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Article
Epistemological dizziness in the psychological laboratory: Lively Subjects, anxious experimenters and experimental relations, 1950-1970.
Isis (2015)
  • Jill G. Morawski
Abstract
Since the demise of introspective techniques in the early twentieth century,
experimental psychology has largely assumed an administrative arrangement between
experimenters and subjects wherein subjects respond to experimenters’ instructions
and experimenters meticulously constrain that relationship through experimental
controls. During the postwar era this standard arrangement came to be questioned,
initiating reflections that resonated with Cold War anxieties about the nature of the
subjects and the experimenters alike. Albeit relatively short lived, these interrogations
of laboratory relationships gave rise to unconventional testimonies and critiques of
experimental method and epistemology. Researchers voiced serious concerns about
the honesty and normality of subjects, the politics of the laboratory, and their own
experimental conduct. Their reflective commentaries record the intimacy of subject
and experimenter relations and the plentiful cultural materials that constituted the
experimental situation, revealing the permeable boundaries between laboratory and
everyday life.
Publication Date
2015
Citation Information
Jill G. Morawski. "Epistemological dizziness in the psychological laboratory: Lively Subjects, anxious experimenters and experimental relations, 1950-1970." Isis Vol. 106 (2015)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jmorawski/8/