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Issue 4/2008

Okładka pierwszego numeru czasopisma Psychologia Społeczna


The place of science and of psychology in a culture dominated 
by the ideology of a free market

Krzysztof Mudyń
Institute of Applied Psychology
Jagiellonian University

The author speculates about the place of science in the systemically understood reality as well as its role in a culture governed by the rules of a free market economy. Comparing the evolution of culture to a speeding train, the author suggests that science insignificantly influences the direction of cultural evolution - it is neither a steam engine nor a locomotive engineer. Its spokespeople are the passengers sitting in the fourth wagon. Their practical role comes down to analyzing and commenting on current events as well as participating in efforts to minimize the aftermath of catastrophes, if such should occur. The author continues to explain further that academic psychological knowledge has different aims than does applied or lay psychology. Of necessity, academic psychological knowledge has a declarative character and is transferable only to a limited extent into practical abilities of introducing change, i.e. into procedural knowledge. There are many psychologies, each searching and collecting different types of knowledge (and skills) in accordance with their objectives. Therefore, practical knowledge (also worthy of being deemed professional) should not be expected to be derived from scientific knowledge. Knowledge and skills outside the interests and methods of academic psychology should not be undermined. If practitioners are labeled as shamans, then, accordingly, theoreticians should be called preachers and empirical experimenters - DIY enthusiasts.

Key words: place of science in a free market economy, pure science vs. science in service of social needs and problems, multiplicity of psychology, shamans, preachers and DIY enthusiasts

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