This is a collaborative exercise to be carried out by
teams. The teams are (a) the students in DSIS, and (b) the students in
Start with an observed correlation or relationship
between variables (you do not have to prove they are correlated -- just
Now, using the methods and criteria of Lave and March
(1975), generate a good theory. Show that it is generative by drawing
some interesting, testable, implications from it.
Now develop an equally good alternative theory that
explains the original observation. Draw testable implications from that
Finally, design a study that will enable you to test
the two theories and rule one of them out.
Write all of this up and send it to the class Google
group before midnight on Thursday (the night before class)
Charles A., and James G.
1993(1975). An Introduction to Models in the
Social Sciences. New York: University Press of America. Chap. 2 [pdf] and Chap. 3 [pdf]