Theories and theory building in psychology


In this course, we will explore the topic of scientific theory. More specifically, we will ask questions about theory that are central to understanding and conducting research in psychology:

  • What is a theory? 
  • What criteria must a good theory meet? 
  • Do some well-known examples of psychological theories meet these criteria? 
  • What makes them successful? 
  • How can we improve our own theorizing? 
  • What is the relationship between empirical evidence, theories, and applications? 
  • Is (fruitful) research possible without theory?

We will try to answer these and other questions in the workshop. In doing so, the event places great emphasis on interaction with each other (see admission requirements).


Speaker: Karolin Salmen is a research assistant and is doing her PhD on serial reproduction (Social Psychology Unit) at the University of Heidelberg. After a bachelor's degree in psychology in Münster, Germany, and exchange studies at Peking University, China, she completed master's degrees in psychology (Heidelberg) and social cognition (University College, London). She researches and teaches on the influence of communication on cognition, as well as collective and social information sharing, reasoning, and decision making.