|September 11, 2012
Dr. Michael Scriven—Professor of Psychology, Claremont Graduate School
The usual trajectory of conceptual revolutions in science is that each replaces a prior view (the previous paradigm) with a radically different and more accurate one based on breakthrough research. The situation in evaluation was different: the first great paradigm shift—the doctrine of value-free science—involved rejecting all evaluative claims from the domain of scientific knowledge. The second shift returned them to respectability and provided the license for the current massive developments in ten sub-fields of professional evaluation e.g., program, product, and personnel evaluation. But the most exciting changes are still ahead, including upgrades to the status of (i) alpha discipline, (ii) applied science paradigm, and (iii) the big kahuna.