• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Aimed at facilitating critical theoretical thinking in the behavioral sciences, What's Behind the Research? explores the main assumptions that behavioral science theories are based on and offers some alternatives to these assumptions. The book begins with a review of the major theoretical approaches in the behavioral sciences (psychoanalysis, behaviorism, humanism, cognitivism, eclecticism, structuralism, and postmodernism) and examines which assumptions are made versus those that are overlooked in these theories. The next four chapters reveal and discuss the key assumptions of the theories (knowing, determinism, reductionism, and science) by tracing the intellectual history of these conceptions, followed by a presentation of contrasting options. The book concludes with an examination of possible ways to come to terms with some of the inadequacies in the assumptions of the ...


It is difficult to overestimate the importance of determinism in the behavioral sciences. Discovering the determinants of socialization, learning, group dynamics, abnormality, and effective management is the goal in most behavioral science disciplines. What if, for example, the determinants of depression were discovered? Although some behavioral scientists might claim that they already know what determines depression, current knowledge is more an educated guess than an exact understanding. What if we knew precisely the determinants of depression? Knowledge of this sort would surely provide a clear-cut comprehension of the phenomenon as well as suggest a surefire treatment of its harmful effects.1 In other words, we would know the cause of depression.

The term cause is italicized here to help us see the intimate relation between causality ...

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