Philosophy TuesdayJanuary 13, 2015
This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.
I’ve been excited recently to see that there is a dawning realization in the psychology field that much of what has been considered psychological research, that is, something showing the ins and outs of how humans operate, has actually not been psychology at all, but more so sociology. I’d be willing to wager that many of these findings over the years, the truths that have been deduced, would turn out to be not very inherent or illustrative at all, except to show what the prevailing context or worldview is in the society of their test subjects (often, humorously, college students in an Anglo-Saxon setting). Like this study linked to here, if they bring the studies to other locations around the world they start to get different, even contradictory, results.
It is not to say that sociology research is not valuable – it is valuable because it lets us discover the collective hidden views of a society. These answer the questions about what is really valued and what is really influencing the society and having it go, do, and end up the way it is. Once these are known, they can then be a starting point to shift things towards where they actually want it to go.
The key is to remember that it likely does not say anything about humanity other than to explore the boundaries of our capacities; different societies will operate differently, and those too would show the boundaries of how human beings are capable of operating.
It is up to us to choose where in that range of capacity we want to aim ourselves.