Chapter

Implicit Ontological Reasoning

Brent D. Slife, Jeffrey S. Reber and James E. Faulconer

in Psychology of Science

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199753628
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950027 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753628.003.0019
Implicit Ontological Reasoning

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This chapter describes a theoretical meta-analysis in which the literature of psychological science itself provides the data that ground its examination. Specifically, it focuses on one portion of the implicit scientific reasoning or assumptions that psychologists use in conducting their scientific investigations—their ontological reasoning. We chose to focus on ontological reasoning for two reasons. First, ontological assumptions are often viewed as even more fundamental than epistemological assumptions, and thus are considered more fundamental in the implicit reasoning of scientists. Second, the ontological reasoning we identify in psychology’s research methods has been highly criticized. In fact, we outline what seems to be a growing consensus, across a diverse set of contexts, that this particular ontology is deeply problematic. Yet, because many psychologists are generally unaware of it, they frequently embrace this ontology as if it were problem-free.

Keywords: meta-analysis; ontological reasoning; scientific reasoning; ontological assumptions; epistemological assumptions; psychological research methods

Chapter.  10197 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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