Methodological Thinking in Psychology: 60 Years Gone Astray?

IAP

A volume in Advances in Cultural Psychology Series Editor: Jaan Valsiner, Clark University In recent years an increasing dissatisfaction with methods and thinking in psychology as a science can be observed. The discipline is operating under the tension between the traditional quantitative and the new qualitative methodologies. New approaches emerge in different fields of psychology and education-each of them trying to go beyond limitations of the mainstream. These new approaches, however, tend to be "historically blind" - seemingly novel ideas have actually been common in some period in the history of psychology. Knowledge of historical trends in that context becomes crucial because analysis of historical changes in psychology is informative regarding the potential of "new/old and forgotten" approaches in the study of psyche. Some approaches in psychology disappeared due to inherent limitations of them; the others disappeared due to purely non-scientific reasons. And some new approaches were rejected long ago for well-justified scientific reasons. This book brings together contributions from leading scholars in different fields of psychology - cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, cultural psychology, methodology of psychology. Each of the contributors discusses methodological issues that were more thoroughly understood more than half a century ago than they are now. Overall, the contributions support the idea that in important ways 60 years old psychology was far ahead of the most recent trends in mainstream psychology.
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About the author

AARO TOOMELA is Visiting Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Tartu in Estonia.

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Additional Information

Publisher
IAP
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Published on
Dec 31, 2010
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Pages
345
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ISBN
9781607524311
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Educational Psychology
Psychology / Research & Methodology
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This unusual collection explores the development of ideas in psychology's past, and shapes them into a valuable resource for ideas in the discipline's future, with particular emphasis on holistic traditions in psychology. Diriwochter and Valsiner focus on developmental holistic psychology as advocated by the second school of Leipzig in Germany. Although largely neglected, this school of thought has provided some of the fundamental ideas necessary for a truly holistic approach in psychology. This volume includes Leibniz's dynamic holism and Ehrenfels' discussion about Gestalt qualities, which has generally been acknowledged as a major milestone in the formation of Gestalt psychology. Each chapter looks at the possible future of holistic psychology. Striving for the Whole contains several well-though out discussions on possible elaborations of holistic psychology by contrasting it with Ernst Boesch's cultural psychology, Pierre Janet's theory on emotions, and Jan Smuts holistic approach to personality theory. Discussions of holistic approaches in biology and evolutionary psychology, as well as a renewed look at Lloyd Morgan's comparative methodology, complete the volume. Striving for the Whole has been written by an international group of authors and will be of interest to students of the social sciences and intellectual history, and anyone who wants to dive deeper into holistic approaches that maintain their ties with empirical methodology. It is ideal for graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses in psychology.
"This book explores the development of ideas in psychology's past. It is the initial volume in a series intended to shape such ideas into a valuable resource for the discipline's future. Scientists, in general, are known to ignore their own history, considering it to be a graveyard of failures. In Thinking in Psychological Science, selected ideas of key figures in the cognitive, comparative, and developmental sides of psychologyKarl Duncker, Karl Biihler, Tamara Dembo, Zing-Young Kuo, C. Lloyd Morgan, Alexander Chamberlain, and Arnold Gesellare traced, and the social contexts of their ideas are given a collective analysis, focusing on the potential of these ideas for the present state of psychology.Representing the scientist as ""hero"" has become a necessary component when applying for research monies from governmentally controlled funding agencies. Yet the reality is just the opposite: Science is not just the product of ""heroes""; it is the product of many individuals who often search for solutions to basic problems throughout their lifetimes while only a few arrive at breakthroughs. Still, familiarity with the flow of thought in the efforts to solve the basic problems of humankind is necessary for any understanding of creativity. This book analyzes the processes involved in the search for solutions to major theoretical problemsof development (Kuo, Gesell), action and cognition (Biihler, Bunker, Dembo), and methodology (Morgan). Ultimately, this is an exciting volume that reveals real science in the making.Thinking in Psychological Science will be of interest to students of the social sciences and intellectual history. It is ideal for graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses in psychology, the sociology of science, and cognitive science."
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