Naive and Obvious Questions.

  • David C . Funder
  • Published 2009 in
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal…


Psychology is the luckiest of the sciences because it owns the most interesting questions, the foremost being, "Why do people do what they do?" Naively, one might expect that research addressing this question would focus on the most important behaviors, but instead most studies choose behavioral dependent variables on the basis of their procedural feasibility and suitability for theory testing. The cumulative result is an uneven and unrepresentative map of the behavioral terrain. Situational variables are chosen in a similar manner with a parallel result. (Personality variables, in contrast, typically are designed to capture intrinsically important individual differences.) In this article, I proposes a simple research agenda that measures situational and behavioral variables selected on the basis of their intrinsic interest and consequentiality. This agenda promotes descriptive empirical research that is more likely to address the obvious (and good) questions that are the foundation of the widespread interest in psychology and to aid the development of theories that are interesting and widely relevant.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01135.x

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@article{Funder2009NaiveAO, title={Naive and Obvious Questions.}, author={David C . Funder}, journal={Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science}, year={2009}, volume={4 4}, pages={340-4} }