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In the article, Kimble argued that, like biology and physics, psychology holds fundamental principles that cut across its various specialties. Kimble was strongly committed to a fully unified, general psychology. Nearly a decade before this Psychological Science essay was published, he served as president of Division 1 of the American Psychological Association, the sole division explicitly devoted to General Psychology. These two companion articles helped Kimble form the basis for a later book-length treatment, Psychology: The Hope of a Science The irony is that during the very period in which Kimble intensified his integration endeavors, psychology began to disintegrate as a discipline as tensions between the scientists and the practitioners escalated.

Moreover, he had only shortly before published survey results documenting the wide chasm separating the scientists and the practitioners experimental psychologists and psychotherapists, more specifically.


The two groups had contrasting beliefs about such divisive issues as scientific versus human values, determinism versus indeterminism, objectivism versus intuitionism, laboratory investigations versus field studies, nomothetic versus idiographic explanations, and elementism versus holism cf. Simonton, Needless to say, the scientists stressed the first position of each bipolar dimension.

From Philosophical Beginnings to the Modern Day

And so did Kimble, along with many other psychologists who joined APS. Where his article had concentrated on methodological issues, the Psychological Science article focused on substantive questions. Reductionism by itself is not a bad thing, but what makes the reductionism in this paper so conspicuous is its ambitious magnitude.

For many psychologists, therefore, reductionism is more likely to nudge psychological science closer to biology, not physics.

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It is safe to conjecture that not since Clark L. Staats, Moreover, some psychologists have argued that any successful unification must incorporate linkages from disciplines on the other side of the hierarchy, such as economics, anthropology, and other social sciences e.

Psychology of science - Wikipedia

Human psychology has roots in both biological conditions and the sociocultural context. Fanelli, D. Bibliometric evidence for a hierarchy of the sciences. Kimble, G.


American Psychologist , 39 , — Psychology from the standpoint of a generalist. American Psychologist , 44 , — Psychological Science , 1 , 36— Functional behaviorism: A plan for unity in psychology. American Psychologist, 54 , — Behaviorism and unity in psychology. One of his biggest contributions was in operant conditioning. He identified positive reinforcements, negative reinforcements, positive punishment and negative punishment. When looking at all the data and research on psychology and the very fact that psychologists can help people with mental illness shows that psychology is a real science.

That psychology does belong with the other sciences out there. Psychology is still relatively new but even if it is we as a society know so much about human behavior because of psychology and the people out there who is determined to learn about what makes humans tick.

PY4 Controversies: The status of Psychology as a Science

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What is psychology?

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