Scientific journal

New Psychological Research

Nikolaev D.E. Heuristics Used in Scientific Descriptions of Interaction: Towards the Psychology of Science

Dmitry E. Nikolaev, ANO “Research Centre “Analytic”, Yekaterinburg, Russia; bld. 38a, Lenin Ave., Yekaterinburg, Russia, 620219;

Scholars in various scientific disciplines often employ similar heuristics, which are mental shortcuts that simplify the cognitive load of decision-making. This study demonstrates that physicists, biologists, and psychologists, describing fundamentally different types of interactions, utilize only four universal heuristics. The first one, Hypotheses-non-fingo, involves rejecting scientific descriptions in favor of mathematical ones. The second heuristic, Direct-interaction, entails interpreting phenomena scientifically and describing interactions within a simple framework where one object or subject directly influences another. The third heuristic, Indirect-interaction, proposes a more complex model of interaction by introducing a hypothetical agent mediating the interaction. These three heuristics assume the existence of an external world independent of the perceiving subject. On the other hand, the fourth heuristic, Mind-construct, assumes that we cannot explore a world beyond our own experiences. It suggests focusing on studying the reality existing in the human mind where the outcome of an interaction is not perceived but rather constructed by a person. Although theories employing indirect interaction heuristics appear to be probably the most influential, providing a comprehensive and exhaustive description of phenomena at this level seems challenging. Understanding how scientific theories are constructed can facilitate interdisciplinary and multi-paradigm research. Additionally, it can provide researchers with guidance when interpreting mathematical models of interaction and developing new scientific concepts.


Key words: psychology of science, heuristics, interaction, natural sciences, social sciences


For citation: Nikolaev, D.E. (2023). Heuristics Used in Scientific Descriptions of Interaction: Towards the Psychology of Science. New Psychological Research, No. 3, 70–89. DOI: 10.51217/npsyresearch_2023_03_03_04


Keywords: psychology of science heuristics interaction natural sciences social sciences

Received: 15th october 2023

Published: 15th october 2023

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