Accepted Paper:

STS and the crisis in psychology  


Maarten Derksen (University of Groningen)

Paper long abstract:

Over the past three years a crisis has been developing in psychology. Spectacular cases of fraud, a widely shared suspicion that questionable research practices are rife in parts of the discipline, and a growing unease with its incentive and reward structure have fuelled an intense debate about fundamental epistemological and social issues in the practice of science. These issues overlap to a large extent with those of STS, which raises the question whether and how STS can contribute to the debate. I focus on replication, and explore whether classic studies of this topic such as those of Collins and Gilbert & Mulkay have any guidance to offer. I note that to a limited extent this work already informs psychologists' reflections, and analyse what more could be drawn from it. Finally, I argue that the issue of how STS can intervene in psychology must always be considered together with the reverse: how psychology could (knowingly or unknowingly) intervene in STS. In this case, the latter issue could include the question why the topic of replication has fallen out of fashion in STS.

Panel S11
STS intervention in methods of psychology