TITLE

Relevancy Is Robust Prediction, Not Alleged Realism

AUTHOR(S)
Shugan, Steven M.
PUB. DATE
September 2009
SOURCE
Marketing Science;Sep/Oct2009, Vol. 28 Issue 5, p991
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Opinion
ABSTRACT
Remember James Boswell, ninth Laird of Auchinleck, author of the famous maxim that the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Trying to build realistic theories differs dramatically from having correct explanatory theories tested on objective criteria, e.g., verifiable prediction. Evaluating theories on whether assumptions are realistic is potentially subjective, biased, and arbitrary. A theory's domain determines whether its assumptions are sufficiently realistic and when assumptions must hold and to what degree, so testing assumptions in isolation puts an unnecessary burden on the assumptions (i.e., they must hold everywhere). For theories explaining cooperation and information exchange, predictions reveal that the prisoner's dilemma assumptions (only two prisoners, four possible outcomes, two possible actions, etc.) are sufficiently realistic. For theories explaining prisoner sentencing guidelines and probation policy, predictions might suggest otherwise. Scientific methods allow the evaluation of theories on criteria such predictive accuracy, reliability, validity, and robustness--not based on realism. When multiple explanatory theories survive initial testing, one derives conflicting predictions. For example, a theory that people are broccoli produces correct predictions (people are mortal) and incorrect predictions (people are biennial). Tragic consequences can occur when theory adoption depends on whether assumptions are disliked, unpopular, or exclude a favorite variable. Denounce journals that reject models with insightful new implications because the assumptions are too simple or merely disliked. The term "unrealistic" sometimes means personally disliked.
ACCESSION #
47192297

 

Related Articles

  • Think Theory Testing, Not Realism. Shugan, Steven M. // Marketing Science;Sep/Oct2009, Vol. 28 Issue 5, p1001 

    Eric Tsang's response makes the legitimate point that prediction and explanation can be different goals. However, his arguments also suffer from several errors in logic, most often the converse error. I do not claim that unrealistic assumptions breed good theories. I only claim that breakthrough...

  • Signaling Strategies in Competitive Interaction: Building Reputations and Hiding the Truth. Prabhu, Jaideep; Stewart, David W. // Journal of Marketing Research (JMR);Feb2001, Vol. 38 Issue 1, p62 

    The authors develop a conceptual framework of how managers interpret competitors' signals over time in various market contexts. From the framework, the authors generate hypotheses about the relative effectiveness of signaling strategies used by firms in different market contexts. The authors...

  • EFFECT OF LEARNING IN THE PRISONER'S DILEMMA GAME. Vesel�, �tep�n // Studia Psychologica;2012, Vol. 54 Issue 2, p143 

    The task of the experimental study reported here is to examine the existence of an effect of learning when initial and further encounters (i.e., iterated games) with undisclosed predetermined strategies are compared. This is one of the first systematic empirical studies of inter-game learning in...

  • Institutions matter! Why the Herder Problem is not a Prisoner’s Dilemma. Cole, Daniel H.; Grossman, Peter Z. // Theory & Decision;Aug2010, Vol. 69 Issue 2, p219 

    In the game theory literature, Garrett Hardin’s famous allegory of the “tragedy of the commons” has been modeled as a variant of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, labeled the Herder Problem (or, sometimes, the Commons Dilemma). This brief paper argues that important differences...

  • Prisoner's Dilemma: an IBICT's Approach. Letouze, Patrick // International Proceedings of Economics Development & Research;2012, Vol. 42, p244 

    The prisoner's dilemma is a classical example in game theory and may be considered a simple illustration of rationality's failure. Despite that, it is actually that seemingly inconsistency that attracts so many studies and applications such as cooperation and reciprocity. This work presents a...

  • THE INDEFINITELY ITERATED PRISONER'S DILEMMA: REPLY TO BECKER AND CUDD. Carroll, John W. // Theory & Decision;Jan93, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p63 

    It is argued that, without a controversial and arguably mistaken assumption, Becker and Cudd's (1990) objections do not undermine the challenge raised by my (1987) model of iterated prisoner's dilemmas for the arguments of Taylor (1976, 1987) and others. Furthermore, it is argued that, even...

  • Prospects and Pitfalls of Statistical Testing: Insights from Replicating the Demographic Prisoner's Dilemma. Radax, Wolfgang; Rengs, Bernhard // Journal of Artificial Societies & Social Simulation;Oct2010, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p1 

    This paper documents our efforts (and troubles) in replicating Epstein's (1998) demographic prisoner's dilemma model. Confronted with a number of ambiguous descriptions of model features we introduce a method for systematically generating a large number of model replications and testing for...

  • Type IV Errors: Searching for Truth.  // Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly;Jul1988, Vol. 5 Issue 3, p176 

    The article discusses the Type IV error in science, which is an incorrect interpretation of a correctly rejected hypothesis. Authors of a study on the error looked at nearly 200 investigations concerning special education to find that less than ten percent of investigators successfully...

  • Designing a Research Project. Wienclaw, Ruth A. // Designing a Research Project -- Research Starters Sociology;4/1/2017, p1 

    All science advances through the rigorous application of the scientific method. Part of this process involves the development of an empirical research design that can help researchers determine whether or not the hypothesis being tested is likely to be true. Good research design is based on a...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of VIRGINIA BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY AND SYSTEM

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics