Martin Packer


Department Affiliation: Associate Professor, Psychology, University of Los Andes, Colombia


I am a developmental psychologist who works within the theoretical framework of cultural psychology, conducting research with an interpretive logic of inquiry. Let's unpack this a little: As a developmental psychologist I am interested in how people learn and change. In the big picture, this is the question of how a newborn baby becomes an adult. But it also involves smaller pictures, or questions about the ways people are transformed moment-to-moment in their everyday interactions. My research focuses on the development of children and young adults, and the links between this and the construction, reproduction and transformation of society. I typically study interactions among children, and between children and adults, in real-world settings, often using video- or audio-taping to permit a microanalysis of the exchanges. I have a broad interest in the philosophical underpinnings of social scientific research. I believe it is crucial that we examine not only the epistemological assumptions (concerning the character and origins of knowledge) but also the ontological assumptions (concerning the kinds of entities presumed to exist) that underlie every interpretation of what counts as 'science,' and consider the historical character of these assumptions.