTATION AND SOCIAL EVALUATION RESEARCH IS SUGGESTED.
Abstract: DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PHILOSOPHY, PSYCHOLOGY, AND SOCIOLOGY OF SCIENCE CHALLENGE TRADITIONAL NOTIONS ABOUT THE DECISIVE POWER OF EXPERIMENTS AND SUGGEST THAT THE POWER OF AN EXPERIMENT IS ONLY AS STRONG AS THE CLARITY OF THE BASIC ASSUMPTIONS THAT UNDERLIE IT. THIS CONCLUSION APPLIES TO SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH (PRIMARILY PROGRAM EVALUATION) AS WELL AS TO BASIC OR LABORATORY RESEARCH INSOFAR AS THE TWO ARE SIMILAR IN BOTH EXPERIMENTAL BASE AND ORDINARY CONDUCT. PREVIOUS ATTEMPTS TO ENHANCE THE VALIDITY OF SOCIAL EXPERIMENTS THROUGH APPLICATION OF QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL TACTICS ARE FOUND WANTING AS MECHANISMS FOR MONITORING DATA-GATHERING IN APPLIED SETTINGS. AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH -- THE DIALECTICAL METHOD -- TO ASSESSING THE INFLUENCE OF KEY ASSUMPTIONS IN BOTH PURE AND APPLIED RESEARCH SETTINGS IS DESCRIBED. APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTICAL APPROACH SUGGESTS THE EXISTENCE OF A SOURCE OF EXPERIMENTAL ERROR DEFINED AS THE PROBABILITY OF CONDUCTING THE 'WRONG' EXPERIMENT. A LIST OF REFERENCES IS INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)
Index Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences; Evaluation; Research; Research and development; Research methods
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47881

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