• Methodological Pluralism: multiple methods to investigate same phenomena.
o i.e.: procrastination studies – obtain data through self report data like
o i.e.: psychotherapy transcripts- obtain data through taped recordings of therapist
and client. They look at qualitative ways of understanding what happens between
therapist and client.
o i.e.: behaviour of orangutans – observational techniques. Obtain data through
watching subject in their natural habitat. Another example, flirting studies : watch
people from afar in bars
o i.e.: vision studies: laboratory tests
• clearly there is a lack of unity in the different methods to test different theories
• The lack of unity in subject matter and method has implications on what we study, how
we study it but also on how we interpret our data.
• Theoretical ecumenism: the application of many theories to understand complex
o We have multiple competing methods or theories that are all used in
understanding the same complex behaviours.
i.e.: why do children develop the way they do? Environment, physical,
What causes depression? Physical (Chemical imbalance of certain
neurotransmitters), social, and environmental factors
o Different psychiatrists will have different ways of interpreting the same data.
Unlike MD’s. This is problematic
• David Buss: sex differences in mating processes. Difference between what men and
women want due to different reasons: evolution, social, hormonal etc.
• Langer & Abelson: showed a group of behaviourists and a group of Freudians a video.
The tape was a young person talking about himself. Nothing remarkable about him
physically. He talked for 20 minutes. They edited out the first 5 minutes and the last 5
minutes. They said to both groups to watch it and give, to the best of clinical ability, an
overall estimate of their overall global adjustment. Half of each group was told the
person in video was a patient, the other half of each group was told he was a job
applicant. o There were differences in their rating based on whether they were Freudian or
behaviourist. Freudians thought he was less well-adjusted, they are more likely to
see pathology. Difference between whether they thought he was a patient or job
o Behaviourists that thought he was a job applicant said 8. Freudians who thought
he was a job applicant they said 5.5.
o Behaviourist that thought he was a patient said 7.5, when Freudians thought he
was a patient they rated him 3
o Because behaviourists are using concrete observational data, they are trained to
deal with objective observations; they don’t read anything into it like the
o Interpretation of what they see depends on their training
• Rosenhan: 6 of his psychologist graduate students went into a mental hospital
emergency unit and report they heard voices. And if admitted they were told to behave
normally and answer all questions honestly. What was surprising was that, after being
admitted, no one notices they were okay. The only people that noticed they were
imposters were patients. Rosenhan had to go in and bail all of them out after days. One
female kept a diary, he looked at her medical chart and saw they wrote she was
partaking in pathological note taking. “On being sane in insane places”. This shows that
once people are tuned to see something, they see it. This is very problematic in our field.
Shows that what we see as researchers in psychology depends on our background.
• Pierce: most reliable way to develop a belief is through the scientific method.
o They attempt to describe phenomena, explain, and sometimes predict
phenomena. They attempt to control behaviour at some level
o All these four are guided by empirical reasoning.
• Empirical reasoning: reasoning through combination of logic, observation and
o Not disorganized, not guided by faith, not unsystematic, not guided by tradition,
not grounded in personal experience. Guided by two main assumptions:
Determinism: assumption that all events have causes (biological vs.
psychic determinism) do not confuse with predestination. They are