Personality Psychology and the Hypothetical-Deductive Model of Explanation

Reply to Commentators
  • Fred Vollmer
Part of the Annals of Theoretical Psychology book series (AOTP, volume 4)


I have claimed that the hypothetical-deductive model proposes an explanation of observable events which involves theorizing about underlying, nonobservable causes. In psychology the realm of the mental has generally been thought of as making up the hidden underworld of causes of what people say and do. My aim was to show that this general conception of how psyche is related to our words and deeds is questionable. It was argued that psyche comprises (extends into) what we say and do and that behaving and using language in certain ways in certain situations may be cases (and not effects) of mental phenomena. Alston’s main point is that although this may be true for such phenomena as intention, thought, desire, and feeling (and possibly for some dispositions), there are other mental phenomena, which I have not discussed, which are genuinely nonobservable causes of behavior and which form the really important theoretical variables of psychology.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred Vollmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Personality PsychologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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