Theory Construction and Model-Building Skills: A Practical Guide for Social Scientists

By James Jaccard PhD , Jacob Jacoby PhD, Guilford Press, 2010. Available on Amazon. Found courtesy of a tweet by EvalCollective.

See also the book review by Brandy Pratt, Western Michigan University, Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, Volume 6, Number 14, ISSN 1556-8180, August 2010

Amazon book description:  Meeting a crucial need for graduate students and newly minted researchers, this innovative text provides hands-on tools for generating ideas and translating them into formal theories. It is illustrated with numerous practical examples drawn from multiple social science disciplines and research settings. The authors offer clear guidance for defining constructs, thinking through relationships and processes that link constructs, and deriving new theoretical models (or building on existing ones) based on those relationships. Step by step, they show readers how to use causal analysis, mathematical modeling, simulations, and grounded and emergent approaches to theory construction. A chapter on writing about theories contains invaluable advice on crafting effective papers and grant applications.

Useful pedagogical features in every chapter include:

*Application exercises and concept exercises.

*Lists of key terms and engaging topical boxes.

*Annotated suggestions for further reading.”


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