• We want you to apply open-minded skepticism while you read Psychology and Life. We don’t want you to view your study of psychology as the acquisition of a list of facts. Instead, we hope you will participate in the joy of observing and discovering and putting ideas to the test.

—— Gerrig, R. J., & Zimbardo, P. G. (2004). In Psychology and Life (17th ed., p. 41). Pearson Education.

  • Publishing this definition has amounted to waving a red flag in front of a herd of bulls —— parents and professionals alike. Far from clarifying the situation, the definition inspired so much snorting and ground-pawing that the conceptual dust has grown thicker than ever. Part of the problem arises from the fact that we lose sight of what a definition is for. Definitions are not truth: they merely set up the conditions under which particular actions are to be taken. (Farnham-Diggory, 1978)
    The actions referred to may include research investigations, diagnostic assessments, and/or educational interventions. But whatever response is undertaken, we must guard against the proclivity to view definitions as truth or false. Definitions are merely human inventions with greater or lesser utility, nothing more.

—— Gregory, R. J. (2004). In Psychological Testing: History, Principles, and Applications (4th ed., p. 361). Pearson Education.

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