Multiple methods in psychology: Epistemological grounding and the possibility of unity

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The problem of methodological pluralism in psychology is addressed. The dominant paradigm, in which experimental methods are assigned top priority and quantification is preferred over qualitative methods, is no longer tenable in light of criticisms by philosophers of science and psychologists. The emergence of a panoply of alternative methods is reviewed and the problems of constuctionism, eclecticism, and fragmentation are delineated. Solutions based on an indigenous epistemological foundation for psychology are sought in Continental philosophy. The commensurability of experimental, psychoanalytic, and phenomenological psychologies is explored in an effort to secure unity among diverse methods. Educational requirements for a new kind of scientific research in the twenty-first century are discussed.

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