Comparing the incommensurable: Where science and politics collide

Lee, Christina (1996) Comparing the incommensurable: Where science and politics collide. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 26 3: 259-263. doi:10.1016/0005-7916(95)00031-T


Author Lee, Christina
Title Comparing the incommensurable: Where science and politics collide
Journal name Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0005-7916
1873-7943
Publication date 1996
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/0005-7916(95)00031-T
Volume 26
Issue 3
Start page 259
End page 263
Total pages 5
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Abstract Arguments about the possibility that cognitive variables may play a causal role in human behavior are unlikely to be resolved in favor of one side or the other, because they set against each other two incommensurable views of human agency. Contemporary cognitive models of psychology are based on an implicitly dualist view of human behavior, assuming the existence of a nonmaterial mental realm which has the capacity to act on the material world. Critics, by comparison, frequently argue from an epiphenomenalist position. While there may be sound scientific reasons for rejecting self-efficacy theory, and particularly for rejecting the utility of the concept that behavior is caused by efficacy expectations, this paper argues that epistemic criteria are frequently less important than a sense that a theory is compatible with a particular world view. I argue that cognitive theories are accepted by the psychological mainstream because their dualist basis accords with deeply held cultural beliefs about the relationship between the person and the world. However, the social and political consequences of such models are rarely articulated, and there is a need for psychologists to develop a more explicit understanding of the relationship between psychological theories and their broader implications.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 07 Feb 2011, 17:12:45 EST by Christina Lee on behalf of School of Psychology