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Situational analysis (or Situational logic) is a concept advanced by Popper in his The Poverty of Historicism. Situational analysis is a process by which a social scientist tries to reconstruct the problem situation confronting an agent in order to understand that agent's choice.

Koertge (1975) provides a helpful clarificatory summary.[note 1]

First provide a description of the situation:
''Agent A was in a situation of type C''.
This situation is then analysed
''In a situation of type C, the appropriate thing to do is X.''
The rationality principle may then be called upon:
''agents always act appropriately to their situation''
Finally we have the explanadum:
''(therefore) A did X.''[1][2][3]


  1. ^ This use of this summary is from Boumans and Davis (2010)


  1. ^ Boumans, M and Davis, John B. (2010) Economic Methodology: Understanding Economics as a science, Palgrave Macmillan (p129-133)
  2. ^ Popper, Karl (1957) The Poverty of Historicism, Routledge
  3. ^ Koertge, N (1975) Popper's Metaphysical Research Program for the Human Sciences, Inquiry, 18 (1975), 437-62.