The Future Prospects for (Qualitative) Psychology

Hans-Jürgen Seel


If we attempt to assess the future prospects for psychology ten years after the founding of the "Neue Gesellschaft für Psychologie" (NGfP), we find a steadily increasing demand for professional psychological services. However, such services will not automatically be sought from psychologists. The current state of psychology in Germany as a nomothetic science is not an ideal basis for the training of professional counsellors in the psychosocial and management fields for example, since practising psychologists mostly handle individual cases, which essentially calls for a qualitative way of working. As a result, the future of psychology will depend not least on the elaboration of qualitative methodological concepts within a pluralistic psychological science. A precondition for safeguarding the identity of the profession is the establishment of a scientific meta-discourse which accepts different methodological approaches to the scientific object. This discourse, using everyday language, is known as protopsychology. Protopsychology has to deal with the assignment of different methodological approaches to special types of situations of social practice in a pluralistic society and thus demonstrate the usefulness of scientific psychological knowledge. On the basis of these arguments, the structure of knowledge production must also be revised, because psychological knowledge will have to be created more in practical psychological activity than in scientific laboratories in the future; otherwise, it will not be possible to transfer it to the work situation of practising psychologists and it will not provide a basis for psychologists to participate in social criticism.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0002240


future perspectives for Psychology; qualitative research; pluralism; theory of science; methodology; practical work; Protopsychology; German "Psychotherapeutengesetz; knowledge management


Copyright (c) 2000 Hans-Jürgen Seel

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.