In his Studies in the Theory of Human Society (1922), Giddings offered a defence of behaviourism, arguing that ‘psychology has become experimental and objective. It has discriminated between reflex and conditioning’. He also insisted that ‘sociology [is] a science statistical in method’ and that ‘a true and complete description of anything must include measurement of it’. Similarly, Lundberg maintained that sociology could be modelled on the natural sciences, and should observe the behaviour of human beings in social situations but without reference to concepts such as feelings, ends, motives, values, and will (which he described as ‘the phlogiston of the social sciences’). Like Giddings, Lundberg argued that science dealt in exact descriptions and generalization, both of which required ‘the quantitative statement’. He emphasized the importance of attitude scales in this context, and insisted (in common with earlier positivists) that science cannot formulate value statements, and that sociology must be a science in this mould.
In so far as neo-positivism had a lasting influence on the development of American sociology, this is perhaps best seen in later mathematical sociology, as for example in Richard M. Emerson's attempt to integrate mathematical theory and exchange theory (reported in J. Berger et al. ( eds.) , Sociological Theories in Progress, 1972)
. There are those (see, for example, J. Gibbs , Sociological Theory Construction, 1972
) who continue to insist that the most important criterion of a scientific theory is testability, and that only a mathematically formalized theory is empirically testable.
"neo-positivism." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 9, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/neo-positivism
"neo-positivism." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved April 09, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/neo-positivism
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.