Reintegration and synthesis in the behavioural sciences : justification, a possible basis and some demonstration of feasibility : a thesis ... for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Psychology at Massey University

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Massey University
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The behavioural sciences are considered to be excessively fragmented both within and across disciplines. 'l'he case for this claim is presented, followed by analysis of special problems that confront the development of more unified, coherent behavioural science endeavour. It is proposed that man's status as an evolved biological entity be more fully explored both as a fundamental base from which diverse approaches can grow, and as an ultimate conceptual framework, or set of parameters, within which the various perspectives and formulations should cohere. The argument is developed that the most fruitful starting point in these terms is the exploration of man's basic processes and organization at the bio-psychological level of analysis. Brief investigation of (Skinnerian) behaviourism as a paradigm provides the opportunity for specific demonstration of value, as broader bio-psychological formulations are considered to enable : (a) more satisfactory treatment of anomalies that have developed relative to this paradigm, without loss of the real gains accrued from its development as such (b) productive links to be established with formulations hitherto perceived as 'opposing' (c) the development of more directional, comprehensive theoretical status in what has been an essentially pragmatic development.
Behaviorism (Psychology)