operationalism


op·er·a·tion·al·ism

noun \-shnə-ˌli-zəm, -shə-nə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of OPERATIONALISM

:  a view that the concepts or terms used in nonanalytic scientific statements must be definable in terms of identifiable and repeatable operations
op·er·a·tion·al·ist \-list, -ist\ noun
op·er·a·tion·al·is·tic \-ˌrā-shnə-ˈlis-tik, -shə-nə-ˈlis-tik\ adjective

First Known Use of OPERATIONALISM

1931

operationalism

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In the philosophy of science, the attempt to define all scientific concepts in terms of specifically described operations of measurement and observation. The length of a rod, for example, may be defined as the number of times a certain stick can be laid end to end alongside it. Propositions that are not amenable to verification through measurement and observation are rejected as meaningless (see also logical positivism). Operationalists rejected the idea of nature as a thing-in-itself existing behind the appearances observed in experimentation. Operationalism is closely associated with the work of the U.S. physicist Percy W. Bridgman (1882–1961).

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: operationalize
Previous Word in the Dictionary: operational fatigue
All Words Near: operationalism

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up operationalism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).