Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Reflexivity

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_263

Introduction

Over the last half century, reflexivity has received attention across the human sciences although far less so in psychology than in its kindred disciplines. In the broadest, epistemological meaning, reflexivity refers to the back-and-forth process whereby an account of reality depends on preexisting knowledge of that account. This sense of the concept acknowledges that the knower and knowledge generated cannot be fully separated. Within the human sciences, where the knower and the object to be known are of the same kind (human beings), reflexivity has additional meanings since any knowledge about humans attained through human science inquiry refers to the human observers as well as the human objects of observation. This particular epistemological understanding of reflexivity is not the only one for across the human sciences, psychology included; reflexivity thus has acquired several meanings. The term has been used to refer to an inescapable epistemological condition, a...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWesleyan UniversityMiddletownUSA