James T. Lamiell
An aggressive critique of the misinterpretation of statistical knowledge of populations in mainstream psychology can be found in the book “Psychology's Misuse of Statistics and Persistent Dismissal of its Critics” (PDF), which evaluates the implications of the assumption that those statistics constitute scientific knowledge of individuals. It investigates the fundamental nature as well as the historical foundations of this interpretative technique, and it chronicles the fact that mainstream thought has not changed in spite of the criticisms that have been leveled against the practice in the past. The author asserts that the prevalent interpretive traditions lead to faulty science due to the fact that unreasonable claims are made to the understanding of individuals as a result of these traditions. He also analyzes the socio-ethical concerns that arise as a result of this erroneous interpretation of statistics. These problems arise when psychological practitioners approve interventions in the lives of persons without sufficient justification. Lamiell encourages psychologists to abandon the aggregate statistical methods that, in his view, have turned the field into ‘psycho-demography.' Instead, he encourages them to embrace alternative research methods that are logically suited to gaining scientific knowledge about the psychological functioning of individuals. Lamiell's argument is that the aggregate statistical methods have turned the field into ‘psycho-demography.' This textbook comes to a close by exploring several persisting conceptual roadblocks to the serious study of various methodological alternatives. These roadblocks are highlighted with some of the already available methodological alternatives.
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