MODEL AND THEORY 2)3)
M. SIRGYand W. ACAR debate in the following terms the differences of "model" and "theory".
SIRGY writes (1988, p. 171): "A model is a conceptual tool that postulates a set of relationships between concepts for the main purpose of controlling a given phenomenon from which prediction serves the controlling function.
A theory on the other hand, is a conceptual tool that postulates a set of relationships between/among concepts for the main purpose of explaining a given phenomenon from which prediction falls out the explanatory function".
According to SIRGY, basic scientists tend to use theories more than models. They are more interested in explanation than in control, while applied scientists more readily apply models for the opposite reason.
ACAR, on the other hand, describes "theories… as deductive systems" (ACKOFF) and argues that a model is "an embryonic theory",while a theory is generalized full-term model". He understand that the model is embryonic because:
- its language is generally borrowed and is seldom tailor-made
- its underlying assumptions may not yet have fully surfaced
- its underlying logic may still be in the making
- its propositions are still being explored and probably have not reached theorem status yet
- not all its implications have yet been understood (1988, p. 173).
Eventually, a much worked out model or a family of models may lead to a theory.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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