John Dewey’s Critical Anticipations of Personality Psychology
Keywords:person-situation debate, person-environment mutualism, organicism, contextualization
A brief introduction to the developmental history of personality psychology is given. Two trends, the clinical, holistic approach and the experimental, elemental approach, lay the foundation for issues that would confront the field into the present. While the accepted mandate has been the study of the whole person, the experimental paradigm has been hegemonic. Emphasis has been placed on knowledge of individual differences across variety of abstract constructs. The person and the situation, two central concepts, have been decreed independent, alternative, competing factors in accounting for individual conduct. John Dewey’s psychology, based on organicism and personenvironment mutualism, is presented as challenging basic assumptions and theories of personality psychology. For Dewey, personality is a product of individuals being incorporated into the sociocultural milieu that is their life context, and from which they cannot be disengaged. Kritische Psychologie is discussed as sympathetic to some of Dewey’s propositions.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Brad Piekkola
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