Culture of Science: Strange History of the Methodological Thinking in Psychology
- 665 Downloads
In pre-World-War-II psychology, two directions in methodological thought—the German–Austrian and North American ways—could be differentiated. After the war, the German–Austrian methodological orientation has been largely abandoned. Compared to the pre-WWII German–Austrian psychology, modern mainstream psychology is more concerned with accumulation of facts than with general theory. Furthermore, the focus on qualitative data—in addition to quantitative data—is rarely visible. Only external–physical or statistical-rather than psychological controls are taken into account in empirical studies. Fragments—rather than wholes—and relationships are studied, and single cases that contradict group data are not analyzed. Instead of complex psychological types simple trait differences are studied, and prediction is not followed by thorough analysis of the whole situation. Last (but not least), data are not systematically related to complex theory. These limits have hindered the growth of knowledge in the behavioral sciences. A new return to an updated version of the German–Austrian methodological trajectory is suggested.
KeywordsMethodology Holism Part/whole relations
This work was supported by Estonian Science Foundation Grant No. 5388.
- Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Revised NEO personality inventory (NEO-PI-R) and NEO five-factor inventory (NEO-FFI). Professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
- Curran, P. J., & Wirth, R. J. (2004). Interindividual differences in intraindividual variation: Balancing internal and external validity. Measurement, 2(4), 219–227.Google Scholar
- Kimura, D. (1999). Sex and cognition. Cambridge, MA: Bradford Book.Google Scholar
- Koffka, K. (1935). Principles of Gestalt psychology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
- Köhler, W. (1947). Gestalt psychology. An introduction to new concepts in modern psychology. New York: Mentor Books.Google Scholar
- Mackintosh, N. J. (1998). IQ and human intelligence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Martin, J. (2003). Positivism, quantification and the phenomena of psychology. Theory and Psychology, 13(1), 33–38.Google Scholar
- Molenaar, P. C. M. (2004). A Manifesto on psychology as idiographic science: Bringing the person back into scientific psychology, this time forever. Measurement, 2(4), 201–218.Google Scholar
- Molenaar, P. C. M., & Valsiner, J. (2005). How generalization works through the single case: A simple idiographic process analysis of an individual psychotherapy. International Journal of Idiographic Science, Article 1. Retrieved October 25, 2005 from http://www.valsiner.com/articles/molenvals.htm.
- Siegler, R. S. (1996). Emerging minds. The process of change in children's thinking. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Thurstone, L. L. (1935). The vectors of mind: Multiple-factor analysis for the isolation of primary traits. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- von Bertalanffy, L. (1968). General systems theory. Foundations, development, applications. New York: George Braziller.Google Scholar
- von Eye, A. (2004). The treasures of Pandora’s box. Measurement, 2(4), 244–247.Google Scholar
- Vygotsky, L. S. (1994). The problem of the cultural development of the child. (Originally published in 1929). In R. van der Veer & J. Valsiner (Eds.), The Vygotsky reader (pp. 57–72). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Vygotsky, L. S., & Luria, A. (1994). Tool and symbol in child development. (Originally written in 1930). In R. van der Veer & J. Valsiner (Eds.), The Vygotsky reader (pp. 99–174). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.Google Scholar