Critical psychology: contributions to an historical science by Charles W. Tolman

By Charles W. Tolman

During this quantity, Klaus Holzkamp and his colleagues supply a coherent and generally elaborated description of severe Psychology--a conception of the evolution of the social structure of human cognizance and sorts of psychological activity--which has been in improvement in Germany for greater than two decades and constitutes an intensive critique and reconstruction of clinical psychology from a dialectical and old- materialistic viewpoint. Its objective is to supply a more impregnable starting place than almost immediately exists for a psychology that's methodologically sound, essentially correct, and theoretically determinate. during this quantity, Tolman and Maiers coordinate the contributions of numerous German psychologists led by means of Klaus Holzkamp and his colleagues. Infused with theoretical sophistication, the papers aspect the consequences of severe Psychology on numerous fronts: a conception of feelings, sorts of psychotherapy, the effect of automation within the office, and a conception of studying. Chapters construct upon one another, going from common problems with method to extra particular matters. serious Psychology: Contributions to an ancient technology of the topic is the 1st e-book to make serious Psychology available to an English-speaking viewers. As a primary strength within the exploration of job conception, this paintings should be of curiosity to cognitive psychologists, developmental psychologists, social anthropologists, and educators.

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If theories today are understood in terms of ·reflective, conscious action, and so on, but then are tested according to the variable scheme, a tacit category error is committed that is just as tacitly reversed in the interpretation of the findings thus gained. What follows from this for the objectivity of such theory testing deserves more discussion than we can give it here. The basic research logic of modern variable psychology has been criticized by various alternative approaches (l) categorially, for its quasi-behavioristic elimination of subjectivity and the subjective quality of human action, and (2) methodologically, for its advocacy of experimental-statistical analysis (together with its empiricistic observability criterion, its rules for operationalization and/or measurement, and its logical scheme for [causal] explanation and prediction) as the royal road to psychological knowledge, and so on.

1 Critical Psychology: Historical Background and Task 25 2 We won't get away entirely, however, without reminiscences. Historically, our approach to a critical psychological concept formation has taken place along with a clarification of the interconnections among truth claims, knowledgeguiding interests, and the function of scientific research in society, and it remains systematically bound to such a clarification. That clarification was placed onto the agenda of the student movement under the rubric "crisis of relevance" or "dominance character" of the social sciences.

Critical Psychologists note that the objective societal conditions provide only ''premises'' for individual behavior, not causes. Thus the "independent variable" approach to human behavior typical of mainstream bourgeois psychology is wrong on two counts. First, it does not take subjective grounds for action into account. In fact, experimental designs are often explicitly intended to eliminate such subjective grounds. Second, the concept of "variable" is altogether too abstract. Real understanding of human action can only come from an analysis of the concrete societal situation of the individual.

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