Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


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


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...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Ashmore, M. (1989). The reflexive thesis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Brinkman, K. (2005). Consciousness, self-consciousness, and the modern self. History of the Human Sciences, 18(4), 27–48.Google Scholar
  3. Brenninkmeijer, J. (2010). Taking care of one’s brain: How manipulating the brain changes people’s selves. History of the Human Sciences, 23(1), 107–126.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Capshew, J. (1999). Psychologists on the march: Science, practice, and professional identity in American, 1929–1969. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Choudhury, S., & Slaby, J. (2012). Critical neuroscience: A handbook of the social and cultural contexts of neuroscience. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  6. Cohen-Cole, J. N. (2005). The reflexivity of cognitive science: The (cognitive) scientist as model of nature. History of the Human Sciences, 18(4), 107–139.Google Scholar
  7. Giddens, A. (1992). The transformation of intimacy. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  8. Gouldner, A. (1970). The coming crisis of western sociology. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  9. Gruenberg, B. (1978). The problem of reflexivity in the sociology of science. Philosophy of Social Science, 8, 321–342.Google Scholar
  10. Hacking, I. (1995). The looping effect of human kinds. In D. Sperber, D. Premack, & A. J. Premack (Eds.), Causal cognition: A multidisciplinary debate (pp. 351–383). Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  11. James, W. (1890). The principles of psychology. New York: Holt.Google Scholar
  12. Law, J. (2004). After method: Mess in social science research. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. MacIntyre, A. (1985). How psychology makes itself true –or false. In S. Koch & D. E. Leary (Eds.), A century of psychology as science (pp. 897–903). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  14. Mazlish, B. (1998). The uncertain sciences. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  15. McKenzie, D., Muniesa, F., & Siu, L. (2007). Do economists make markets? On the performativity of economics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  16. McMylor, P. (2005). Reflexive historical sociology: Consciousness, experience and the author. History of the Human Sciences, 18(4), 141–160.Google Scholar
  17. Morawski, J. G. (1992). Self regard and other regard: Reflexive practices in American psychology, 1890–1940. Science in Context, 5, 281–308.Google Scholar
  18. Morawski, J. (2005). Reflexivity and the psychologist. History of the Human Sciences, 18(4), 77–105.Google Scholar
  19. Oliver, W. D., & Langfield, A. W. (1962). Reflexivity: An unfaced issue of psychology. Journal of Individual Psychology, 18(2), 114–124.Google Scholar
  20. Richards, G. (2002). The psychology of psychology: A historically grounded sketch. Theory and Psychology, 12(1), 7–36.Google Scholar
  21. Sandywell, B. (1996). Reflexivity and the crisis of western reason: Logological investigations volume 1. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Smith, R. (2005). Does reflexivity separate the human sciences from the natural sciences? History of the Human Sciences, 18(4), 1–25.Google Scholar
  23. Unger, R. K. (1983). Through the looking glass: No wonderland yet (The reciprocal relationship between methodology and models of reality). Psychology of Women Quarterly, 8, 9–32.Google Scholar
  24. Wilkinson, S. (1988). The role of reflexivity in feminist psychology. Women’s Studies International Forum, 11(5), 493–502.Google Scholar
  25. Woolgar, S. (1988). Knowledge and reflexivity. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWesleyan UniversityMiddletownUSA