Discovering Jan Smedslund's psychologic. Challenging the assumptions of psychology
The current paper starts with a presentation of the metatheoretical landscape of current psychology. Jan Smedslund's psychologic is presented as a post-modern, or constructionalist, approach to psychology as a science. The key elements of psychologic are presented and explained. The system is then applied to two randomly chosen psychological articles: 1) a study of the predictive value of phonemic awareness in kindergarten children for later reading success; 2) an investigation of how autonomous motives influence physical activity intentions within the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Both of these articles were found to benefit from the application of psychologic. Further, the critics of Smedslund are surveyed, and those that pertain to this paper's analyses are examined in detail. It is concluded that the system of psychologic provides conceptual clarity and logical structure. The price for this conceptual clarity is the loss of flexibility that accompanies the rigid definitions in psychologic. It is argued that the application of psychologic can serve as a useful tool for explicating hypotheses and uncovering necessary relationships in empirical studies, but that it does not constitute a substitute for empirical research.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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