Essential to the progress of a science and the
refinement of its theory is the systematic gathering of
evidence and the formulation of descriptive and analytic
concepts and principles. An important element in this
endeavor is the questioning, on substantive and
methodological grounds, of findings and interpretations.

	Unfortunately, in psychology this role of
contradiction has often taken the form of divisiveness
and self-promotion. The result is a multiplicity of
paradigms and theories with an emphasis on separation
and differentiation of one's own formulations from that
of other researchers, theorists, and clinicians. Thus,
at the end of the 20th Century, after over 100 years of
the empirical study of human behavior we do not have an
even vaguely agreed upon paradigm for research,
assessment, and intervention.

	One disturbing result of this separatism is that
theories for which there have been little supportive
evidence continue to be promoted. Or after years of
investigation and evaluation they are "refined" or
abandoned only to be replaced by equally questionable
postulations. Additionally, progress in the development
of a comprehensive theory of psychology is hampered by
the use of poor methodology. Another problem is the
flagrant display of biases resulting from the determined
promotion of one's own point view. Related to this is a
cult-like mentality among followers of a given theory or

	This dogmaticism may exist at the general
paradigmatic level: the behavioral, cognitive,
biological, and so on.  Or more specifically, within
each of these orientations, competing theories and
approaches may exist. Or this splitting may occur even
in the study of particular disorders such as depression.
Moreover, there is inadequate communication and
integration among the different subfields of psychology.

	Some psychologists have argued that this
competition is good for the field and that a unified
approach may be either unattainable or undesirable.
However, it may be argued that this "jousting" is
inefficient and unnecessary. A comprehensive and unified
theory of psychology or human behavior can provide a
strong foundation for the systematic and progressive
study of human phenomena and the application of
consistent concepts and principles in intervention.

Leon Pereira, Ph.D.
Acting Editor-in-Chief