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Keywords:

  • discursive psychology;
  • science;
  • reflexivity;
  • universality

Abstract

Jahoda (2012) criticizes discursive social psychology (DSP) on several different grounds; specifically, he argues that DSP has opaque methodological procedures, is of questionable scientific merit, involves over-interpretation of its data, and implicitly claims its findings to be universal rather than contextually specific. We challenge these criticisms by arguing that observational studies of the kind typical within DSP research have a perfectly valid place within a scientific social psychology, that the interpretations made by DSP researchers should be seen in the context of a temporally extended research process in which they are subject to criticism and potential replication, and that Jahoda is himself guilty of over-interpretation by inferring claims of universality when such an inference is not warranted by the data (i.e. the qualitative content of the sample of research papers considered by Jahoda).