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Editorial. From "modern" to "postmodern" psychology: is there a way past?

Editorial. From "modern" to "postmodern" psychology: is there a way past?

Hanfstingl, Barbara, Uher, Jana ORCID: 0000-0003-2450-4943, Edelsbrunner, Peter A., Dettweiler, Ulrich and Gnambs, Timo (2023) Editorial. From "modern" to "postmodern" psychology: is there a way past? Frontiers in Psychology, 14:1091721. pp. 1-5. ISSN 1664-1078 (Online) (doi:

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Contemporary psychology is facing profound problems and various obstacles to advancing its research, as reflected in its continued crises in replicability, confidence, generalizability, and validity. "Modern" paradigms, involving beliefs in determinative cause-effect relations between the elements of an objectively given world, which is thus amenable to experimental, rational exploration and mostly linear statistical analyses, often no longer do justice to the complexity of psychology’s contemporary research questions. Critical analyses of established concepts and approaches have not yet been sufficiently considered in mainstream theorizing nor have adequate consequences been drawn from them to advance our understanding of the phenomena of mind and behavior and to elaborate overarching frameworks and to further methodologies and methods that are suited for their exploration.
This Research Topic assembled contributions from authors with expertise in different specialties to work towards developing a new understanding of psychological science, aimed at tackling current problems and devising possible solutions by exploring the promises of “postmodernism” as well as of further epistemologies and research paradigms beyond. In the context of science, “postmodernism” has no overarching meaning. It is associated with epistemological developments after Karl Popper's critical rationalism, such as constructivism, systemic approaches, and epistemological as well as a methodological plurality. To avoid fruitless doctrinal dispute, we did not insist on the terms "modern" and "postmodern" nor on any narrow definition of them. Instead, we invited papers proposing new ideas and solutions that may have the potential to tackle the epistemological, conceptual, and methodological challenges of “modern” psychology and to improve research quality through more critical and more in-depth reconsiderations commonly done in currently popular calls for ‘robust analysis’, preregistration, replicability, and open science. Our key questions were to what extent we need to abandon the ideas of critical rationalism, to what extent we need to integrate concepts and methodological strategies from other disciplines, and to what extent we should focus on entirely new problem-solving strategies.
The current Research Topic includes 15 articles from different world regions that have discussed these issues and key questions from multiple perspectives. Here, we briefly summarize these contributions to highlight their diversity as well as central themes in their future-oriented reflections and proposals for solutions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: modern psychology; postmodern psychology; methodology; psychology of science; epistemology in psychology; psychological phenomena and processes; metatheory; methods; quantitative psychology; measurement; crisis in psychology; generalisability; validity; confidence; replicability
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2023 09:46

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