Surrogates for Theories

Gerd Gigerenzer

in Adaptive Thinking

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780195153729
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849222 | DOI:

Series: Evolution and Cognition Series

Surrogates for Theories

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The most important thing is to define candidate hypotheses before starting the business of hypothesis testing. Null hypothesis testing encourages theoretical laziness. To use it, one does not need to specify one's research hypothesis or a substantive alternative except “chance”. This scant requirement allows surrogates for theories to grow like weeds. This chapter addresses two questions: What are the surrogates for theory in psychology? And what institutional forces perpetuate reliance on these surrogates? The examples used are drawn from the best work in the areas discussed: the psychology of reasoning, judgment, and decision making.

Keywords: null hypothesis; hypothesis testing; surrogates; psychology; reasoning; judgment; decision making

Chapter.  3398 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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