At one time, psychologists aspired to build a science composed of interrelated descriptive laws and the theories that explain them--a nomothetic science. For various reasons this goal was abandoned. In its place, we have a collection of theories that, for the most part, are organized by topic and subdiscipline or by themes and shared language (e.g., characterization of cognition in terms of information processing, which is neither a law nor a rigorous theory but a viewpoint or approach). As things stand, although our theories and research are scientific, we have failed to create a coherent science. In this article the nomothetic goal is reconsidered, and an example of how we might begin to achieve it is described.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.