ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2019, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (9): 1068-1078.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01068

• 理论与史 • 上一篇    


舒跃育(), 石莹波, 袁彦()   

  1. 西北师范大学心理学院暨甘肃省行为与心理健康重点实验室, 兰州 730070
  • 收稿日期:2018-10-11 出版日期:2019-08-21 发布日期:2019-07-24
  • 通讯作者: 舒跃育,袁彦;
  • 基金资助:
    * 2018年国家社科基金一般项目“心理学学科分裂危机的理论根源及整合的哲学基础研究”(18BZX048)

An “operational definition” and a “falsifiability criterion” are not sufficient to lay the foundation for scientific psychology

SHU Yueyu(), SHI Yingbo, YUAN Yan()   

  1. School of Psychology, Northwest Normal University & Key Laboratory of Behavioral and Mental Health of Gansu Province, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2018-10-11 Online:2019-08-21 Published:2019-07-24
  • Contact: SHU Yueyu,YUAN Yan;


在学科的主流叙事中, “科学性”被视为心理学的基本特征。长久以来, 实证主义的方法论为心理学提供了学科精神内涵。具体而言, “操作性定义”和“证伪标准”成为了心理学“科学性”甚至知识的合法性的判断标准。可心理学的这个方法论基础存在几个方面的问题:首先, 并非所有的科学概念都可以给予操作性定义; 其次, 全称存在命题和统计规律无法经验证实和证伪; 其三, 共有的自然科学方法不足以体现心理学的独特价值。因此, 来自于成熟自然科学的方法论并不足以为作为独立学科的心理学奠基, 心理学背后的本体论承诺对本学科的方法选取有自己特殊的要求, 只有本体论承诺才能为心理学作为独立学科提供逻辑起点。重新反思心理学作为独立学科的逻辑基础, 对于解决学科分裂危机具有建设性意义。

关键词: 心理学, 分裂危机, 本体论承诺, 方法论


In the mainstream narrative of the discipline, a “controlled experiment” and a “quantitative research” are considered to be the basic characteristics of psychology. For a long time, the methodology of positivism has provided the subject of psychology with a spiritual connotation. Specifically, the “operational definition” based on positivism and the “falsifiability criterion” based on falsificationism, have become the “golden rules” of psychology’s scientificity. For decades, the field of philosophy of science has acquired a renewed understanding of positivism and falsificationism. However, while mainstream psychology ignores these advancements, it still regards these two outdated philosophies as its metaphysical foundation. More importantly, while indulging in outdated methodological assumptions, mainstream psychology is unable to provide a systematic demonstration for the ontological preset of disciplines. This lack of ontology and the over-reliance on outdated methodological presuppositions focus on popular mainstream psychology textbooks, such as How to Think Straight about Psychology by Keith E. Stanovich, who is a Canadian psychologist.

Based on the representative position of Keith E. Stanovich’s work in mainstream psychology, and in the foundation of refining and summarizing specific features of heavy reliance on the methodology of mainstream experimental psychology, by using the process of logical analysis and philosophical speculation, this paper suggests that mainstream psychology has always defined itself through a methodology shared with other natural sciences, which is the root cause of the psychological disintegration crisis.!!!This study contends that the methodological basis of psychology itself has several problems. First of all, not all scientific concepts can be defined operationally. Thus, an operational definition by itself does not provide a solid philosophical foundation for empirical science. Furthermore, universal existence propositions and statistical law cannot be verified and falsified by experience. Therefore, the falsifiability criterion is not sufficient to guarantee the scientificity of psychology. In the end, common natural science methods are not sufficient to reflect the unique value of psychology. For this reason, the methodology of mature natural science is not enough to lay the foundation for psychology, which is an independent discipline.

This research proposes that the logical starting point of psychology as an independent discipline lies in its unique values, which provide an ontological commitment not only to the subject, but also to the underlying psychology, making its own special requests for the selection method of the subject. Only discipline motivation, and ontological commitment can provide a philosophical basis for psychology as an independent subject. In psychology, it is possible to solve a split subject crisis only on the premise of breaking away from the method center and rethinking the logical basis of psychology—which is an independent subject—thereby leading the discipline from a “pre-paradigm science” to a “normal science.”

Key words: psychology, split crisis, ontological commitment, methodology