Skip navigation

Psychology’s status as a science: peculiarities and intrinsic challenges. Moving beyond its current deadlock towards conceptual integration

Psychology’s status as a science: peculiarities and intrinsic challenges. Moving beyond its current deadlock towards conceptual integration

Uher, Jana ORCID: 0000-0003-2450-4943 (2020) Psychology’s status as a science: peculiarities and intrinsic challenges. Moving beyond its current deadlock towards conceptual integration. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 55 (1). pp. 212-224. ISSN 1932-4502 (Print), 1936-3567 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12124-020-09545-0)

[img]
Preview
PDF (Publisher's PDF - Open Access)
30459 UHER_Psychologys_Status_As_A_Science_Peculiarities_And_Intrinsic_Challenges_(OA)_2020.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (369kB) | Preview

Abstract

Psychology holds an exceptional position among the sciences. Yet even after 140 years as an independent discipline, psychology is still struggling with its most basic foundations. Its key phenomena, mind and behaviour, are poorly defined (and their definition instead often delegated to neuroscience or philosophy) while specific terms and constructs proliferate. A unified theoretical framework has not been developed and its categorisation as a ‘soft science’ ascribes to psychology a lower level of scientificity. The article traces these problems to the peculiarities of psychology’s study phenomena, their interrelations with and centrality to everyday knowledge and language (which may explain the proliferation and unclarity of terms and concepts), as well as to their complex relations with other study phenomena. It shows that adequate explorations of such diverse kinds of phenomena and their interrelations with the most elusive of all—immediate experience—inherently require a plurality of epistemologies, paradigms, theories, methodologies and methods that complement those developed for the natural sciences. Their systematic integration within just one discipline, made necessary by these phenomena’s joint emergence in the single individual as the basic unit of analysis, makes psychology in fact the hardest science of all. But Galtonian nomothetic methodology has turned much of today’s psychology into a science of populations rather than individuals, showing that blind adherence to natural-science principles has not advanced but impeded the development of psychology as a science. Finally, the article introduces paradigmatic frameworks that can provide solid foundations for conceptual integration and new developments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: experience, terminology, Soft Science, nomothetic, construct, integrative framework
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2021 13:27
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/30459

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics