Epilogue: From Words to Numbers and Back Again

  • Michael Smithson
Part of the Recent Research in Psychology book series (PSYCHOLOGY)


What are we to make of fuzzy set theory in the human sciences? Does it possess the potential its adherents claim for it? And is it worth taking the trouble to learn it? These and other similar questions are reasonable for any researcher to ask, especially given the plethora of techniques, methods, and devices one could spend time on. Many behavioral and social scientists have been led down the garden path by persuasive methodologists’ promises of problems solved and data made intelligible. Many methodological advocates have been guilty as well of falling prey to the “Law of the Instrument” (i.e., give a youngster a hammer and suddenly everything needs hammering). Certainly some fuzzy set apologists have made exaggerated claims for fuzzy set and possibility theory, especially in the early years of their development.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Smithson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral SciencesJames Cook University of North QueenslandTownsvilleAustralia

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