Applied Developmental Psychology. Volume 2 by Frederick J Morrison, Catherine Lord and Daniel P. Keating

By Frederick J Morrison, Catherine Lord and Daniel P. Keating (Eds.)

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Suppose further that the consistency of all three sources of information are varied independently across the passages so that A is variously consistent 40 NANCY L. STEIN AND TOM TRABASSO with T and C, consistent with T but not with C, consistent with C but not with T, or inconsistent with both C and T. Thus, the number of sources of information which are consistent with A are 2, 1, 1, and 0, respectively. Now suppose that the child hearing such a text engages in processes of setting up a possible world, generating expectations, and testing them for consistency against new information.

One way out of this tic-tac-toe grid is to simply be sure the phenomenon to be understood is initially described independently of the experimental preparation used to test or explain it. Ideally, this description should include aspects of the context to which the explanation will eventually be extended. Methodological change by itself cannot solve the problem. However, this is not to say that methodological considerations are irrelevant either to the nature of the problem or to its solution. The tacit acceptance of essentialism in psychology is seriously aggravated by the methodological dominance of traditional nomothetic experimental analysis.

The latter is the proximate cause, the immediate antecedent of the neurotic episode. If anything, it plays the least significant explanatory role. It accounts for why a problem originating much earlier in an individual's history appears when it does in adulthood. The remaining three are either ontogenetic or phylogenetic historical causes. The specific cause is the critical childhood trauma (the relevant historical context) and the contributory causes are contemporary contextual effects that accentuate the impact of other factors.

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