Humans as Self-Constructing Living Systems: Putting the Framework to Work

Humans as Self-Constructing Living Systems: Putting the Framework to Work

Humans as Self-Constructing Living Systems: Putting the Framework to Work

Humans as Self-Constructing Living Systems: Putting the Framework to Work

Excerpt

John R. Nesselroade andDonald H. Ford The Pennsylvania State University

Objectives

Our general objective in this chapter is to identify and discuss some of the critical methodological issues involved in the study of behavior, behavioral development, and change in humans. A more specific objective is to consider some of the implications of D. Ford (1987) conceptualization of humans as dynamic, self-organizing, and self- constructing living systems for dealing with these issues. In addition, we consider the impact of research methodologies on the interaction between knowledge-generation and knowledge-application activities in the study of human development. Too frequently, professionals find it difficult to relate to practical human concerns in scholarly writings, and scholars find it difficult to translate the beliefs that guide professional applications into testable forms. In this chapter we argue that the lack of desirable synergy between knowledge generation and knowledge application results in part from dominant research design traditions and that the synergy can be increased with certain modifications and elaborations of these traditions.

Our strategy is to begin by examining several features of the linkage between researchers' methodological and theoretical orientations. We . . .

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