Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.




The purpose of the present study was to investigate the theoretical orientations and values of contemporary North American feminist psychologists. Surveys were distributed to all participants at the 1985 annual national conferences of the Association for Women in Psychology, and the Canadian Psychological Association's Section on Women and Psychology. On dichotomous measures of theoretical orientation in psychology (those that are based on the concept of opposing objectivist vs. subjectivist or scientist vs. humanist epistemologies), scores of respondents in the present study tended on the average to be in a markedly subjectivistic direction. As well as tending to favour subjectivistic rather than objectivistic epistemology, respondents in the present study also tended to be exogenist rather than endogenist in their views about the sources of individual differences, that is, they tended to place more emphasis on the external, social determinants of human behaviour than internal, biological determinants. Feminist psychologists also endorsed values about the role of science in society that were consistent with rejection of traditional positivist assumptions about the value-neutrality of science. Endorsement of a value-laden conceptualization of science was found to be associated with a preference for subjectivist epistemology. Significant within-group differences were found between heterosexual and non-heterosexual feminists, the latter group tending to favour a more subjectivistic and more exogenist theoretical orientation than the former, and between feminist academics and practitioners, the latter group tending to favour a more subjectivistic but less exogenist theoretical orientation than the former. Results were discussed in the context of the changing theoretical values culture within psychology and directions for further research were described.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1986 .R535. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 47-05, Section: B, page: 2183. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1986.