David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 42 (2):131-154 (2012)
Philosophers and scientists agree that an important characteristic of theories is their internal coherence. I propose that there is a particular type of internal coherence, termed “unit coherence,” that has received insufficient attention from psychologists. When psychologists theorize about the mechanisms that bring about human behavior, the units in which the variables are expressed need to be consistent throughout the theory; this is unit coherence. The theory of reasoned action is an example of a unit incoherent theory. I explain why this is so and also show how the theory can be made to be unit coherent. I also include examples of unit coherent theories to demonstrate that they are possible to have in psychology. Although the concept of unit coherence is somewhat subtle, it has surprising and far-reaching consequences
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References found in this work BETA
Carl Hempel (1965). Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science. The Free Press.
John H. Holland, Keith J. Holyoak, Richard E. Nisbett & Paul R. Thagard (1993). Deductive Reasoning. In Alvin Goldman (ed.), Readings in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Cambridge: Mit Press.
Duncan Luce, David Krantz, Patrick Suppes & Amos Tversky (eds.) (1990). Foundations of Measurement, Vol. III: Representation, Axiomatization, and Invariance. New York Academic Press.
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