Center for Theoretical Behavioral Sciences
The Center for Theoretical Behavioral Sciences at UCI focuses on theories. This plan is motivated by the observation that the natural sciences in general, and social sciences in particular, critically depend on theories. Experiments move science forward during the periods of what Thomas Kuhn called “normal science”. But the most significant conceptual steps call for new theories. As James Conant put it, a theory is only overthrown by a better theory, never merely by contradictory facts. It is easier now than ever to collect data, and there is a straightforward path from the production of data to conference and journal papers. Theories are different. They require careful reflection and formulation, often over an extended period of time. But the payoff in understanding can be transformational.