Tagged: Psychosocial

Rising above methodology

“Cognitive science is all about rising above methodology and getting to a conceptual/theoretical level at which there is much more in common. Where there has been success, this ascension has been achieved. Where there has been failure it has been a failure to aspire to anything above methodology. Social science discipline divisions are dominated by methodology—that is why cognitive science happened. To adapt Dr. Johnson’s aphorism, methodology is the last refuge of scoundrels. A good servant may make a bad master.”

Stenning (2012)


On programs to help disadvantaged children

“… what actually happens in the course of many programs that claim to set out to remedy disadvantage is that target children are forced to spend time doing things they are not good at and deprived of opportunities to practice doing things they are good at. This is bad enough by itself. But the seriousness of the problem is exacerbated by the fact that most of the talents they might have developed cannot … show up on most of the tests developed by psychologists and are thus unable to register in most of the evaluation studies conducted by psychologists. Worse, these evaluations are largely framed and conducted within a reductionist, single-outcome focus rather than a comprehensive or ecological evaluation framework. In the end, this whole network of interlocking activities contributes to the autopoietic process that is heading our species toward extinction.”

Raven, J. (2005). More Problems With Gap Closing Philosophy and Research. American Psychologist 60(9), 1041–1042.


I like this, but the analogy is a bit… crude.

“Zoos display an irresistible passion for the preservation of endangered species. A number of these are being protected, later to be released back into the wild. In the meantime, however, ‘the wild’ has disappeared! It is the same with human beings: ideally, they are recycled in human isolation cells (thalassotherapy, psychoanalysis, luxury health clubs, hospitals or asylums), and later released back into social life — in the meantime, however, the social environment has disappeared!”

—Jean Baudrillard, in Fragments