Centre for Research on Prejudice
Faculty of Psychology, University of Warsaw
Researchers often make an opposition between nomothetic and idiographic (constructivist) approaches in psychology. Such a dichotomous distinction takes for granted that the main aim of scientific psychology is to generate universal theories, culturally and historically unchangeable. Such a distinction (1) silently assumes objectivity of scientific knowledge and (2) refuses psychology the right of autonomy, by perceiving it as inferior to natural sciences. The present paper proposes an alternative understanding of psychology as a set of middle-range theories. The range of these theories is determined by the results of meta-analytic findings and structural relations between the theories. Thus practical utility becomes a key dimension to evaluate a given theory. The consequences of such an approach are discussed within the context of social psychology and psychohistory.
Keywords: middle-range theory, universalism, constructivism
Cite this article as:
Bilewicz, M. (2007). Profiting from middle-range theories. Psychologia Społeczna, 5, 262-265.