A theory is a combination of paradigms that can explain and forecasts observed events in a broader way compared to a hypothesis. It is a manner of applying truth and meaning to what happens with the world and us. For example, one may believe that men are more aggressive than women, which can be considered a theory. Hypothesis in turn can use this theory as a base of an argument such as that women respond less aggressively than men after watching violent movies. If the results don’t show positive correlation with this hypothesis, it is safe to conclude that the theory may be right. In order for a theory to be considered reliable and valid it is important anyone can test it, either through experiment, correlation or case studies. These methods will enable to open more doors in the field of research an increase the possibilities for further knowledge. It also has to be falsifiable, in other words one has a possibility to “prove it wrong” and finally, a theory has to be able to explain the phenomenon.
I’m sure we all run into theories in our daily experiences with the world although sometimes it might go unnoticed. For me is no different, especially with my interactions with my wife I often hear her theorize about success in life. In her view success comes from either being very spiritual or very intelligent. You just need these two items of business to all the other aspects of life sum up to a happy and successful life. The only causation this brings forth is to myself to think how vague this theory sounds. I have to admit there is some foundation in it, but still we have to consider the many other variables that can influence success. Family background and structure of an individual, the religion you are raised into, biological limitations, culture, social skills, individual faith and many other things.
This theory can be right, but like every scientist would think this theory needs to be tested, but how? That is a very tough question. Intelligence alone is a very complex variable to measure, even with the IQ test. When it comes to spirituality it seems a harder tasks at least. The explaining and falsifiability have room for potential consideration and applicability of a theory in a test, but I hope my point gets across. Many hypotheses would have to be tested under this realm of intelligence/spirituality and success for this theory to be considered. The goal of dissecting theories and breaking them down is to come as close as possible to fact. For this purpose I can start questioning every popular saying or myths with 3 things. Is this testable, falsifiable or explainable?