New PDF release: Annals of Theoretical Psychology

By Hans V. Rappard, Pieter J. van Strien (auth.), Hans V. Rappard, Pieter J. Van Strien, Leendert P. Mos, William J. Baker (eds.)

ISBN-10: 0306445646

ISBN-13: 9780306445644

ISBN-10: 1461362989

ISBN-13: 9781461362982

ISBN-10: 1461529824

ISBN-13: 9781461529828

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Variations in such rules are governed by technical questions of finding the best means for arriving at a given end. But variations in the ends themselves, that is, in the general type of empirical object desired, are not reducible to technical questions within the discipline. Such variations are only explicable on a level of historical inquiry which takes disciplinary patterns and trends as its subject matter. Because of the extraordinary hold which a positivist understanding of their own activity has exerted on psychologists, and because of the justificationist commitment of much of the relevant historiography, little attention has been paid to an analysis of the general features of empirical objects in modern psychology.

In a pragmatic civilization the question of utility was unavoidable for an ambitious intellectual enterprise, and American psychologists, beginning with William James (1892), certainly lost no time stressing the potential practical usefulness of their endeavors (Danziger, 1979). Many of their early claims were wildly optimistic in this regard and it was obvious that deeds would have to quickly follow words if the latter were not to sound completely empty. The early investigative practices of the discipline would have to be adapted so as to produce psychological objects that were indeed useful on a significant scale.

As a result, the psychological objects that flourished in these practical contexts were largely of this type (Danziger, 1987a; 1990a). This undeniable practical success ensured paradigm status for the investigative practices on which it was based. With very few exceptions American psychologists came to take it for granted that the kind of knowledge which would be socially useful was statistically constructed knowledge. Because of the continuing need to legitimize even so-called 'pure' research on grounds of ultimate social usefulness, this conviction was readily translated into noons of investigative practice that became pervasive throughout the discipline.

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Annals of Theoretical Psychology by Hans V. Rappard, Pieter J. van Strien (auth.), Hans V. Rappard, Pieter J. Van Strien, Leendert P. Mos, William J. Baker (eds.)


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