The Explanatory Power of Models
Bridging the Gap between Empirical and Theoretical Research…
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Titel: The Explanatory Power of Models
Bridging the Gap between Empirical and Theoretical Research in the Social Sciences.
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Herausgegeben von Robert Franck
31. Dezember 2002 - gebunden - 324 Seiten
Empirical research often lacks theory. This book progressively works out a method of constructing models which can bridge the gap between empirical and theoretical research in the social sciences. This might improve the explanatory power of models. The issue is quite novel, and it benefited from a thorough examination of statistical and mathematical models, conceptual models, diagrams and maps, machines, computer simulations, and artificial neural networks. These modelling practices have been approached through different disciplines. The proposed method is partly inspired by reverse engineering. The standard covering law approach is abandoned, and classical induction restored to its rightful place. It helps to solve several difficulties which impact upon the social sciences today, for example how to extend an explanatory model to new phenomena, how to establish laws, and how to guide the choice of a conceptual structure. The book can be used for advanced courses in research methods in the social sciences and in philosophy of science.
List of Authors. General Introduction; R. Franck. Part I: Statistical Modelling and the Need for Theory. Introduction to Part I; R. Franck. 1. The determinants of infant mortality: how far are conceptual frameworks really modelled? G. Masuy-Stroobant. 2. The role of statistical and formal techniques in experimental psychology; G. Lories. 3. Explanatory models in suicide research: explaining relationships; A.-M. Aish-v. Vaerenbergh. 4. Attitudes towards ethnic minorities and support for ethnic discrimination, A test of complementary models; P. Scheepers, et al. Conclusions of Part I; R. Franck. Part II: Computer Simulation and the Reverse Engineering Method. Introduction to Part II; R. Franck. 5. Computer simulation methods to model macroeconomics; A. de Callataÿ. 6. The explanatory power of Artificial Neural Networks; M. Verleysen. Conclusions of Part II; R. Franck. Part III: Models and Theory. Introduction to Part III; R. Franck. 7. On modelling in human geography; D. Peeters. 8. The explanatory power of migration models; M. Termote. 9. The role of models in comparative politics; C. Mironesco. 10. Elementary mathematical modelization of games and sports; P. Parlebas. Conclusions of Part III; R. Franck. Part IV: Epistemological Landmarks. Introduction to Part IV; R. Franck. 11. Computer modelling of theory, explanation for the 21st century; T.K. Burch. 12. The logistic analysis of explanatory theories in archaeology;J.-C. Gardin. Conclusions of Part IV; R. Franck. General Conclusion; R. Franck. Subject Index. Name Index.
From the reviews:
"This book is first in a new series of collected essays on methodological problems and issues facing the social sciences. ... There are ... lots of enthusiastic supplementary commentaries from the editor in each part of the book ... . contains the most useful and also highest quality material: it is well worth reading. ... this book will find a useful place on the shelves of research libraries. Researchers interested in modelling approaches can reach for it ... ." (Myles Gould, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Vol. 32 (5), 2005)
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