Making theory from knowledge syntheses useful for public health

Making theory from knowledge syntheses useful for public health International Journal of Public Health (2018) 63:555–556 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-018-1098-2(0123456789().,-volV)(0123456789().,-volV) EDITORIAL Geoff Wong Received: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published online: 10 April 2018 Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2018 For some researchers, theory is a dirty word, akin to middle-range of abstraction. For example, we could con- nothing but a guess. For others, there is not enough theory. jecture that smokers continue to smoke, because they tend So, how do we move forward from this situation? To start, to focus on benefits they get from smoking today rather we need to define what a theory is. There are many defi- than think about what the long-term harms from smoking. nitions of theory, a simple one is a ‘‘… theory is an attempt We are conjecturing that present bias is causing them to to organize the facts—some ‘proven’, some more conjec- continue and we have specified the theory in such a way tural—within a domain of inquiry into a structurally that we could collect data to test it. coherent system.’’ (Klee 1997). Theories are more than just For theories to be useful, they should also be transfer- guesses, because they have to be at the very http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Public Health Springer Journals

Making theory from knowledge syntheses useful for public health

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Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+)
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Public Health; Occupational Medicine/Industrial Medicine; Environmental Health
ISSN
1661-8556
eISSN
1661-8564
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00038-018-1098-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

International Journal of Public Health (2018) 63:555–556 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-018-1098-2(0123456789().,-volV)(0123456789().,-volV) EDITORIAL Geoff Wong Received: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published online: 10 April 2018 Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2018 For some researchers, theory is a dirty word, akin to middle-range of abstraction. For example, we could con- nothing but a guess. For others, there is not enough theory. jecture that smokers continue to smoke, because they tend So, how do we move forward from this situation? To start, to focus on benefits they get from smoking today rather we need to define what a theory is. There are many defi- than think about what the long-term harms from smoking. nitions of theory, a simple one is a ‘‘… theory is an attempt We are conjecturing that present bias is causing them to to organize the facts—some ‘proven’, some more conjec- continue and we have specified the theory in such a way tural—within a domain of inquiry into a structurally that we could collect data to test it. coherent system.’’ (Klee 1997). Theories are more than just For theories to be useful, they should also be transfer- guesses, because they have to be at the very

Journal

International Journal of Public HealthSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 10, 2018

References

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