Toward a consilient science of psychology
Article first published online: 19 NOV 2004
Copyright © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Special Issue: Defining Psychology: Articles and Commentaries on a New Unified Theory (Part 2)
Volume 61, Issue 1, pages 7–20, January 2005
How to Cite
Rand, K. L. and Ilardi, S. S. (2005), Toward a consilient science of psychology. J. Clin. Psychol., 61: 7–20. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20088
- Issue published online: 8 DEC 2004
- Article first published online: 19 NOV 2004
From its inception, psychology has been characterized by conceptual fragmentation and slow scientific progress (Henriques, 2004; Meehl, 1978). In contrast, the natural sciences have achieved in recent decades a remarkable degree of consilience—the linking of fact, theory, and method across disciplines (and subdisciplines) and across nested levels of informational complexity (Wilson, 1998). Although such consilience serves as a potent catalyst of scientific discovery, there exists several barriers to the emergence of a consilient science of psychology (e.g., the persistent influence of dualism, longstanding internecine discord, resistance to perceived reductionism, etc.). We discuss the manner in which the development of metatheoretical frameworks (including Henriques' Tree of Knowledge model) may play an important role in addressing such barriers. Likewise, we describe the hybrid interdisciplinary domain of cognitive neuroscience, which provides an empirically testable metatheory and a promising consilient bridge between psychology and the natural sciences. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol.