Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Experience

  • Ben Bradley
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_104

Introduction

Experience is perhaps the most disputed concept in this encyclopedia. At first sight, it might seem obvious that the word “experience” names the thing-to-be-explained by psychology. If the “what” of chemistry is chemicals and the what of geology is rocks and fossils, then the what of psychology must be experience, mustn’t it? Not at all. History shows that the repudiation of experience as the discipline’s defining object has been an effective launchpad both for experimental/scientific psychology andfor a powerful section of today’s critical psychologies. However, over recent years, such repudiations have had to front an increasing counterflow from the popular culture of self-disclosure in which personal experience is the principal coin – witness the rise of identity politics, reality TV, talk shows and vox pop, social media and blogging, exposés, travelogues and confessional (auto)biographies, the self-help movement, psychotherapy, and interviewing as a technique for...

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Online Resources

  1. There are myriad online sources of first-hand experience in the form of blogs: travel blogs; addiction blogs; spirituality blogs; paranormal blogs; Alzheimer’s blogs; dying blogs etc. By way of example, have a look at Gail A. Hornstein’s “Bibliography of First-Person Narratives of Madness in English (5th ed.)” http://www.gailhornstein.com/files/Bibliography_of_First_Person_Narratives_of_Madness_5th_edition.pdf
  2. Likewise, there are a zillion “qualitative research blogs” online. For a guide see http://www.qualitative360.com/news-and-blogs/11-editor-s-pick-top-qualitative-research-blogs

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyCharles Sturt UniversityBathurstAustralia