Whenever a worker in the area of mental disorders goes about his job—be he therapist, theoretician, or research investigator—he carries around with him certain assumptions. Some of these assumptions the worker thinks about a good deal in connection with his activities. Other assumptions, for whatever reasons, have probably slipped from his awareness to remain implicit until called to his attention—usually by being challenged. At whatever level of awareness these assumptions reside, they obviously exert a pervasive influence upon what the worker does.
For those who concern themselves with problems regarding the etiology of mental disorders, it is particularly important to explicate such assumptions. The reason for this is that in submitting any hypothesis to a test, one must take into account, in
HANDLON JH. A Metatheoretical View of Assumptions Regarding the Etiology of Schizophrenia: Implications for Research. AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(1):43–60. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590070045006
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