The 20th Century as an Aberration in the History of Psychology

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1994, Vol 39(1), 9–11. Reviews the book, Crossroads Between Culture and Mind: Continuities and Change in Theories of Human Nature by Gustav Jahoda (1992). There are many gems in this volume, but perhaps the most precious are the links between the views of someone in the 13th to 19th century and those of someone in the 20th century. The 13th century's Magnus is linked to Spearman and Jensen, Condorcet and Waitz are linked to ecological psychology (e.g., John Berry), Voltaire is linked to Kohlberg, and Helvetius is linked to J. B. Watson. Jahoda attempts to be nonjudgmental of the positivist tradition, which resulted in the development of cross-cultural psychology (e. g., Triandis, 1980–1981) and of the nonpositivist view that is reflected in cultural psychology. He views these disciplines, as well as psychological anthropology, as complementary rather than antagonistic. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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