book review General Psychology metaphysics philosophy of science Teaching Theoretical Psychology

Video Series on Brian Haig’s (2014) Book

I am making a video series (“study guide”) about Brian Haig‘s Book, Investigating the Psychological World: Scientific Method in the Behavioral Sciences. We are reading the book with my students in the course, Systems & Theories in Psychology. Most of the students in that class are in their final year and are doing a final-year research project. I will be going through the book chapter by chapter, devoting two videos to each chapter. Feel free…

Continue reading

Culture Descriptive Psychology Theoretical Psychology


What we are doing continually in our lives is […] “encountering difference,” and then allowing the moral understandings of the other to place our own understandings into question. In this approach, we are continually tacking back and forth between our beliefs, commitments, perspectives, and moral understandings and those of others. It is that tacking back and forth that helps us determine whose understandings of the good are best for that particular moment. That process is…

Continue reading

Academia General Psychology Theoretical Psychology

Data as License to Speak

During the TRACE workshop in W├╝rzburg, I listened to a talk by Dr. Jakob Kaiser, a young and well-spoken cognitive neuroscientist based in Munich. Jakob gave a talk on sensory attenuation, i.e., reduced response/sensitivity to a stimulus, which can be observed for stimuli caused by oneself (this is why you cannot tickle yourself). Jakob argued that sensory attenuation does not necessary reflect sense of agency or causal self-attribution. That is, if response to stimulus S1…

Continue reading

Descriptive Psychology philosophical psychology Theoretical Psychology

Between Linguistic Necessity and Indeterminacy: Assessing Gergen’s (2008) Critique of Psychological Explanation

In a recent article, Kenneth Gergen (2018) offers a summary of his work on (and against) empirical research in psychology. The article is clearly written, and there are many positive things one could say about it. However, I will focus primarily on points with which I disagree. Gergen and I share common “enemies,” but I am not yet as pessimistic as he is with regard to psychology as a scientific, truth-seeking enterprise. In this article,…

Continue reading