Reconstruction of past Events from Memory: An Alternative to the Hypothetico-Deductive (H-D) Method

Behavior and Philosophy 30:101 - 122 (2002)
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According to the demand of the Hypothetico-Deductive (H-D) method, a theory is confirmed when the prediction-observation (p-o) gap is small and disconfirmed when the gap is large. A major goal of this paper is to introduce a research domain for which this demand does not hold. In contrast to the H-D method's demand, this research, called the Catch model for reconstructing a face previously seen from memory, requires an increase, within limits, in the p-o gap. The Catch model research substantiates theoretically and empirically a new proposed method that I call the "Deductive-Reconstruction" (D-R) method. This method provides essential conditions whose fulfillment guarantees successful reconstruction of past events (a face previously seen) from memory. It is argued that the D-R method fits the area of research of reconstructing past events from memory better than the H-D method. Application of the H-D method to the Catch model's research domain leads to an internal contradiction and failure to reconstruct past events (a face previously seen) from memory. Finally, the nature of the D-R method along with the Catch model is discussed from three points of view: confirmation, explanation, and generality.



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