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CONCEPTS AND INDICATORS IN STUDIES OF BEHAVIOR UNDER STRESS,
BUREAU OF SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH INC WASHINGTON DC
Scientific effort has concentrated upon establishing general pro-positions stating a relation among concept referents and weaving these propositions into a theoretical network. Too little consideration has been given to the link between the concept referents and the observables suggested by their indicators. An empirical proposition can be no stronger than the weakest concept-indicator link upon which it is built. It is necessary to validate the relation between concept referents and their indicators before one can discuss validation of a relation between the referents of several concepts. To arrive at a method of validation, however, it is necessary to state the type of relation which exists, to state the form of inference from indicator to concept or vice verse. This paper reviews some of the previous discussion and then presents one way of classifying the inferences made by researchers in linking concepts and their indicators. At the conclusion, the distribution of these inferences among students of one field, the study of human behavior under stressful conditions, is examined.
AF49 638 992