The Role of Modeling in Scientific Theory

This presentation is the culmination of about four years of presentations and discussions about how to test the propositions of Bowen Theory in a manner that is compatible with mainstream research. It augments the definitions of “theory,” “concept,” “variable,” and others from the literary tradition around Bowen Theory with the terms “predictive model,” “data model,” “implicit model,” and “explicit model.”

While Murray Bowen raised the bar for social science research with a series of novel critiques of basic practices, a description of the final crucial step of communicating findings on emotional systems to mainstream science was not covered. Without a doubt, modeling will be a difficult challenge for any rich theory that covers a lot of ground. Further, modeling any theory on human behavior poses a challenge many times more difficult than theories of other forms of life due to the subjective bias involved, let alone a rich theory of human behavior.

A series of technical terms are laid in this presentation which attempt to point out the essential final goal of producing well replicated, predictive models in any scientific endeavor. Additional points are made to account for Bowen’s essential critiques, and problems that arise for modeling given the unique integrated view of research attitude common to both formal research, professional practice, and an effort at researching one’s own family.

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