Almost since its inception, psychology has embraced the positivist orientation of the natural sciences. The research enterprise in psychology has reinforced this through its insistence that psychological science is objective, generalisable, and value free (or neutral). Consequently, experimental designs are privileged over other forms of enquiry and alternate epistemologies, methodologies, and methods remain marginalised within the discipline. We argue that alternate methodologies, and the philosophies that underpin the research endeavour, should be included in mainstream psychology programmes so that the existing imbalance is rectified. Achieving this balance will mean that psychology will be better positioned to address applied research problems and students will graduate with the skills and knowledge that they will need in the multidisciplinary workforce they will enter. We discuss recommendations for how psychology in Australia can move towards embracing methodological and epistemological pluralism.
Breen, L. & Darlaston-Jones, D. (2008). Psychology and the research enterprise: Moving beyond the enduring hegemony of positivism. Australian Journal of Psychology, 60 (S1), 107-208. doi:10.1080/00049530802385558
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/dawn_darlaston-jones/3/