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A critical comparison of Cognitive Social Psychology and Discursive Social Psychology

Milton, Damian (2010) A critical comparison of Cognitive Social Psychology and Discursive Social Psychology. Open University. (Unpublished)


The methods used by social scientists are inextricably linked to the theoretical foundations that underpin their practices. The practical methodological strategies employed by researchers are thus informed by ontological (nature of reality) and epistemological (how knowledge is claimed) arguments pertaining to the nature of lived reality. Taylor (2007) states that throughout the twentieth century, the dominant paradigm in Social Psychology was that of the Cognitive perspective, with the largest amount of funding dedicated to it, the largest number of published research articles, and the largest number of practicing academics. This ‘mainstream’ paradigm echoed the dominance found in all social science research by ‘positivist’ scientific method. This essay contrasts the theoretical and methodological differences between the Cognitive Social Psychological paradigm and that of Discursive Social Psychology, a far more recent set of ideas and concepts that emerged far more recently in psychological debate and which is often represented as highly ‘critical’ of the positivist mainstream.

Item Type: Other
Uncontrolled keywords: Social psychology, cognition, discourse
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Damian Milton
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2017 17:00 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 04:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Milton, Damian:
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