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Table 3 Choosing theories

From: Designing theoretically-informed implementation interventions

• Determine the origins of the theory.
The "origins of a theory" refers to the original development of the theory. Who developed it? Where are they from (institution, discipline)? What prompted the originator to develop it? Is there evidence to support or refute the development of the theory?
Examine the meaning of the theory.
The meaning of a theory has to do with the theory's concepts and how they relate to each other. What are the concepts comprising the theory? How are the concepts defined? What is the relationship between concepts?
Analyze the logical consistency of the theory.
The logical adequacy of a theory is the logical structure of the concepts and statements. Are there any logical fallacies in the structure of the theory?
Consider the degree of generalisability and parsimony of the theory.
Generalisability refers to the extent to which generalizations can be made from the theory. Parsimony refers to how simply and briefly a theory can be stated and still be complete in its explanation of the phenomenon in question.
Determine the testability of the theory.
Can the theory be supported with empirical data? A theory that cannot generate hypotheses that can be subjected to empirical testing through research is not testable.
Determine the usefulness of the theory.
Usefulness of the theory is about how practical and helpful the theory is in providing a sense of understanding and/or predictable outcomes.