PROBLEMS IN EXTRAPOLATING FROM PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPERIMENTS.
NORTHWESTERN UNIV EVANSTON ILL DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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Psychologists who identify as scientists, and many of their professional colleagues as well, seek to establish laws concerning behavior, and especially human behavior, with the widest possible generality. The objective of establishing general laws of behavior has proved an elusive one. Perhaps one source of difficulty is that, rather than there being a single kind of extrapolational process, there are several. Causal propositions ideally can be generalized not merely from the artificial laboratory to a natural real world, but also across species, across culture, across occasions, across levels and roles, as well as there being an analogous extrapolation possible from scientific truth seeker to the pragmatic user, the practitioner. Scientific laws are propositions which prove invariant across various transformations psychologists may well find it worth while to seek to establish general laws with something of the vigor with which they work to achieve experiments with internal validity.