Finally, the epistemological foundation of this research program is as follows.
Research is optimized by assuring that findings fit within the massive body of interlocking and cross validating knowledge (theoretical net) and by systematically replicating those findings.
In particular, reliability is demonstrated by demonstrating consistency across each of the subjects in an experiment. Generality is assured by requiring that the causal factors in the situation be understood and that the relationship of the situation to the target be understood. Detectability is maximized by the control of noise and by using experimental designs which produce strong effects. Meaningfulness is established via the maximization of accountable variance both across subjects and across phenomena.
General "Isms." Beliefs are considered conjecture until supported by fact. Only one kind of existence is accepted. Sense data is considered the final arbiter of beliefs. All events are considered to have a cause, and a cause must precede its effect.
Paradigmatic inclinations are that the environment is responsible for the behavioral repertoire; that complex behaviors are the combination of simpler elements; that behavioral repertoires can be seen to adapt as the result of some behaviors retaining their strength; that adaptation is implemented via the consequences labeled evolutionary utility for long-term behavior changes, and what is labeled "pleasure" and "pain" for short-term adaptation.
Date Last Reviewed : May 26, 2003