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The contribution of Chinese process thought to psychology as a global science: Filial Piety as an example

Bedford, O. and Yeh, K-H (2020) The contribution of Chinese process thought to psychology as a global science: Filial Piety as an example. Review of General Psychology, 24 (2). pp. 99-109.

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In this article, we use Birch and Cobb’s argument for the application of dual paradigms in the natural sciences and theoretical advances in Chinese indigenous psychology to indicate how a process-relational perspective can contribute to the development of psychology as a global science able to represent the full human experience. We first review the philosophical foundations of mainstream psychology, which emphasizes substance thinking and methodological individualism, and highlight its limitations for supporting truly culture-inclusive global research. Scholars in other natural science disciplines have likewise encountered limitations with a substance approach. Birch and Cobb described a paradigm shift from a substance perspective focused on entities to a process perspective focused on relationships and advocated that a multi-paradigm approach be adopted in natural science research. Chinese indigenous psychologists have made a similar theoretical argument with respect to the field of psychology, but there are few examples of the application of their ideas. We trace the development of Chinese filial piety as a psychological concept to demonstrate in detail how a multi-paradigm approach encompassing a Chinese process-relational perspective and indigenous research can harmonize with the mainstream perspective to contribute to culture-inclusive global psychological research.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: SAGE
Copyright: © 2020 by the American Psychological Association Division 1 (Society for General Psychology).
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