Robert J. Sternberg, Joachim Funke
The Psychology of Human Thought: Introduction
This chapter introduces the psychology of human thought. It opens by considering what the field encompasses, and at a general level, how investigations of human thought proceed—through theories generating hypotheses leading to experiments for which data can be analyzed. The chapter then considers seven themes that pervade research in the psychology of human thought, giving as an example, research on human intelligence, where all seven themes have permeated research ever since the field began. The seven themes are nature and nurture, rationalism and empiricism, structures and processes, domain generality and domain specificity, validity of causal inferences and ecological validity, basic and applied research, and biological and behavioral methods. The chapter concludes that the psychology of human thought is best investigated through a melding of converging operations, that is, by multiple kinds of methods that one hopes will yield mutually confirming results.