Scientific Research Programs

A scientific research program, as understood by Lakatos (1970), is a theory or succession of theories that is, at least in principle, empirically testable. Some theories that make statements about personality are much broader in scope than any scientific research program--for example, they may predict our ultimate ends and prescribe the best way for us to live. (For those interested in theories of sweeping scope that make statements about personality, Stevenson & Haberman's [1998] Ten Theories of Human Nature is recommended.) However, only theories that at least aspire to empirical testability--that is, scientific research programs--are included in this website.


Lakatos, I. (1970). Falsification and the methodology of scientific research programmes. In I. Lakatos & A. Musgrave (Eds.), Criticism and the growth of knowledge (pp. 91-196). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Stevenson, L., & Haberman, D. L. (1998). Ten theories of human nature (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Last modified January 2001
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