What is a Theory ?

What is a Theory ?

  • Definition of a Theory: “a set of related propositions that suggests why events occur in the manner that they do” (Hoover, 1984)
  • Elements of Formal Theory Structure:
    • hypothesis
    • propositions
    • laws
  • Uses of Theory
    • to organize and summarize knowledge (Littlejohn)
    • to provide patterns of interpreting data (Hoover)
    • to link studies (Hoover)
    • to supply frameworks within which concepts and variables acquire special significance (Hoover)
    • to interpret larger meaning from our findings
    • to provide direction for practice
  • Levels and Purposes of Theory
    • Description of Events —–v
    • Explanation of Events —–v
    • Prediction of Events ——-v
    • Prescription and/or control of Human Events
  • Theory : the most advanced and valid knowledge available that can be generalized and applied to may situations. They often establish the framework of the field and helps persons (researchers and practitioners) within the field analyze and synthesize data, organize concepts and principles, suggest new ideas and relations, and even speculate about the future.
  • Beauchamp – a theory may be defined as the knowledge and statements that “give functional meaning to a series of events [and] take the form of definitions, operational constructs, assumptions, postulates, hypothesis, genealizations, laws or theorems.”
  • Good practice is based on theory.
  • Theory – an organized set of statements that allow us to explain, predict, or control events.  The theories from which instructional design draws are of two types:
    • Descriptive – describes phenomena as they are hypothesized to exist.
    • Precriptive – prescribe actions to take that will lead to certain results.


  1. 这些东西不错啊, 多提供点.

  2. "Theory – an organized set of statements that allow us to explain, predict, or control events."

  3. 這是你自己總結的,還是在書上看來的?

    • 这不是我的总结!

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