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October 2022

Field theory in science: Its role as a necessary and sufficient condition in psychology

Author(s): Smith, L. L.

Journal/Book: Psychol Rec. 1996; 46: Kenyon College, Gambier, OH 43022. Psychological Record. 3-19.

Abstract: Whereas physics has evolved through three conceptual stages, the third being that of field theory, psychology has remained largely at the second stage, that of mechanistic or statistical correlation, and it has retained even some elements of the first stage, that of substance-property. However, some accomplishments in psychology utilize a field conception. Two of these, the interbehavioral field and the subjectivity field, are closely interconnected and show parallels with modern physics. They replace single causation and self-causation, analogical explanation, biological reductionism, and psychophysical dualism with the field as a necessary and sufficient condition for a psychological event. Q methodology for subjectivity adds an objective method of studying self-reference that the interbehavioral field lacks.

Note: Article NW Smith, SUNY Coll Plattsburgh, Dept Psychol, Plattsburgh, NY 12901 USA

Keyword(s): ANALYZING REFERENTIAL INTERACTIONS; SYSTEMS-ANALYSIS; BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS; INSTRUCTIONS


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