Psychological inquiry pertains to the study of human phenomena and their social, cultural, biological, and historical intricacies. Yet, the field has largely been modeled on the physical sciences and, as such, its methodological tools of choice are primarily mathematical and statistical. I examine the ways in which these tools have historically been (and currently continue to be) applied to the study of human and psychological phenomena. This includes examination of the application and uses of measurement theory, null hypothesis testing, the error distribution curve, multilevel models (including meta-analyses), and other influential approaches that permeate the field. It also includes critical examination of the role and conceptualization of qualitative methods in psychology.
My work is highly influenced by my background and interests in linguistic and epistemological development, philosophy of science, and conceptual/historical analysis. As such, a primary aim is to identify the ontological and epistemological assumptions with which researchers approach their uses of methods. Moreover, I aim to clarify conceptual confusions apparent in psychology's applications of methodological tools - the implications of which are potentially instrumental to how we educate future generations of psychologists.
Given these aims, my work draws on a variety of scholarly "areas"of inquiry including, but not limited to: statistics, social science research methods, psychometrics, philosophy of science, the history of psychology and statistics, and developmental theory.
Contact: Donna Tafreshi, PhD | Assistant Professor | Department of Psychology University of the Fraser Valley | Email