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V. Mazilov , Artem Kostrigin  1
  • 1 Kosygin Russian State University, 33 Sadovnicheskaya str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

The Problem of Scientific Explanation in Modern Foreign Psychology

2020. Vol. 17. No. 3. P. 390–413 [issue contents]

The article discusses the methodological problems of psychology, in particular, the problem of scientific explanation. Insufficient coverage of this problem in the Russian scientific literature is noted. The authors turn to the results of foreign studies, devoted to the problem of scientific explanation. The following areas of research in this field are determined: conceptualization and definition of this concept, its place in the system of methodology of science and psychology, description of application cases; various models, approaches, schemes of explanation (based on means and result; phenomenological, componentless, mechanistic and functional; reductionism, mechanistic analysis, explanatory pluralism, theory of dynamical systems, information theory) of psychological phenomena, facts, research results; methods and techniques of explanation (instantiation, deductive-nomological method, inference to the best explanation, reification, functional abstractionism, functionalization, schematic proof, explanatory appeal, theory of explanatory consistency); correlation and comparison of the two leading types of explanations in psychology - mechanistic and functional, determining their specificity, as well as the areas in which they are most applicable and effective; analysis of the problem of explanation in various fields of psychology (behaviorism, evolutionary psychology, social psychology); discussion of the problem of pluralism of explanatory models in psychology as an acknowledgment of the complexity of the mind and mental phenomena. The authors note that foreign psychological research deals with specific issues of theoretical and applied problems, but does not engage in theoretical and methodological restructuring of the entire system of psychology. The importance of discussing scientific explanation is grounded in relation to its potential for solving urgent methodological problems of psychology.

Citation: Mazilov V., Kostrigin A. (2020) Problema nauchnogo ob"yasneniya v sovremennoy zarubezhnoy psikhologii [The Problem of Scientific Explanation in Modern Foreign Psychology]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, vol. 17, no 3, pp. 390-413 (in Russian)
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