ERIC Number: ED269995
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Inaccuracy of Knowledge Represented in College Textbooks: Aggression as an Example.
Bertilson, Hal S.
Ten introductory psychology textbooks and five social psychology textbooks were examined for accuracy in their treatment of human aggression. Attention was focused on the treatment of the concept of emotional catharsis, and specifically to two frequent usages of catharsis (behavioral and emotional catharsis) and the social learning involved in emotional catharsis. Of the 10 introductory psychology textbooks, whose authors are identified, seven discussed catharsis. It is claimed that none of the seven psychology textbooks treated catharsis in a satisfactory manner. Five texts correctly separated behavioral and emotional catharsis, but failed to mention the origins of emotional catharsis in social learning. Other inaccuracies were also found. The specialized textbooks in social psychology were not found to treat emotional catharsis any more accurately. Implications of the findings include: (1) growth of the knowledge base exacerbates the problem of accuracy and concensus; (2) theoretically the problem of textbook validation for accuracy may be understood in terms of social learning theory; and (3) defining a concept without critical evaluation leaves a false impression that the concept is viable. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northern Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association (Jackson Hole, WY, October 13-15, 1983).