Descriptive Psychology

What is Descriptive Psychology?

Descriptive Psychology is “a set of systematically related distinctions designed to provide formal access to all the facts and possible facts about persons and behavior—and therefore about everything else as well.” -Peter G. Ossorio (1982)

“Descriptive Psychology (“ DP”) is first and foremost a conceptual framework for the science of Psychology. Created in its original form by Peter G. Ossorio in the mid-1960s at the University of Colorado, it has subsequently been the subject of hundreds of books and papers that have updated, refined, and elaborated it, and that have applied it to domains such as psychotherapy, psychopathology, artificial intelligence, spirituality, organizations, communities, psychological theory creation, and research methodology. What DP primarily attempts to do is to provide the kind of precise, systematic, and comprehensive conceptual framework that is a pre-empirical requirement for the adequate conduct of psychological theorizing, research, and application” -Raymond Bergner, Advances in Descriptive Psychology—Vol. 9

Descriptive Psychology is a different way of making sense of people and what they do, individually, in organizations and groups. Different how? We pay attention to the person’s actions, their relationships, their communities, their world, and their place in it. And we have a sizeable box of tools that helps us do that do that comprehensively and exactly.

“Descriptive Psychology is a powerful discipline with which you can see people and what they do very clearly and very accurately. It takes the core human competence that we all share” the competence of living as a person in a world of persons and their ways and develops it to extraordinary levels.

“Descriptive Psychology is the discipline that is engaged in the task of writing the grammar of operating as a person among persons.” Peter G. Ossorio

Descriptive Psychology is the discipline that makes coherent and explicit the implicit structure of all other intellectual disciplines.

Descriptive Psychology represents the facts about people, behavior, communities and worlds in a single coherent framework.

Descriptive Psychology provides a coherent conceptual framework for all of behavioral science.

Descriptive Psychologists help you be more clear about what you are looking at.

Descriptive Psychologists organize and articulate the implicit structure of a discipline.