Publication 3730

Westmeyer H. (1999) Konstruktivismus und Psychologie. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft 2(4): 507–525. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/3730
Constructivist approaches are met with growing interest in the field of psychology In this paper, three variants of constructivism will be dealt with (1) the individual-centred constructivism of the theory of personal constructs proposed by George Kelly, (2) radical constructivism in the sense of Ernst von Glasersfeld and Heinz von Foerster, and (3) social constructionism as represented by Ken Gergen This paper outlines the theory of personal constructs as the first subject-theoretical and constructivist approach in psychology, considers the reasons for the rather ambiguous reception of radical constructivism in psychology, and explains why social constructionism can be seen as the most promising variant of constructivism today by presenting two examples the social construction of psychological disorders and the social construction of creativity The central question about the empirical content of psychological theories is answered from a social-constructionist point of view The conclusion is that empirical research in psychology remains possible and useful Finally, recent critical comments concerning the extension of social constructionism to the natural sciences are briefly discussed.

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