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Science as Psychology: Sense-Making and Identity in Science Practice

ISBN-13: 000-0521882079
ISBN-10: 0521882079
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Editorial Reviews


"Science as Psychology helps us make sense of ourselves - especially how we can understand both our formal scientific and our informal everyday acts of knowing, which together express some of our 'highest human ideals' as rational beings. In pursuing that daunting task, these prominent authors help to mend the 'science wars' in a profoundly innovative, nonpolemical, and demystifying way, not least by challenging the 'rational-social divides' that have for so long fueled them. In so doing, they significantly advance our knowledge of human beings, who dually embody the objects of psychological knowledge and the knowing subjects themselves. I strongly recommend this book for anyone in search of a novel, compelling way to study human (psychological) nature, most prominently our capacity to know the world in which we live - including, of course, the world of human nature itself."
- Barbara S. Held, Barry N. Wish Professor of Psychology, Bowdoin College, Maine

"Science as Psychology provides a fascinating and innovative examination of the multiple dimensions of persons acting as research scientists. Based on observations and interviews in medical engineering laboratories, this book provides new ways of thinking about distributed and situated cognition that will be important to anyone interested in the psychology of science or learning."
- Peter Machamer, University of Pittsburgh

"The first integrated picture of how the 'sense-making' activities of science are interwoven with personal identity, social discursive processes, and cognitive processes, this insightful book stands out among the many works on the practices of science. The approach will be of interest to social scientists generally, and the methods used, drawing from a range of disciplines, will be a model for how such studies should be conducted."
- Ryan D. Tweney, Bowling Green State University

"....Science as Psychology contains many insights...."
-Ronald N. Giere, Science

"....Osbeck and colleagues have done an excellent job of showing us exactly how science is psychology.... the writing is crisp, clear, and compelling. The comments from various scientists who work in the laboratories the authors examined add a nice personal touch.... If you have kept up with such recent advances as the ever-increasing number and complexity of qualitative research methods currently being used by psychologists, then you likely will greet this new volume with open arms. On the other hand, if your research/scientific grounding was in the traditional IV-DV model of science, then this volume may prove to be a bit challenging. But do not despair and don't set the book aside: Your perseverance will be rewarded, and your conception of scientists and their activities will be expanded."
-Stephen F. Davis, PsycCRITIQUES

Book Description

Science as Psychology reveals the complexity and richness of rationality by demonstrating how social relationships, emotion, culture, and identity are implicated in the problem-solving practices of laboratory scientists. In this study, the authors gather and analyze interview and observational data from innovation-focused laboratories in the engineering sciences to show how the complex practices of laboratory research scientists provide rich psychological insights. The book is thus a contribution to science studies, the psychology of science, and general psychology.
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