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Testing a Theory, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 370

Essay

Although the usual methods of testing a theory are rigorous and involve control groups, variables, and other factors, it is also possible to test a theory informally in everyday life. In the following scenario I did not really consider that I was testing a theory, but that is what I was doing.

I had a roommate who was not particularly good about cleaning up after himself. There were several people living in close quarters, but I was fairly certain that it was this one particular roommate who was the one who was most responsible for some of the messes around the house. Everyone had specific chores we were supposed to do, and we all ended up picking up some of his slack. After discussing the situation with the other roommates, we decided to stop doing any of this particular roommate’s chores to see if he would notice, and would do them on his own. The roommate had claimed that he still did his chores sometimes, even though other people might have also been pitching in on their own. My theory was that he was not doing any of his chores, and I used the chore of the trash as an example.

One of his chores was to change the trash bags inside the house and to take the trash out. No one said anything to him, but the rest of us stopped emptying the inside trash or taking the trash out to the curb. After a week went by, it was clear that the trash was piling up inside the house and that no one had taken the trash out. My theory that this roommate had been neglecting his shores proved to be accurate. This method was informal, but was still similar to what might be done in a clinical setting, simply by posing a hypothesis and then observing the behavior of the subject. If I were to do this again, I might broaden the scope of the observation to include a wider range of behaviors to see if the roommate was doing some of his chores while neglecting others. This might help me determine if it would be helpful to modify the chose duties to better suit his individual personality traits.

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