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A New Narrative for Psychology$
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Brian Schiff

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199332182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199332182.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 May 2021

Out of Context

Out of Context

(p.9) Chapter 1 Out of Context
A New Narrative for Psychology

Brian Schiff

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1, “Out of Context,” in A New Narrative for Psychology, argues that one of the main consequences of the overreliance on variable-centered methods is a misinterpretation of the nature of psychological processes. Although variable-centered research seems to argue that we can understand the process outside of the person and outside of the social world as an abstract entity, this is not really possible. Psychological processes are aspects of subjective experience that have meanings specific to a person who is situated in a definite time and space. The chapter reviews the debate on the stability of personality traits over time and argues that it makes no sense to ask if personality changes or stays the same. Personality doesn’t do anything, but variables are characterized as if they have a life of their own. Outside of the context of the person, one misunderstands what personality is and means.

Keywords:   narrative, personality trait, psychological process, variable-centered research, personality, psychology

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