Science as Psychology: Sense-Making and Identity in Science Practice

Science as Psychology: Sense-Making and Identity in Science Practice

By: Wendy C. Newstetter (author), Nancy J. Nersessian (author), Kareen R. Malone (author), Lisa M. Osbeck (author)Hardback

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Science as Psychology reveals the complexity and richness of rationality by demonstrating how social relationships, emotion, culture, and identity are implicated in the problem-solving practices of laboratory scientists. In this study, the authors gather and analyze interview and observational data from innovation-focused laboratories in the engineering sciences to show how the complex practices of laboratory research scientists provide rich psychological insights, and how a better understanding of science practice facilitates understanding of human beings more generally. The study focuses not on dismantling the rational core of scientific practice, but on illustrating how social, personal, and cognitive processes are intricately woven together in scientific thinking. The book is thus a contribution to science studies, the psychology of science, and general psychology.

About Author

Lisa M. Osbeck is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of West Georgia. She holds a PhD in General Psychology from Georgetown University and was a visiting Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh. She was a visiting research scientist in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology during the year most of this book was written. Dr Osbeck is the recipient of the 2005 Sigmund Koch Award for Early Career Contributions to Psychology bestowed by the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology (American Psychological Association, Division 24). She has served on the executive committee of the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology and is on the editorial boards of Theory and Psychology, the Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology and the International Journal for the Psychology of Science and Technology. Professor Osbeck also recently won the Arthur W. Staats Lecture for Unifying Psychology Award 2015. Nancy J. Nersessian is Regents' Professor of Cognitive Science at Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a pioneer in the area of cognitive studies of science and technology, a former chair of the Cognitive Science Society, a member of the governing board of the Philosophy of Science Association, and a founding member of the International Society for the Psychology of Science. She is also a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr Nersessian has received numerous grants and fellowships, including from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has held several residential fellowship positions, most recently at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She is the author of numerous publications on the creative research practices of scientists and engineers, including the recent book Creating Scientific Concepts, and on science learning. Kareen R. Malone is Professor of Psychology at the University of West Georgia and is also on the Women's Studies Faculty. She is Director of the Doctoral Program in Psychology, a program that addresses the relationship of subject and context and individual and culture. She is associate editor of Theory and Psychology, is on the editorial board of Psychoanalysis, Society, and Culture, is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and was elected 2009-10 President of the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology. Dr Malone has co-edited three volumes of Lacanian psychoanalysis and is the author of numerous chapters, articles, and reviews in the areas of Lacanian psychoanalysis, gender, race and science, feminism and the epistemology of psychology, cognitive psychology, and subjectivity. Wendy C. Newstetter is the Director of Learning Sciences Research in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She works with faculty both at Georgia Tech and throughout the nation through Project Kaleidoscope to create and develop more effective science, math, and engineering educational environments informed by learning and cognitive science research. Dr Newstetter has published in numerous journals and conference proceedings, including the Journal of Engineering Education, Research in Engineering Design and the Annals of Biomedical Engineering. She is senior editor for the Journal of Engineering Education.


1. Introduction: science and persons; 2. Methods of study; 3. The problem-solving person; 4. The feeling person; 5. The positioning person; 6. The person negotiating cultural identities; 7. The learning person; 8. Epilogue: science as psychology: a tacit tradition and its implications.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780521882071
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 288
  • ID: 9780521882071
  • weight: 590
  • ISBN10: 0521882079

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