This thesis explores whether a viable theistic program of psychological research is possible. The importance of this exploration has to do with naturalism's monopoly on psychological science, inasmuch as naturalism prevents other worldviews from competing fairly in psychology's scientific marketplace by controlling the criteria of psychological science. Because theism is naturalism's most complete rival, considering theism's scientific potential in psychology is crucial to dismantling naturalism's monopoly. Contrary to conventional wisdom, theism encompasses a unique set of understandings about the natural events that constitute the discipline of psychology. Therefore, a robust scientific conception of theism would change how psychological researchers understand and utilize existing research methods and psychological topics. Not only are quantitative and qualitative methods capable of theistic deployment; traditionally theistic topics and radically secular topics within psychology can also be reconceptualized and investigated theistically. Indeed, theistic reconceptualizations of psychological theories and topics lead to new and different research questions, hypotheses, and predictions as well as original studies and prospective programs of research, suggesting that theism is heuristic for the discipline of psychology in its current constitution. A viable theistic program of psychological research is not only possible, but also necessary for psychological science.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Zhang, Michael, "Is a Viable Theistic Program of Psychological Research Possible?" (2014). All Theses and Dissertations. 4298.
psychological science, naturalism, theism, worldviews, psychological research, methods, topics