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Changing Methodologies: A Co-constructivist Study of Goal Orientations in Social Interactions


  • Angela Uchoa Branco

    (University of Brasilia Brazil)

  • Jaan Valsiner

    (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill North Carolina)


In psychology the need for methodological innovation along the lines of the co-constructionist paradigm is emphasised. The model of methodology outlined is a cyclical research process in which goal-oriented thinking and interven tional procedures are used by the investigator in interaction with investigated phenomena. Traditional psychology's concern with variables has led to a sepa ration of the different facets of the target phenomena and has not proved useful in studying developmental processes. Co-constructionist methods involve the re-interpretation of existing methods, for example, interview and it is sug gested that these methods are akin to the hermeneutic process of knowledge construction whereby the emergence of relevant and novel psychological phe nomena is possible. The microgenetic research strategies that are used help to retain the individual sequence of the phenomena in the constructed data. The co-constructionist methodological approach is used to study cooperative and competitive behaviours in pre-school children. This process involves a uni fication of inductive and deductive inferences and a re-conceptualisation of the phenomena in terms of goal orientation convergence and divergence. An analysis of interactions between children and the adult experimenter is provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Angela Uchoa Branco & Jaan Valsiner, 1997. "Changing Methodologies: A Co-constructivist Study of Goal Orientations in Social Interactions," Psychology and Developing Societies, , vol. 9(1), pages 35-64, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:psydev:v:9:y:1997:i:1:p:35-64
    DOI: 10.1177/097133369700900103

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Latham, Gary P. & Locke, Edwin A., 1991. "Self-regulation through goal setting," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 212-247, December.
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