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Economics and Psychology: Lessons for Our Own Day from the Early Twentieth Century

  • Shira B. Lewin
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    This paper studies the historical roots of the relationship between economics and psychology, and places recurring controversies between these disciplines in the context of the relationship between economics and the other human sciences, especially sociology. We focus on the formative years of contemporary economics, the early twentieth century, when psychologists and institutionalist economists attacked the "unscientific" nature of economics. Economists responded by (mistakenly) renouncing verstehen and claiming adherence to behaviorism, rather than by actually addressing the institutionalist critique. "Behaviorist" economics declared independence from psychology, and by analogy, from the other human sciences. Our illusion of independence continues to this day.

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    File URL: http://www.e-jel.org/archive/sept1996/Lewin.pdf
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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

    Volume (Year): 34 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 1293-1323

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:34:y:1996:i:3:p:1293-1323
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