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Record Type: Review   ID: 198

Writing and Psychology: Understanding Writing and Its Teaching From the Perspective of Composition Studies

Vipond, Douglas

 The author is a psychology professor at a Canadian university. He argues on behalf of a new approach to professional psychological writing that borrows from the social sciences and humanities. It argues that the act of writing is not so much a performance for an audience as it is more like conversation and dialogue within a discourse community—or a city of discourses. From feminist writing, he takes the position that psychologists should interject themselves in their writing. "Writing that includes personal experience can do the work of academic discourse very well" (p. 51). Moreover, the exper-iences of the research participants themselves should be includes by using the narrative technique. However, such changes are difficult to introduce, in large part because of the APA Publication Manual, which emphasizes the empirical report and a literal, plain style aimed at clarity. Vipond points out that the "clarity" is fitted to the empirical straitjacket; however, psychological research itself has shown the role played by figurative and metaphorical writing. Nor is clarity necessarily synonymous with simplicity. He advocates adapting lessons learned from composition studies to psychological writing. The best place to start is with psychology students, the psychologists of the future. I find this book heartening, for this Journal’s aim is to encourage personal narratives and metaphors to amplify the meaning of EHEs.
Publisher Information:Westport, CT: Praeger, 1993. xiv + 142p. Bibl: 111-131; Chap. notes: 99-110; Index: 133-142
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