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Am Psychol. 2014 Sep;69(6):632-3. doi: 10.1037/a0037068.

The place of mathematical models in psychology and the social sciences.

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University of Agder.


Comments on the comments made by Brown et al. (see record 2013-24609-001). Brown et al. presented a scathing critique of the work of Fredrickson and Losada (see record 2005-11834-001) on the use of advanced mathematical methods (specifically, nonlinear dynamics) in describing changes in human emotions over time, terming it "entirely unfounded" (p. 802). However, I feel that although their critique serves an important role in identifying potential flaws in the theory, it goes too far by using terms such as "completely illusory 'applications' of mathematics" (p. 812) and may inadvertently discourage junior researchers in pursuing the use of mathematical methods in psychology.

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