Further developing transpersonal psychology as a science has been impeded by the over emphasis on two approaches to building theory, namely grand theories that attempt to explain everything and mini-theories that avoid explaining much of anything. In between these extremes are “middle-range” transpersonal psychology theories that can better allow for scientific progress. They bracket metaphysical and supernatural approaches common in transpersonal grand theories, and accept the possible generalizability of findings commonly rejected by transpersonal mini-theories. The transpersonal construct of self-expansiveness illustrates one way that middle-range transpersonal theories can lead to a program of cumulative empirical research and empirically informed practices. Other transpersonal constructs, such as awe, can also be good candidates for building and testing middle-range transpersonal psychology theories.
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Friedman, H. L. (2015). Friedman, H. (2015). Further developing transpersonal psychology as a science: Building and testing middle-range transpersonal theories. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 34(1-2), 55–64.. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 34 (1). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.ciis.edu/ijts-transpersonalstudies/vol34/iss1/7