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n. Philosophy
The view that all theoretical terms in science must be defined only by their procedures or operations.

op′er·a′tion·al·ist n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˌɒpəˈreɪʃənəˌlɪzəm) or


(Philosophy) philosophy the theory that scientific terms are defined by the experimental operations which determine their applicability
ˌoperˌationalˈistic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌɒp əˈreɪ ʃə nlˌɪz əm)

also op`er•a′tion•ism,

the view that experimental operations must define scientific terms and concepts.
op`er•a′tion•al•ist, n., adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.operationalism - (philosophy) the doctrine that the meaning of a proposition consists of the operations involved in proving or applying it
philosophy - the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
philosophical doctrine, philosophical theory - a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
discuss two questions about the assumptions and operationalism of formal
With regard to an operational definition of coherence, we ascribe to Skinner's (1945) approach to operationalism, which suggests the term coherence should be investigated by identifying and analyzing the conditions under which the scientific community uses the term.
577, 650 (1990) (calling the Court's practical approach to corporate rights "Constitutional Operationalism"); Charles R.
The most recent taxonomic revision of the Aspidoscelis hyperythra complex (Grismer, 1999) used the operationalism of diagnosable allopatric populations to elevate five insular populations, recognized as subspecies by Walker and Taylor (1968), to species rank.
We do not attempt to operationalism our own specific definition of caring mathematics instruction, because the purpose of this study was to investigate what caring meant to middle school mathematics students and teachers, as captured in their voices.
This begs the question of how one measures "dominance" in studies based on questionnaires, (on "operationalism" in Psychology see: Green, 1992), never mind the more fundamental concern with how correlation between survey responses and apparent gender implies genetic causation (DeSteno, Bartlett, Braverman, & Salovey, 2002).
With data on the one hand, and logic and theory on the other, operationalism seeks a correspondence of the two sides.
American communication scholars themselves perceive the problems of superficiality to which compulsive behavioral operationalism can lead.

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