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J Hist Behav Sci. 1976 Oct;12(4):330-7.

Darwinism and positivism as methodological influences on the development of psychology.


The methodological significance of evolutionary theory for psychology may be distinguished from its substantive or theoretical significance. The methodological significance was that evolutionay theory broadened the current conceptors of scientific method and rendered them relatively independent of physics. It thereby made the application of the "scientific method" to psychology much more feasible than it had been previously, and thus established the possibility of a wide-ranging scientific psychology for the first time. The methodological eclecticism that made scientific psychology possible did not, however, remain a feature of psychology for very long. Psychology's methodology rapidly became restricted and codified through the influence of, and in imitation of, the rigorously positivistic orientation of physics around the turn of the twentieth century.

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