What are the falsifiable social science theories
Operationalization / falsifiability and ethics
First, consider what operationalism and counterfeitability mean.
Operationalism combines the meaning of a concept with a way to measure the concept. This is from PW Bridgmans The Logic of Modern Physics , New York: Macmillan, 1927.
Hasok Chang cites Bridgman's text, page 10, where Bridgman uses the concept of "length" as an example:
Basically, the operations on which the length is measured should be clearly defined. When we have more than one set of operations, we have more than one concept, and strictly speaking there should be a separate name to correspond to each different set of operations.
Sven Ove Hansson quotes Karl Popper's idea of falsifiability in Guesswork and rebuttals.The growth of scientific knowledge , New York: Basic Books, 1962, 39, as:
... Statements or systems of statements must be able to contradict possible or conceivable observations in order to be classified as scientific ...
These “conceivable observations” could falsify the “statements or statements” if the observations actually occur.
With this in mind, here are some answers to the questions.
(1) Does the operationalization guarantee that tests can be falsified?
The definition of the concepts used in relation to their measurement does not mean that the statements or systems of statements using these concepts are falsifiable. In addition, one must describe possible observations that could falsify these statements or statements using these concepts.
(2) Is the study of crowd behavior a falsifiable science? From a Freudian point of view, I would say that it is not falsifiable (e.g. collective unconsciousness), and from other perspectives that operationalize a crowd variable, I would say that it is falsifiable.
The study of crowd behavior must construct statements or systems of statements, sometimes referred to as "theories". These theories may or may not be falsifiable. If one can come up with a conceivable observation that would falsify the theory, then the theory is falsifiable.
(3) Could ethical concerns convert a question from counterfeitable to non-counterfeitable? Once we have operationalized our variable, there is another "obstacle". For ethical reasons, we cannot conduct a study that could lead to panic, for example. Hence, the sources for testing our hypothesis are limited.
It is not necessary, with current technology, resources, or other constraints such as ethical concerns, to be able to actually observe what one might be observing in order for the statement or system of statements to be falsifiable.
(4) Could an assessed non-falsifiable problem develop and become falsifiable over time? (e.g. Freudian vision to cognitive vision)
As soon as a conceivable observation is constructed that would falsify a statement or a system of statements, those statements or this system of statements are falsifiable, based on Popper's 1962 description of falsifiability.
References used in this answer:
Hansson, Sven Ove, "Science and Pseudoscience", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2017 edition), Edward N. Zalta (Ed.), URL = https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2017/entries / Pseudoscience /
Chang, Hasok, "Operationalism", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2009 edition), Edward N. Zalta (Ed.), URL = https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2009/entries/operationalism/
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