3 Logical Positivism in psychology 2 Flashcards Preview

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According to the Verification Principle, sentences are meaningful if they are in principle capable of being verified by observational tests.
This verification involves...

Describing a way of verifying the statement


How does Bridgman (1927) define operationalism?

"The meaning of a concept is synonymous with a set of operations necessary to measure or manipulate that concept"


How do operational definitions confuse the role of causality in manipulating variables?

If the variable (e.g. guilt) is defined operationally, then it is CAUSED by manipulation by experimenters. A variable cannot BE something AND be caused by it.


How does operationism lead to proliferation of definitions?

Because each researcher will operationalise a variable differently.


How does operationism encourage the abandonment of some of psychology's most interesting concepts?

Notions such as hope, ambition etc. are jetissoned because they don’t denote anything directly observable.


In what way is operationism anthropocentric?

What COULD be known is reduced to what the researcher does. The concept may have nothing to do with what researcher does.


What logical error undermines operationism?

Operationism, like verificationism, involves the logical error of identifying the concept with the means by which that concept is to be identified.

It denies the distinction between phenomenon of, say, guilt (the ontology) and the means by which we can come to learn about that phenomenon through measuring (epistemology) it.


What is the classical (Socratic) account of a definition?

A description of the thing being defined, whereby every constituent or characteristic will be a feature of the thing being defined.

e.g. a definition of the word kangaroo sets out the characteristics which an object must have to be included in the class 'kangaroo'


What is the 'intension' of the term 'kangaroo'?

The characteristics necessary and sufficient for membership of the class of kangaroo


What is 'division'?

Providing examples of a thing


What is the 'extension' of the term 'kangaroo'?

Instances of kangaroos


When is a kangaroo NOT a kangaroo?

In those cases when it is not a kangaroo, yet still a kangaroo.