THEORIES & How Theories, Concepts, & Measures Relate to Each Other #ARDA

Theories, Concepts & Measures

by ARDA, Association of Religion Data Archives

Social scientists observe that the world of religion consists of regularities and anomalies, seeking explanations for both. A theorist suggests a set of ideas to explain one aspect of religious behavior, hopefully in terms of a few clear statements using words that can be defined unambiguously. Ideally, it will be possible to derive logical consequences of the ideas that can be stated as formal hypotheses. The concepts in a hypothesis must be operationalized in terms of specific measures for which data can be collected in an empirical study. This will be a collegial effort, enlisting the cooperation of researchers, universities, journal editors, institutes and associations of scholars to increase the impact and awareness of important findings in religion research.

A general introduction to the philosophy of this project is:

The site has four categories of articles:


We hope this site will provide users with many resources in conducting research or writing scholarly articles, policy briefs, or general information for public consumption. Here are a few of the many uses:

1) Enhance your citations and knowledge of the literature: Our pages include citations which refer users to major works which utilize the theory, concept or measure in question.
2) Improve your measurement of concepts: Explore the variables researchers commonly utilize in measuring complex concepts.
3) Draw links between theoretical orientations: Explore how many concepts and measures are shared across theoretical orientations.
4) Move seamlessly from theory to research: This site allows users to trace theoretical hypotheses to specific quantitative indicators and back again. Along the way citations to key research help to further clarify this process.

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