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Integrated models of psychology

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From the "Our Aims" page:

"... We envisage that complete and free access, combined with the user collaboration model, will eventually allow for the development of an integrated model of psychology across the different fields of the science."

Integrative models of psychology in the sense used here are models that attempt to draw together observations from a number of different levels of psychology


Characteristics of a good integrative theory

The characteristics required of a good integrative theory are clear.

We might group them into three levels of integration:

  • Basic level of integration

If we look at the "books" that make up our site the basic qualification for inclusion are theories that try to combine findings from biological psychology with experimental psychology data and link this to individual differences in personality. An example of this might be William Sheldon's work on body types. He attempted to identify regularities between the biological constitution of subjects and their personaliities and tried to link this with experimental data.

  • Medium level of integration

Good basic theories lead to the development of implications in applied psychology which take them to the next level. So for example Eysenck's model not only tried to show that neurological differences underpinned differences in experimental task performance and were reflected in personality variables, he also tried to work throught the implications of this in an approach to clinical work.

  • Broadest level of integration.

As theories broaden they start to be used to explain phenomena in social psychology, to lead to developments in philosophical psychology and to have wider effects in areas of practical psychology, in education, in organizational psychology. Freud's theory was comprehensive in this way. In the modern context we might hope that such theories might also take account of work in evolutionary psychology and genetics.

Requirements that should be met by an integrative theory

  • it should be easy to incorporate into psychology: the core concept should use just a few, basic, widespread scientific terms
  • it should describe different human activities that are currently researched by branches of our science such as, social, personality, and developmental psychology
  • it should not contradict any major school of thought; psychodynamics, positive psychology, or cognitive science
  • it should integrate current theories and models into one coherent concept, while reinterpreting previous ideas and concepts
  • the whole approach should fit well with evolutionary biology, both Dawkins’ "selfish gene", and Darwin
  • where there are common points within world religions, the concept’s findings about man should comply with those points
  • the concept’s results should be easy to use in practice: therapy, teaching techniques, conflict resolution, increasing motivation etc.
  • it should be able to explain human values while remaining scientifically objective

Although experiments have not proved yet and further reviews are needed, according to its author, FIPP is likely to match these criteria.

Attempts at integration

Previous attempts at integration

Current attempts at integration

JAK 04:34, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

See also

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