Palgrave Studies in the Theory and History of Psychology

Psychology’s Misuse of Statistics and Persistent Dismissal of its Critics

Authors: Lamiell, James T

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  • Challenges a deep, abiding and problematic concept in mainstream psychological statistics
  • Offers an assertive critique of the statistically-based knowledge claims that  pervade psychological research
  • Explains why the few and isolated attempts made to refute this argument have not been sufficient 
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-12131-0
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Hardcover $109.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-12130-3
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book is a strenuous critique of the misinterpretation of statistical knowledge of populations in mainstream psychology, exploring the implications of assuming that those statistics constitute scientific knowledge of individuals. It investigates the essential nature and historical roots of this interpretive practice, and documents the lack of change in mainstream thinking despite previous critiques of the practice. The author contends that prevailing interpretive traditions result in bad science, in that invalid claims are made to knowledge of individuals. He also discusses the socio-ethical problems resulting from this misinterpretation of statistics, where psychological practitioners unjustifiably endorse interventions in the lives of individuals. Lamiell urges psychologists to abandon the aggregate statistical methods which he argues have transformed the field into ‘psycho-demography,’ and to embrace instead alternative research methods that are logically suited to gaining scientific knowledge about the psychological functioning of individuals. This book concludes by highlighting some of the currently available methodological alternatives, as well as discussing some enduring conceptual impediments to the serious consideration of those alternatives.

About the authors

James T. Lamiell is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Georgetown University, USA after having spent thirty-six years on the faculty at that institution. He holds the 2001 Bunn Award for Faculty Excellence at Georgetown, and is a three-time Fulbright scholar to Germany. He has authored four books and translated a fifth.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)
  • Introduction: Mainstream Psychology’s Worrisome Incorrigibility

    Lamiell, James T.

    Pages 1-22

  • Challenging the Canon: The Critique and Its Aftermath in Autobiographical Perspective

    Lamiell, James T.

    Pages 23-47

  • The Entrenchment of Statistical Thinking in Early Twentieth Century Differential Psychology

    Lamiell, James T.

    Pages 49-76

  • The Failure of Critical Thinking in the Statistization of Experimental Psychology

    Lamiell, James T.

    Pages 77-97

  • Statistical Thinking in Psychology: Some Needed Critical Perspective on What ‘Everyone Knows’

    Lamiell, James T.

    Pages 99-121

Buy this book

eBook $59.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-12131-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-12130-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Psychology’s Misuse of Statistics and Persistent Dismissal of its Critics
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in the Theory and History of Psychology
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-12131-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-12131-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-12130-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXI, 179
Number of Illustrations
7 b/w illustrations
Topics