Towards a Psychology of Psychology

Swan, Desmond
Psychological Society of Ireland,

It is highly important that teachers of psychology teach students to critique their own subject. This paper proposes to look at psychology mainly through the eyes of Western psychologists. It will look at it first as an academic discipline, in relation to other such disciplines, at some of the claims made for it by its proponents, as well as some of its achievements especially in the field of Education.

The value but also the limitations imposed on it by psychologists will then be examined including problems resulting from the particular perspectives, methodologies, metaphors, models and paradigms chosen. Problems of procedure and interpretation will be dealt with, including for instance conflicting views of psychology as a science and of standardized testing within it.

The paper will conclude by seeking a balanced perspective and one that might yield criteria for a psychology of psychology itself.