Casting Nets and Testing Specimens:
Two Grand Methods of Psychology
Customer Review posted at Amazon.com
An Epochal and Generally Unrecognized Masterpiece
, May 16, 2008
A major contribution to the study and practice of socio-psychological research. Runkel's prescriptions understood and followed would revolutionize the behavioral sciences. The specific methods used by people who call themselves behavioral and medical scientists have a basis in theories, often unexamined ones. Runkel shows what statistical studies of groups of people, which he calls the method of relative frequencies or "casting nets" can do and what it cannot do: tell anything specific about the nature of individuals. Runkel shows how the scientific study of the individual can get done, what he calls "the method of specimens." It requires a radical shift in the understanding of human behavior, including your own. He also discusses action research and the usefulness of single trials, the "method of possibilities," often dismissed as providing only anecdotal evidence, which can usefully demonstrate the possibility of accomplishing something. An epochal work.