The Potential Enrichment of Social/Personality Psychology Through Feminist Research and Vice Versa

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Feminist scholarship is defined and its influence on mainstream social/personality psychology is examined in terms of its potential for enrichment of the field. Such enrichment is viewed as a consequence of: (a) critical analysis to uncover androcentric bias in both content and method, (b) the asking of new questions and formulation of new hypotheses and theories that stem from a focus on women's experiences, and (c) the challenge to some of the traditional assumptions about objectivity in science. In addition, it is argued that social/personality psychology has the potential to enrich feminist theory by contributing to an issue central to it, namely, the nature of gender differences and similarities. It is suggested that within-gender differences must also be examined to uncover the relationships between behavior and its antecedents. Because psychologists are best prepared to probe the connections between what people do, feel, and believe and the conditions that make particular behaviors, feelings, and ideas more probable, our research is essential to understanding how culture constructs gender. © 1985 American Psychological Association.

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American Psychologist