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Volume 14, Issue6July/August 2001

Presidential Column

John Darley
John Darley
Princeton University
APS President 2001 - 2002
All columns

In this Issue:
The Tradition of Experimentalism in Psychology

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  • The Tradition of Experimentalism in Psychology

    It sometimes makes sense to examine a discipline in terms of what I am tempted to call its "tribal customs." By this I mean its habitual, frequently unexamined, ways of doing its everyday activities and communicating about the results of those activities both to itself and to adjacent tribes. Continuing the metaphor, it is useful to compare the customs of psychology with scientifically adjacent tribes such as sociology, cognitive science, and anthropology, and even more distant tribes such as literary criticism and philosophy. One reason for this sort of examination is celebratory - to revel in the superiority of the customs of our discipline over those of the adjacent disciplines.