Gergen Versus the Mainstream: Are Hypotheses in Social Psychology Subject to Empirical Test?


Journal Article

K. J. Gergen's (1982) argument that hypotheses in social psychology are not empirical propositions is critically examined and shown to be erroneous. Nevertheless, this article demonstrates that, without necessarily appearing obvious, some hypotheses can be derived from propositions that are like tautologies and that their confirmation as such is of little interest. An analysis of hypotheses in recent articles in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that hypotheses derivable from propositions very much like tautologies may not be infrequent. Implications are considered for what kinds of social psychology experiments are of value to perform.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wallach, L; Wallach, MA

Published Date

  • January 1, 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 67 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 233 - 242

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3514

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0022-3514.67.2.233

Citation Source

  • Scopus