The Scientific Credibility of Commonsense Psychology

  • Garth J. O. Fletcher
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)


By the early 1980s, the idea that ordinary human social cognition is rational or scientific in character was under serious attack in personality and social psychology. Personality psychology was in the throes of the debate concerning whether behavior was consistent across situations and, although the jury was still out on the issue, powerful voices and persuasive data suggested that the concept of personality traits was a quaint shibboleth of commonsense psychology. As Nisbett and Ross (1980) put it, “the personality theorists’ (and the layperson’s) conviction that there are strong cross-situational consistencies in behavior may be seen as merely another instance of theory-driven covariation assessments operating in the face of contrary evidence” (p. 112).


Social Cognition Scientific Realism Folk Psychology Social Judgment Personality Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Garth J. O. Fletcher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CanterburyChristchurch 1New Zealand

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