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A psychological theory that explains everything explains nothing Watch

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    What do you think of this quote, how do you interpret it?
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    philosophical theory you mean?
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    It's an excellent quote that highlights an issue which is unfortunately relevant to many theories in psychology.

    If a theory fails to rule out certain behaviours in its predictions, then it ultimately explains nothing at all. A theory needs to be able to suggest that in X situation an individual will be more likely to do Y than Z. If, on the otherhand, the theory suggests that they will do either Y or Z, then it is impossible to evaluate the accuracy of the prediction.

    If that makes sense.. It's too early.

    Let me try again:

    A theory needs to be capable of stating which behaviours will not occur in order for it to be disprovable. If it attempts to offer an exhaustive list of explanations for all possible behaviours then it begins to err on the side of undisprovable.

    (Original post by Liam 09)
    philosophical theory you mean?
    Nah. It's just in Psychology also. Besides, I fail to see how Philosophy can offer a theory.
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    Also you wouldn't be able to come up with an all encompassing theory for human behaviour as it's too broad to have one theory about
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    (Original post by xKTx)
    Also you wouldn't be able to come up with an all encompassing theory for human behaviour as it's too broad to have one theory about
    I don't think it means it in that context.

    It's a little more specific.

    For example: A man is watching his friend drown in a river and is trying to decide whether to leave him or to risk his own life by jumping in and saving him.

    A bad theory which breaks this principal would predict that all behaviour is ultimately selfish. This theory could then be supported by

    A. The person does not jump in and lets him drown in an act of self-preservation. This is ultimately selfish.

    B. The person jumps into save the drowning man, but only does so in hopes of self-promotion and to encourage the belief that he is a brave and caring individual. Therefore, his behaviour is selfish again.

    In the end, the theory predicts both behaviours A and B. It therefore rules out no behaviour and, according to this principal, explains no behaviour.
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    Interesting input, I think that hits the nail on the head.
 
 
 
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