International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 1 Num. 2 - December 2001


Some Notes on Theoretical Constructs: Types and Validation from a Contextual Behavioral Perspective [Algunas Ideas Sobre Constructos Te?ricos: Tipos y Validaci?n Desde Una Perspectiva Conductual Contextual]

Volume 1 Num. 2 - December 2001 - Pages 205-215


Kelly G. Wilson


Contemporary contextual behavioral analyses take a somewhat different view of theorizing than is commonly held in most of psychology. In formulating a natural science of behavior, theorists such as J. R. Kantor and B. F. Skinner rejected certain varieties of theoretical constructs. This paper divides theoretical constructs into abstractive and hypothetical formulations. It further subdivides hypothetical constructs into three subtypes, including constructs that are (1) in-principle observable, but at some other level of analysis, (2) in-principle unobservable, and (3) in-principle observable, but unobservable for some technical or practical reason. A distinction is made between the ontological and operational validity of theoretical constructs and methods for determining the operational validity of these constructs are discussed. Finally, the selective effects of experimentation and observation on theory development are discussed.

Key words:

Theoretical constructs, Contextual analysis

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