Psychology, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in “Introduction” to Integrative Views of Motivation, Cognition, and Emotion: Volume 41 of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, ed. Richard Dienstbier and William D. Spaulding. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1994. Copyright © 1994 University of Nebraska Press. Used by permission.


One of my formative experiences as a graduate student came during a break in our afternoon-long first-year proseminar. We had been discussing the scope of psychology, or rather, listening to two professors debate the scope of psychology. Both the protagonists were clinical psychologists by training, but one had remained an empirically focused social learning theorist, while the other had pursued the study of Eastern religion, psychoanalysis, and transpersonal psychology. As the class milled about, the social learning empiricist sought some closure on the discussion. "Dick," he said to his transpersonal colleague, "it seems to me that we disagree because in your view, what I do isn't psychology, and in my view, what you do isn't science."