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Working Pasteur's Quadrant: Harnessing Science and Action for Community Change

American Journal of Community Psychology
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
  • Psychology


Community psychology in general and the field of prevention in particular has unquestioningly accepted the assumption that the research process should proceed in a linear fashion from a search for basic knowledge to application in the community context. This ignores the compelling insight offered by Stokes (1997) that the drive for new knowledge and the pursuit of application can be combined in a single effort. If research in community psychology pursues the drive for application without an equal commitment to the development of knowledge about underlying community processes of social cooperation and change, it will become a field less capable of innovative and enduring contributions to community well-being and effectiveness. Opportunities abound in community psychology for the simultaneous pursuit of new knowledge and more effective practice. We offer the example of a community leadership development program to promote collective efficacy as a case in point.

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