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American Psychological Association

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Review of General Psychology

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Social psychologists are often criticized for failing to capture the dynamic nature of psychological processes. We present a novel framework to address this problem. The MOVE framework contends that to comprehend complex, contradictory, and divergent patterns of thought, affect, and behavior within changing, real-world contexts, it is necessary to undertake ecologically valid research that is attentive to the lived experiences and meaning-making processes of culturally embedded individuals over time. A focus on meanings, observations, viewpoints, and experiences is essential for social psychological research that holistically captures how people construct, understand, respond, position, and act over time within changing social, economic, and political contexts. To illustrate the utility of our proposition, we draw on classic social psychological studies and multimethod fieldwork during a period of rapid social and political change in Colombia during the peace process (2012–2017). We argue the MOVE framework has the potential to advance psychological understandings of, and contributions to, individuals embedded in real, dynamic social and political contexts. We discuss the implications of this extended social psychological paradigm for advancing psychological science.


Accepted version. Review of General Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 4 (December 1, 2020): 321-344. DOI. © 2020 American Psychological Association. Used with permission.

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