Charlatanism, Scientism, & Psychology’s Social Contract – by Ronald E. Fox, Aug ’96 American Psychologist articleLeave a comment
February 26 by The Running Son
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Three problems are identified that the author believes must be addressed in order for psychology to achieve its full potential as a science and profession: the pretension of some practitioners to more knowledge and skill than they possess (charlatanism), the use of scientism (i.e., the misapplication of restrictive definitions of science) to make unwarranted attacks on the profession, and a general failure of the discipline to use fully its resources to meet its implied contract with society. These problems erode public confidence in both the profession and science of psychology. If not corrected, they may well lead to a public perception that psychology has little to contribute to the problems of greatest concern to today’s society. General suggestions for addressing each of the problem areas are discussed.