Economists as subjects: Toward a psychology of economists
Economists can reflect on their own field of research and themselves in a number of ways. The philosophy of science has long been the dominant way to reflect on the work of scientists, to be joined in more recent times by both the sociology of science and the rhetoric of science. In this paper I do not argue that these approaches are wrong, but I do argue that they should be complemented with a study of the individual scientist. A psychology of economists, in other words, is called for. One important theory in recent psychological literature (social learning/cognitive theory) is introduced as an instance to indicate what kind of suggestions concerning the reflective position of individual scientists might be derived. It would be preferable from this perspective that scientists set high standards for themselves, have an open mind to what happens in different disciplines, and set high standards by which to judge others. Then follows a discussion where some potential objections to the approach in general, or to the specific psychological theory in particular, are refuted.
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Volume (Year): 30 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
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350, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
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