|1.||[ noun ] (psychology) a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a set of phenomena|
"theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"
|Related terms:||explanation content economic_theory reductionism holism field_theory scientific_theory structuralism structuralism preformation blastogenesis atomic_theory hypothesis law|
|2.||[ noun ] a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena|
"a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory"
|Related terms:||concept model assumption speculation speculate|
|3.||[ noun ] a belief that can guide behavior|
"the architect has a theory that more is less" "they killed him on the theory that dead men tell no tales"
|Related terms:||belief patchwork speculate|