Editorial: the fragmentation of social and psychological science.
Psychology (Comparative analysis)
|Author:||Pereira, Mauro Ramos D.J.|
|Publication:||Name: Journal of Social and Psychological Sciences Publisher: Oxford Mosaic Publications Limited Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Sociology and social work Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Oxford Mosaic Publications Limited ISSN: 1756-7483|
|Issue:||Date: Jan, 2010 Source Volume: 3 Source Issue: 1|
|Product:||Product Code: 8525600 Psychology & Psychiatry NAICS Code: 54172 Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: United Kingdom Geographic Code: 4EUUK United Kingdom|
The division between Psychology and Sociology into increasingly
smaller fields of expertise has made communication between both
disciplines virtually impossible. Suddenly, these two subjects seem to
have lost the ability to talk to each other. It is certain that once
divided, competing theories within social sciences clearly hold some
element of truth. However it would be naive to regard such truths as
essential, absolute or even independent from each other. It would be
sensible to accept these truths or elaborate facts as different levels
of description which consequently require different methods of analysis.
For example, one could assert with absolute certainty (and base such
assertions upon facts) that the world which surrounds us is solid.
However, this would be truth only to a certain extent, since we now know
that atoms (the building blocks of matter) are not solid, but indeed
probabilities (leading to what is often accepted as a quantum paradox).
Based on this small example one could argue that in order to achieve a
scientifically robust analysis of sociological and psychological
phenomena, one would need to take into account that such phenomena could
be at the mercy of its numerous levels of description.
Moreover, in our endeavour to study, explore and understand the human mind there are certain lines which we as researchers do not dare crossing. This in turn sets the tone for choosing what aspects of human behaviour and interaction we consider worthy of studying. In this way, Social and Psychological science has become a 'game' with a number of rules which constraints researchers' scope of possible topics to investigate. As a social or psychological scientist one may sometimes find oneself becoming a philosopher, a neuroscientist or even a physicist when trying to make sense of highly complex issues such as the nature of human thought, action and perception. Social and psychological phenomena must be studied as being interdependent rather than two separate aspects. If we aspire to practice good science, one must above all, question our own assumptions and avoid reducing science to a simple 'empirical' game (whereby anything that falls outside empiricism [or indeed the set of pre-established rules] is not considered worthy of studying, or indeed scientific). Unless we are capable of moving out of our academic 'comfort zone' the endeavour to explore and understand the human mind is bound to remain a frivol competition for supremacy whereby theoretical approaches, instead of complementing each other will inevitably claim some sort of 'truth' ownership.
It is with this in mind that this issue of the Journal of Social and Psychological Sciences attempts to broaden its scope of analysis by incorporating a variety of apparently unconnected topics which may constitute vital pieces of a 'fragmented' social and psychological science 'puzzle'.
Mauro Ramos D. J. Pereira (January 2010).
Mauro Ramos D. J. Pereira
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