The Psychology of Science: Review and Integration of a Nascent Discipline

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Abstract

Disciplines that study science are relatively well established in philosophy, history, and sociology. Psychology of science, by comparison, is a late bloomer but has recently shown signs of codification. The authors further this codification by integrating and reviewing the growing literature in the developmental, cognitive, personality, and social psychology of science. Only by integrating the findings from each of these perspectives can the basic questions in the study of scientific behavior be answered: Who becomes a scientist and what role do biology, family, school, and gender play? Are productivity, scientific reasoning, and theory acceptance influenced by age? What thought processes and heuristics lead to successful discovery? What personality characteristics distinguish scientists from nonscientists and eminent from less eminent scientists? Finally, how do intergroup relations and social forces influence scientific behavior? A model that integrates the consensual empirical findings from the psychology of science is proposed.

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