Unity: Disorganisation in Psychology


Continuing my investigation of unity in psychology – whether it’s possible, why it’s not there already, what can be done about it – I’ve discovered another supporter of the institutional/organisational hypothesis of psychology’s woes.

Katzko (2004) points out that psychology is a ‘federation of sub-disciplines’ and that diversity is not problem, instead it is psychology’s disorganisation that needs addressing. Katzko (2002) argues that this type of disorganisation is actually created by a discontent about the methodological basis of psychology.

To use a primitive analogy: members of each tribe in psychological research keep to their own tools for hunting. It’s the use of the same tools that provide the social bonds that keeps the epistemological groups together.

Katzko (2004) goes on to say that psychology doesn’t need unification in a top-down method but rather unification bubbles up from below.

Both of these arguments seems to me to be much the same as already made by Sternberg & Grigorenko (2001).

Katzko (2004) Psychology’s dilemma: an institutional neurosis? (Abstract)
Katzko (2002) The rhetoric of psychological research and the problem of unification in psychology. (Abstract)
Read more PsyBlog posts on Unity in Psychology

About the author


Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 10 August 2006

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