I remain puzzled over what appears to be a compulsion, that I cannot tame, to publish papers and books that summarize the empirical evidence pointing to serious problems with popular procedures and assumptions that permeate many domains in psychology. These include: (1) the use of decontextualized predicates for emotional, personality, and cognitive concepts that fail to specify the agent, the local context, and source of evidence; (2) the reliance on single sources of evidence for broad constructs; and (3) the sole reliance on self report data without supporting behavioural observations. This writing seems to have little effect on the practices of the relevant investigators, yet I persist. It is not because I am arrogant. I celebrate humility and my close friends support that self diagnosis. Any help with this symptom will be appreciated.
Jerome Kagan is Daniel and Amy Starch Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. A pioneering developmental psychologist, he was listed as among the 100 most influential psychologists of the twentieth century by the Review of General Psychology in 2002.
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