A Sociocultural–Constructionist Epistemology for the Psychology of Aging
- Roger L. PetersonRoger L. PetersonDepartment of Clinical Psychology, Antioch University New England
- and Katherine A. LambosKatherine A. LambosDepartment of Clinical Psychology, Antioch University New England
A sociocultural-constructionist epistemology stands alongside more traditional psychology epistemologies for the study of aging. These positions are not commensurable. Based on Donald Peterson’s classic position on how science and practice differ in fundamental ways, on his view of “disciplined inquiry,” and Trierweiler’s view of the “local clinical scientist,” this epistemological position is more-directly relevant to practice. Within the constructionist context, it emphasizes the importance of “local” as a key level of description, along with particular levels of local knowledge. All of this is consistent with Knight’s Contextual Adult Lifespan Theory. Bruner’s ideas on cultural psychology and how culture is embedded in narrative take these ideas further. They are consistent with Bruner’s metacomments on epistemology.