Putting Theory-Ladenness to the Test

AbstractThis paper explores two experiment designs that seek to determine the extent to which, if at all, observation can be free from theory. The two designs are compared and found to be similar in certain ways. One particular feature critical to both is that they seek to create conditions that compel test subjects with diverse theoretical backgrounds to resort to bare observational skills. If judgments made on the basis of these skills converge, such convergence would provide support for the view that theory-neutral observations can be had.

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