Orientation to Inquiry in a Reflective Professional Psychology

By Lisa L. Tsoi Hoshmand

Subjects: Educational Psychology
Series: SUNY series, Alternatives in Psychology
Paperback : 9780791421161, 307 pages, August 1994
Hardcover : 9780791421154, 307 pages, September 1994

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Table of contents


1. A Reflective Professional Psychology

Personal Reflections on the Profession

Science, Practice, and Professional Psychology

Issues of Method Choice

Personal Knowing and Professional Worldviews

Questions for Reflective Study

Suggested Additional Learning

2. Foundations and Issues of Psychological Inquiry

Setting the Stage for an Overview

Models of Knowledge in Historical Perspective

A Summary of Related Arguments and Issues

Professional Inquiry in the Postmodern Age

Suggested Additional Learning

3. Professional Inquiry in Context

Cultural and Historical Embeddedness of Psychological Science and Practice

The Sociopolitical Context of Professional Inquiry

Our Inquiry Contract with Human Subjects

Summarizing the Implications for Professional Inquiry

Suggested Additional Learning

4. Ideas, Conceptual Systems, and Core Beliefs

From Concepts to Systems of Ideas

The Uses of Conceptual Tools in Professional Inquiry

Core Commitments and Root Metaphors in Professional Psychology

Metalevel Frameworks

Suggested Additional Learning

5. Paradigms of Research

Understanding Paradigms

Unraveling Paradigm Debates

Conventional Paradigms and Extensions of Experimental Methodology

Narrative and Hermeneutical Approaches

Critical Theory as a Paradigmatic View

Transactional and Systemic Perspectives on Research

Other Guiding Metaphors for Research in Professional Psychology

Paradigm Choice, Methodological Pluralism, and the Evaluation of Methodologies

Suggested Additional Learning

6. Methods of Inquiry



Testing and Assessment

The Centrality of Meaning and Value

Suggested Additional Learning

7. The Applied Epistemology of the Scientist-Practitioner

The Nature of Conceptual Development

Perceptual Inference and Judgment in Social Context

Research on Professional Expertise

Ways of Knowing and the Self

Developing Reflective Qualities of Mind and Ways of Being

Suggested Additional Learning

8. The Case Study as Training Ground

The Case Study as an Epistemic Device

A Reflective Orientation to Case Analysis

Problem Space and Alternative Conceptual Tools

Initial Formulations and Hypotheses

Posing Questions for Inquiry

Factors in the Choice of Procedures

Data Guidance and Systematic Inference

Other Inquiry Habits Required in Case Study

Types and Examples of Case Study

Suggested Additional Learning

9. Development of the Reflective Scientist-Practitioner

Setting Goals for Professional Development

Cultivating Reflective Habits

Framing Questions of Practice for Theory and Research

Action Research as a Model of Professional Inquiry

The Importance of Mentoring

Creating Collaborative Learning Communities

Suggested Additional Learning




This book approaches professional inquiry in psychology from a perspective that integrates research and practice and prepares students for the diversity of methods employed in the field. It examines a broad range of models and methods of inquiry in both research and practice and provides a framework for linking issues of knowledge to the special context of professional psychology.

Guided by a vision of psychology as a self-critical discipline and a reflective profession, Hoshmand provides a pluralistic perspective on inquiry, including alternative paradigms, for the professional education of clinical, counseling, consulting, and other practicing psychologists as reflective scientist-practitioners. She gives special attention to the cognitive development and knowledge processes of the professional and offers suggestions for professional training and mechanisms of teaching and learning.

Lisa Tsoi Hoshmand is Professor of Counseling at the California State University, Fullerton.


"Hoshmand has examined the metatheoretical foundations of psychological inquiry in an unusually thorough, balanced way, and presents her argument in a style that is at once erudite, clear, and practically useful. The statement builds on the best of the constructionist and pragmatic critiques of positivistic scientism, without abandoning the advantages that sensible critical realism and flexible empiricism offer to disciplined inquiry in professional psychology. " — Donald Peterson, Rutgers University

"The intellectual importance of the work rests in her creative wager as to the direction that changes in methodology will take in the future. The book will be centrally important to the way the field of methodology in the human sciences develops. Professional methodologists in several fields (psychology, sociology, education, etc. ) will need to be aware of it. " — George Howard, University of Notre Dame