Annals of Theoretical Psychology by Hans V. Rappard, Pieter J. van Strien (auth.), Hans V.

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By Hans V. Rappard, Pieter J. van Strien (auth.), Hans V. Rappard, Pieter J. Van Strien, Leendert P. Mos, William J. Baker (eds.)

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The same applies to the explicit rules used in the construction of empirical objects that have the form of a statistical aggregation of individual performance measures. Variations in such rules are governed by technical questions of finding the best means for arriving at a given end. But variations in the ends themselves, that is, in the general type of empirical object desired, are not reducible to technical questions within the discipline. Such variations are only explicable on a level of historical inquiry which takes disciplinary patterns and trends as its subject matter.

For this reason American psychology takes on the status of a paradigm case for the influence of disciplinary interests on disciplinary practices. What the discipline required above everything else for establishing and expanding its operations was legitimacy. In order to mobilize the resources on which its life as a discipline depended, it had to show that what it did and what it produced was valuable, by the standards prevailing in its society. In the case of American psychology, there were three criteria which were of constant and overwhelming importance in establishing legitimacy.

In the second phase the investigators manipulate the record that constitutes the raw data so as to produce a form of product that is publishable according to the conventions of the day. This process also is governed by strict rules that have nevertheless seen considerable historical modification. Needless to say, investigators' knowledge of these rules in large measure determines what aspects of the investigative interaction are considered worth recording and, therefore, worth eliciting. For instance, an investigator who knows that lengthy introspective reports are not publishable is not likely to ask for them or to take them seriously as recorded data if they are spontaneously offered.

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