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Theory-Ladenness

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Synonyms

Theory-dependence

Definition

Theory-ladenness expresses the idea that theoretical expectations pervade the scientific process, especially that theoretical expectations can play a role in determining scientific observations. This may happen in different ways, for example, by affecting scientists’ perceptions, interpretations, or attention or by affecting the process in which data are produced. Theory-ladenness has been a subject of much discussion because it can be seen as questioning the ability of scientific observations to provide a neutral ground for evaluating competing theories.

Characteristics

In the empirical sciences, observations play very important roles, both in stimulating the formation of new theories and in testing the predictions of developed theories. In both of these roles, it has been a matter of much debate among scientists, philosophers, and cognitive scientists whether observations are a neutral source of facts or whether observations are theory-laden in...

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Correspondence to Hanne Andersen .

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Andersen, H., Green, S. (2013). Theory-Ladenness. In: Dubitzky, W., Wolkenhauer, O., Cho, KH., Yokota, H. (eds) Encyclopedia of Systems Biology. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9863-7_86

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