By Leendert P. Mos, Hans van Rappard, Pieter J. van Strien, William J. Baker
1. division of Psychonomics, unfastened University
2. division of Psychology, collage of Groningen
3. heart for complicated research in Theoretical Psychology, collage of Alberta
4. division of Psychology, Concordia Lutheran collage
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Extra info for Annals of Theoretical Psychology, Volume 8
In fact, the history of twentieth century psychology provides little or no support for such an implicit "Hidden Hand" model of development. Major changes in the favored patterns of investigative practice seem to have depended more on shifts in the goals of investigation than on a rational choice of means with constant fixed goals. In dealing with the construction of empirical objects one has, therefore, to distinguish between specific instances of such objects, produced at a particular time and place, and the general features of such objects which characterize them over extended historical periods and in numerous locations.
We will return to this issue in the last section. 3. Categorical Construction In considering the constructive activity of which psychological objects are the products, a distinction must be made between two aspects. On the one hand, the construction of psychological objects involves some kind of thought work, the development of certain categorical frameworks, and the fitting of instances into such frameworks. Categories such as 'motivation' or 'association' have to be invented, and the domain of their applicability has to be worked out.
Moreover, in psychological experiments on human subjects, the group involved in the production of knowledge consists not just of investigators but also of those who are the source of raw data. In the research process, knowledge generation is accomplished collectively and not individually. Like all social activity, this collective enterprise is governed by defmite rules as well as by the interests of those who participate in it. These social conditions will be reflected in the form of the product (Whitley, 1984).