By Arthur W. Staats, Leendert P. Mos
Facing the subject of Unification in Psychology.
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Additional resources for Annals of Theoretical Psychology (Volume 5)
We should consider, however, what is involved in each case. The theorist has been a specialist. This means that he has done his systematic work as a specialist. Freud specialized in the conduct of psychotherapy of a particular type. His data emerged from this work. Piaget specialized in the systematic observation of the way in which children of different ages responded to certain cognitive tasks. Skinner's systematic work was almost entirely in the study of animals' responses in the operant conditioning chamber, with some additional work in the area of programmed instruction and teaching machines.
1, p. 376) In place of research came authority. (Vol. 1, p. 32) Each of the sciences had to wage a successful revolution against this approach in order to achieve a recognized place for positivist inquiry. Psychology inherited the success of the natural sciences. Its creation as a science, in line with the general extension of the positivist approach to inquiry, constituted its revolution. "Both Comte and Marx wrote in the shadow of the triumphs of natural science, and both regarded the extension of science to the study of human conduct in society as a direct outcome of the progressive march of human understanding towards man himself" (Giddens, 1976, pp.
The same could be said of cognitive psychology, with its enclaves, (see Baars, 1985a, 1985b; Staats, 1983b, 1985a, 1985b) some of which are of wide enough scope to match at least some of the features in the above example. It is important to note that a cognitive theory, cognitive dissonance, for example, may even be cut off from communication with other cognitive theories-information theories-information processing, for example-as well as from the rest of psychology. We could say the same for psychoanalytic theory, Piagetian theory, various personality theories, and many theories of lesser scope like Levine's (1975) hypothesis theory, Paivio's (1975) dual-code theory of memory, and the multifarious theories of various scope that presently exist.