October 19, 2021
A theory is a set of interrelated parts or variables, definitions and propositions that present a systematic view of phenomena by determining the relationships between variables, with the aim of explaining natural phenomena. Labovitz and Hagedorn define theory as the idea of "theoretical thinking" which they define as "determining" how and why variables and relational statements relate to each other. The word theory has different meanings in different fields of knowledge depending on the methodology and context of the discussion. In general, theory is an analysis of the relationship between one fact and another in a set of facts. In addition, in contrast to theorems, theoretical statements are generally only accepted on a "temporary" basis and are not conclusive final statements. This indicates that the theory comes from drawing conclusions that have the potential for error, in contrast to drawing conclusions on mathematical proofs. While more specifically in the social sciences, there is also social theory. Neuman defines social theory as a system of interconnected abstractions or ideas that summarize and organize knowledge about the social world. It should be noted that theory is different from ideology, a researcher is sometimes biased in distinguishing theory and ideology. There are similarities between the two, but they are clearly different. Theory can be part of an ideology, but ideology is not a theory. For example, human alienation is a theory put forward by Karl Marx, but Marxism or Communism as a whole is an ideology. In science, theory in science means a model or frame of mind that explains natural phenomena or certain social phenomena. Theories are formulated, developed, and evaluated according to the scientific method. Theory is also a hypothesis that has been proven true. Humans build theories to explain, predict, and control certain phenomena (for example, inanimate objects, natural events, or animal behavior). Often, theory is seen as a model of reality (eg when a cat meows it means asking for food). A theory forms generalizations over many observations and consists of a coherent and interrelated collection of ideas. The term theoretical can be used to describe something that is predicted by a theory but has never been observed. For example, until recently, black holes were categorized as theoretical because they were predicted according to the general theory of relativity but had never been observed in nature. There is a misconception that if a scientific theory has received sufficient evidence and has been tested by other researchers, it will become a scientific law. This is not true because the definitions of scientific law and scientific theory are different. Theory will remain theory, and law will remain law.