7 Social constructionism as a metatheory of psychological science Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 7 Social constructionism as a metatheory of psychological science Deck (23)
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1

Who introduced the doctrine of social constructionism to psychology in the mid-80s?

Kenneth Gergen

2

What is the social constructionist take on psychological phenomena?

They don't exist. All terms that we think involve psychological processes are in fact social – contingent on social processes. There are no purely psychological phenomena.

3

Can psychological phenomena be observed as they are, according to Gergen?

No. Observations we make in psychology are theory-dependent. No psychological observation is independent.

4

Can research methods, such as the empirical method, be used to accrue knowledge about psychological phenomena, according to Gergen?

No. Research methods are misleading, justificatory devices.

5

In discarding knowledge claims that are false, does science progress?

No. Scientists simply shift their way of seeing the world – change in perspective, not accumulation of knowledge. Knowledge is not cumulative.

6

By what means are the 'facts' of psychology socially constructed?

The knowledge claims accepted by psychology are constituted by human actions – persuasion, negotiation, rhetoric. The facts are produced by social process.

7

When psychologists talk about aggression, say, what are they actually talking about?

The discourse simply reflects the social context and conventions of the psychological community. No ontological claims are possible.

8

What's the difference between Kuhn's idea of paradigm/framework and Gergen's?

Kuhn claims there is a conceptual/cognitive framework that defines what you see.

Gergen has rejected cognition, along with all psychological phenomena, so his framework must be linguistic.

9

On what grounds does Gergen state that theoretical statements in psychology are not descriptive?

No statements we make about psychological events are true or false, because there is no such thing as a psychological event.

10

Gergen: Any statement we make in psychology is mediated by our _________ conventions.

Any statement we make in psychology is mediated by our socio-linguistic conventions.

11

What are the two tenets of social constructionism's linguistic paradigm?

1) Language in general (and psychology's theoretical language in particular) is not descriptive – it does not refer to any independent, objective truths.

2) Knowledge is mediated by socio-linguistic conventions

12

Can we know objective reality, according to Gergen?

We can never know reality as unmodified, as we are bound up in a closed system of language. There is no direct access to a language-independent world.

13

How have Gergen's theories influenced psychotherapy?

Has influenced mostly psychodynamic and family therapy. By accentuating the importance of language and conversation.

14

What is the corrollary for psychotherapy of Gergen's ideas?

There are no diagnostic categories, disorders or even minds – just talk about them.

15

What is the patient's 'narrative' in psychotherapy, according to a social constructionist viewpoint?

Just a narrative. It doesn't refer to any generalities or to any independent objective truths.

16

According to a social constructionist viewpoint, in a clinical setting there is no extratherapy, objective reality to be known – what is known is modified by, and so dependent on, the _____________.

According to a social constructionist viewpoint, in a clinical setting there is no extratherapy, objective reality to be known – what is known is modified by, and so dependent on, the narrative.

17

Gergen: "Because disquisitions on the nature of things are framed in language, there is no grounding of science or any knowledge-generating enterprise in other than ____________ __ ______________."

Gergen: "Because disquisitions on the nature of things are framed in language, there is no grounding of science or any knowledge-generating enterprise in other than communities of interlocutors."

18

Our supposed knowledge of the world is in fact constructed by....?

Language and social processes

19

What DOESN'T follow from the fact that all statements are grounded in language and social processes?

That everything we say is false. Our knowledge claims can still sometimes be objectively true.

20

In what way are Gergen's arguments self-refuting?

If there is no knowable reality, then Gergen's claim that 'there are no psychological processes', say, cannot reflect reality. He states the way things are while denying the possibility of doing so.

21

If Gergen states it is impossible to state that something is or is not the case, what follows for his theory?

That it is neither true nor false.

22

We can never know reality as ____________, as we are bound up in a ________ system of language. There is no direct access to a _________-____________ world.

We can never know reality as unmodified, as we are bound up in a closed system of language. There is no direct access to a language-independent world.

23

According to Gergen, there is no ___________ reality. No ___________ claims are possible.

According to Gergen, there is no knowable reality. No ontological claims are possible.