Do Our Psychological Laws Apply Only to College Students? External Validity Revisited

Wolfgang Stroebe*, Volker Gadenne, Bernard A. Nijstad

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

15 Citaten (Scopus)
368 Downloads (Pure)


That most psychological research is conducted with students led to concerns that psychological laws apply only to this population. These fears are based on Campbell and Stanley's concept of external validity that specifies the extent to which research findings can be generalized. This concept is based on an inductivist philosophy. As philosophers of science have argued since Hume, one cannot derive general laws from singular observations. Instead, one develops theories and uses empirical studies to test these theories. This solves the problem of generalization because the domain of applicability is specified by the theory. Reports that studies result in different findings when conducted in different cultures are unproblematic as long as these differences can be explained with psychological theories.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)384-395
Aantal pagina's12
TijdschriftBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Nummer van het tijdschrift6
StatusPublished - 2-nov-2018

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