Download Annals of Theoretical Psychology (Volume 5) by Arthur W. Staats, Leendert P. Mos PDF

By Arthur W. Staats, Leendert P. Mos

Facing the subject of Unification in Psychology.

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As a result, the natural sciences ultimately came to expect that the seemingly diverse phenomena studied had an underlying unity. This can be called an assumption-which it is in any new case, when one assumes there is unity before it has yet been found. But it really is a conclusion, a result of the fact that underlying unity has been found in many cases in the past. This is one of the primary ways in which the unified sciences differ from the disunified sciences. In the former case the assumption of underlying unity occurs before the fact, and an investment is made in finding that unity.

Gergen (1973) considers psychology to be a historical science rather than a natural science. The social constructivist position is that different views see different things (Scarr, 1985, pp. 499-500) and that the basis of scientific views is an "artifact of communal interchange" (Gergen, 1985, p. 266). The criticism of the logical positivist view of the nature of observations in science has been mounted as a vehicle for rejecting an objectivistic, observational, natural science approach to psychology.

In the natural sciences new physical elements, new astronomical bodies, new drugs, new apparatus, new subatomic particles are discovered, and new theories as well. Therefore those who have wished to make of psychology a science have accepted such discovery as a goal, as it is an important goal of any science. But when it is the only goal in a disunified science it can cause problems. In the natural sciences the impulse to proliferate novelty is counterbalanced by the impulse to decrease the growing number of elements by unification.

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