How to Theorize: A two-day workshop on creative theory generation and critical thinking, 2017-2018

Kurt Lewin Instituut
Heidelberglaan 1
Room Number H1.42
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 - 253 3027

How to Theorize: A two-day workshop on creative theory generation and critical thinking, 2017-2018

Teaching staff
dr. Martijn van Zomeren (University of Groningen)

Type of course
Theory-oriented Workshops

June 28 and June 29, 2018

University of Groningen, room to be announced.

2 days


The maximum number of participants in this workshop is 14. If needed, selection will be based on starting date of the PhD project: priority will be given to senior PhD students.

1 EC wil be appointed for participation in the complete workshop.

Graduate school curricula typically focus on teaching students how to do research, but fail to include training on how to theorize. However, the latter is absolutely pivotal because theorizing is essential to interpreting any research finding. Specifically, being trained in creative theory generation and critical thinking will make one’s research designs stronger and the resulting findings more meaningful. This two-day workshop introduces the question of how to theorize through a focused, creative, and interactive approach. Its main message is that, much like doing research, theorizing is something that is fun, interactive, and inherently social. As such, it can be learned through exercise and training. In the workshop, we will focus, for instance, on using helpful heuristics to creatively generate hypotheses (based on McGuire’s (1997) approach); and on ‘critical thinking’ that revolves around identifying and playing around with meta-theoretical assumptions (Slife & Williams, 1995); introspectively and collectively defining core concepts in social psychology (through the Socratic Dialogue technique); and identifying one’s own ‘hidden assumptions’ about what one studies. Through this hands-on approach, this workshop should not just lead to more knowledge and understanding of how to theorize, but also to a more creative and critical approach to theory and research in social psychology.

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