By John Sants (eds.)
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Additional resources for Developmental Psychology and Society
For this reason a description of cognitive processes was a justifiable first objective. Recent work in developmental psychology, however, has sought to get to grips with analyses of social contexts (Richards, 1974). Nevertheless there is some force in the criticism that developmental psychologists have been unaware of the social biases in their work, particularly perhaps in their principal topic of maternal care. Yet is a sympathetic attitude to Bowlby's work evidence of a sexist bias? And, if so, will the bias permanently impede the progress of science?
Hall argued that 'science offered a truly religious world-view, of greater weight than philosophic and religious myths tied to merely personal or historic speculation' (Ross, 1972, pp. 142-143). He thought he had found his profession as well as his faith. For a time, Hall's energy and ability swept him along as a founder of experimental psychology, but in the space of a decade he 24 JOHN SANTS had quarrelled with his fellow experimentalists and turned finally to child study-and genetic psychology-as the subject in which he could satisfy his needs for a psychology which would encompass the emotional and dynamic aspects of man.
Yet even here, as we see from time to time in the history of psychology, it is possible to distinguish results from values. A safeguard in a 42 JOHN SANTS scientific psychology is that the whole process must be published in a form which enables others to engage in this very exercise of exposing the sequence to scrutiny. In the long run, biases need not survive. Perhaps the hardest to remove are those which determine choice of topics in that they are controlled by senior members of the profession whose ftexibilities do not increase with advancing age.