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The Relationship between Economics and Psychology in Robbins

Blanca Sanchez‐Robles (University of Navarre, Pamplona, Spain)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 1 October 1994



Attempts to express certain views about the relationship that Robbins advocates between economics and psychology. Develops two main conclusions: first, Robbins maintains that economic theories are independent of psychological theories, even in those cases in which the economist has tried to present his economic conclusions as grounded on specific psychological theories. This procedure, however, is greatly misleading and can damage the autonomy of economics, making it dependent on the particular theories that are provided to explain human behaviour. At the same time, Robbins defends the view that economics should not be entirely deprived of certain references to psychological or subjective notions. A positivistic attitude as the one that tries to avoid this sort of concept can be the result of a behaviouristic approach to economic science, distrusted by the British economist. It can also be fostered by an empiricist and monistic view of economics, according to which only observable data can be employed as the starting point for the true development of science. His own position in methodology, more oriented towards scientific dualism and a deductivistic procedure as the main tool to elaborate theories, prevents him from considering valid only those conclusions grounded in empirical support.



Sanchez‐Robles, B. (1994), "The Relationship between Economics and Psychology in Robbins", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 21 No. 8, pp. 3-13.




Copyright © 1994, MCB UP Limited

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