Japanese Journal of Qualitative Psychology
Online ISSN : 2435-7065
Writing Psychology Papers in an Epistolary Style
Katsuya Yamori
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2009 Volume 8 Issue 1 Pages 64-74


A theoretical investigation was conducted on the possibility of writing psychology papers in the form of personal letters. If we adopt "narrative turn" as an epistemological and a methodological meta-theory, then clearly, it is not productive to limit ourselves within the traditional writing style of psychology, in which a single true fact is objectively identified and described in scientifically precise language. An alternative style, which reflects social constructionist thinking, is also possible. Such a style assumes that one of the many possible realities is constructed socially, and presented in the form of narrative discourses in a psychology paper. Using this principle, we have first identified two different description styles, "universal descriptions" and "local descriptions", based on Bakhtin's ideas on the styles of novels, and social psychological analyses of epistle novels in the 18th century. Next, we have proposed an alternative way of writing psychology papers using an epistolary style, as correspondence between two or more people. This style realizes "inter-local descriptions" that combines and mediates both characteristics of universal and local descriptions.

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© 2009 Japanese Association of Qualitative Psychology
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