Brian Hood, Chair

Brian Hood

Biography:

Dr. Brian Hood, department chair and associate professor, teaches philosophy of science, epistemology and logic.

While teaching intellectually gifted students at Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, Hood developed an interest in intelligence research. In his doctoral dissertation, he reviewed 100 years of intelligence research to understand the various statistical methods used to measure intelligence. Currently, his scholarly interest focuses on evaluating the methods scientists employ in their research to determine if they are appropriate for their stated empirical goals. His publications include, “Validity in Psychological Testing and Scientific Realism,” an article originally published in Theory & Psychology, an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal, and later reprinted in Psychological Assessment, SAGE Benchmarks in Psychology Series, which evaluated two main approaches to validity in psychological testing. He also wrote, “Psychological Measurement and Methodological Realism,” published in Erkenntnis in 2013.

He also investigates the clinical concepts that psychologists employ in diagnosing mental and behavioral disorders, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or autism spectrum disorders. His co-authored publication, “Realism and Operationism in Psychiatric Diagnosis,” which was published in the journal Philosophical Psychology, argues that the disagreements over the proper diagnosis of a mental disorder may be traced to differing conceptions of psychological measurement and of the metaphysical status of psychological disorders. For example, a clinical psychologist and a social worker, examining the same data, may disagree on a diagnosis due to implicit assumptions regarding the measurement of psychological attributes. Such disagreements and differences underlying assumptions can have practical consequences for children seeking remediation, access to pharmaceuticals or special accommodations in school. Based on this research, he has been invited to present his work abroad in Georgia and the Netherlands.

As a doctoral student at Indiana University, he received the Victor E. Thoren Graduate Student Research Fellowship, S. Westfall Fellowship for Graduate Student Research Travel, and the Ruth N. Halls Fellowship. In 2008, he was also a visiting research fellow at Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science in the Netherlands. Hood is a member of several professional academic associations including the Philosophy of Science Association and American Psychological Association.

Degrees & Institutions:

He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy (magna cum laude) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Florida, and both a master’s degree and a doctorate degree in history and philosophy of science from Indiana University. 

Special Interests:

Research Interests

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Epistemology
  • Philosophy of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • Psychometrics
  • Metaphysics

Teaching Interests

  • Critical Thinking
  • Modern Logic
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Theory of Knowledge
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Metaphysics

Keywords: philosophy of science, epistemology, logic

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