Levels of explanation and the workings of science
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2011
© 2011 The Australian Psychological Society
Australian Journal of Psychology
Special Issue: Cognitive modeling ‘versus’ cognitive neuroscience: Competing approaches or compatible levels of explanation? Guest editors: Stephan Lewandowsky and Max Coltheart
Volume 64, Issue 1, pages 52–59, March 2012
How to Cite
Perfors, A. (2012), Levels of explanation and the workings of science. Australian Jnl of Psychology, 64: 52–59. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-9536.2011.00044.x
- Issue published online: 23 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2011
- Received 9 April 2011. Accepted for publication 20 September 2011.
- cognitive science and intelligent systems;
- psychology as a discipline
I address two questions that underlie most of the articles in this special issue: 1) What do different levels of explanation in psychology reveal? And 2) how do the dynamics of science affect what can be learned? I suggest that understanding hypothesis testing and generation in the abstract can provide a useful framework for understanding how cognitive modelling and neuroscience may interact. I further suggest that the preference for simple explanations and the dynamics of hypothesis testing may play out in different ways within the two fields, and that their overlap may prove most useful in the realm of hypothesis generation.