is Psychology science ?
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10-12-2011, 02:13 AM
RE: is Psychology science ?
(12-03-2011 06:42 AM)cfhmagnet Wrote:  Social science is a decent term, but I still disagree that psychology has reached the plateau of hard science. Take the different theories for example. Are there tests to verify any of their usefulness? Can you weigh whether or not George Kelly's construct system explains better than Carl Roger's self-actualization theory? Or how about different ideas within the theorists? Just how exactly does one objectively measure how deep ones Oedipus complex goes? Or one's inferiority complex? Karl Popper introduced falsifiability for science, and in his "Conjectures and Refuatations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge", said that you can put a troubled child in front of any number of differing psychologists with any number of differing theories, and they will all explain it just as well as the next because there is no falsification principle in the field. With scientific inquiry, we have the ability to say "If x happens, my hypothesis is confirmed, but if y happens, it is likely incorrect." As I alluded to above though, psychology is on the move and they seem to be getting better. When they start measuring different levels of brain chemicals and connecting theories with empirical verification and/or falsification, then it may be considered a hard science.

I think you're confusing psychology with 'clinical psychology'. Clinical psychology is the study of mental disorders in humans, and it is quasi-experimental in that they do alter variables to study causal relationships but it is limited in what variables they can ethically and practically alter. In this sense, the research behind clinical psychology is the same as medical science - it is not perfect science, but the methods and statistics used give us enough evidence to push forward.

It's important, however, that I point out that clinical psychology, as a practice, is obviously not a science in the same way that medicine is not a science. It's an application of science; an evidence-based practice. So if you put a child in front of a psychologist and ask what's wrong, they obviously won't perform randomised controlled trials to figure out what disorder they may or may not have, but they will use the research we have behind certain disorders to identify symptoms and behavioral patterns to reach informed conclusions.

It's important to make this distinction because when we ask if psychology is a science, it's disingenuous of us to focus on clinical psychology - this would be like claiming that biology is not a science because doctors don't do science, or claiming that physics is not a science because engineers don't perform experiments. Psychology, as a greater field, is scientific in that it performs falsifiable experiments with repeatable results.

One of the problems people have accepting this is related to what I've mentioned above: when they think of 'psychology' they think psychoanalysis and Freud. As mentioned above, Popper's falsifiability criterion basically threw Freud out of psychology (not that he was that popular among the experimental psychologists, even in his own time where his ideas were considered ridiculous and outdated). The second problem is that people seem to believe that psychology is the study of humans, and given the ethical and practical problems with studying humans under strict experimental conditions, they conclude that psychology cannot be a science. This is wrong because psychology is not focused on humans (hence why it's inaccurate to call it a social science), and instead it is the study of behavior - i.e. finding universal laws of behavior that span across species.

There are some less scientific areas of psychology, like personality or social psychology (which are properly termed social sciences), as they rely on forming conclusions from correlations and incomplete data (i.e. experiments that cannot perfectly isolate specific variables as causes). However, there are areas of psychology that perform repeatable experimental studies that formulate falsifiable theories and generate predictive mathematical equations, and these areas can only reasonable be deemed to be natural sciences. These include areas like neuropsychology and behavioral psychology. For example, the latter has accurately identified a number of mechanisms behind things like memory, self-control, choice, signal detection, etc, and their laws of behavior can predict the behavior of a subject (human or animal) with the accuracy of most laws in the natural sciences.

As it turns out, humans are pretty predictable.
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12-12-2011, 05:32 AM
RE: is Psychology science ?
(10-12-2011 02:13 AM)Mr.Samsa Wrote:  As it turns out, humans are pretty predictable.

Am I predicting the Mr. Samsa from across the pond?

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12-12-2011, 05:41 AM
RE: is Psychology science ?
(12-12-2011 05:32 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(10-12-2011 02:13 AM)Mr.Samsa Wrote:  As it turns out, humans are pretty predictable.

Am I predicting the Mr. Samsa from across the pond?

I knew you were going to say that... Big Grin

And yes, the one and only.
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12-12-2011, 11:47 AM
RE: is Psychology science ?
(12-12-2011 05:41 AM)Mr.Samsa Wrote:  
(12-12-2011 05:32 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(10-12-2011 02:13 AM)Mr.Samsa Wrote:  As it turns out, humans are pretty predictable.

Am I predicting the Mr. Samsa from across the pond?

I knew you were going to say that... Big Grin

And yes, the one and only.

Alrighty then. Ladies and gents, what we have here is a man; seriously knows his shit in biology if not all science. I'm thinking he's in the field, but he can tell his own story.

Welcome to the forum. This place ain't as lively as Rational Skepticism, but with HoC seemingly mr. science 'round here; you're already a plus.

The master's student The Bearded Dude seems to be our only other regular expert. He could use the company. Wink

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12-12-2011, 12:20 PM
RE: is Psychology science ?
(10-03-2011 10:53 PM)Laxion Wrote:  I don't even know if this is really a science branch, I find it really because to me it's opinions about how people behave with repeated experiments to getting the same results but not knowing what causes it directly, not really a direct answer. So is this 1/2 pseudo science and 1/2 science. Or is it accepted science.

Prefer these field of sciences like Biophysics, Biology, Chemistry, Neurology, Genetics, Physiology, and perhaps much more field of science to explain human behavior and stuff like that.

After thinking for and writing about this, I think Psychology is like the field of science trying to understand human behavior with not direct answer, but results from repeated experiments, that seems to make sense. Maybe it's like Alchemy that became later became Chemistry.

Well I'd love to hear what you guys think about Psychology Tongue


Psychology makes part of the human sciences , so it's no exact science , it is really a pseudo-science with no scientific basis for the mst part at least

Neuro-psychology tries to have a scientific basis by relying on the scientific facts of neurology , but it remains a pseudo-science though because the nature & function of the human nature are not something material = immaterial

The nature & function of the immaterial dimention of man = the human spirit , will always be beyond humans ' & beyond science's reach , i guess, despite all the scientific advances in relation to the human consciousness
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12-12-2011, 01:09 PM
RE: is Psychology science ?
(12-12-2011 12:20 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  Psychology makes part of the human sciences , so it's no exact science , it is really a pseudo-science with no scientific basis for the mst part at least

Neuro-psychology tries to have a scientific basis by relying on the scientific facts of neurology , but it remains a pseudo-science though because the nature & function of the human nature are not something material = immaterial

The nature & function of the immaterial dimention of man = the human spirit , will always be beyond humans ' & beyond science's reach , i guess, despite all the scientific advances in relation to the human consciousness
That is incorrect. Your agenda is getting in the way of your rational information processor. Your will is to credit Allah and discredit science, but you are missing some terms in your polynomial. For instance, science must be the will of Allah, or there wouldn't be no science; and obviously you can know Allah, or you wouldn't be so quick to swing your sledgehammer. And thus the third postulate is falsified.

Ease up there AbdelZ. Watch where you're swinging that thing. Wink

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12-12-2011, 03:01 PM
RE: is Psychology science ?
(12-12-2011 01:09 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(12-12-2011 12:20 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  Psychology makes part of the human sciences , so it's no exact science , it is really a pseudo-science with no scientific basis for the mst part at least

Neuro-psychology tries to have a scientific basis by relying on the scientific facts of neurology , but it remains a pseudo-science though because the nature & function of the human nature are not something material = immaterial

The nature & function of the immaterial dimention of man = the human spirit , will always be beyond humans ' & beyond science's reach , i guess, despite all the scientific advances in relation to the human consciousness
That is incorrect. Your agenda is getting in the way of your rational information processor. Your will is to credit Allah and discredit science, but you are missing some terms in your polynomial. For instance, science must be the will of Allah, or there wouldn't be no science; and obviously you can know Allah, or you wouldn't be so quick to swing your sledgehammer. And thus the third postulate is falsified.

Ease up there AbdelZ. Watch where you're swinging that thing. Wink


Honest ? i do not know what you are talking about, buddy

Can you be more specific, please ?
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12-12-2011, 03:33 PM
RE: is Psychology science ?
Pretty sure he's saying that you're bias is showing.

I could be wrong, but it seems like you've got a preconception that there exists a supernatural human spirit that is non-physical, that is spiritual. Unless you're saying the human spirit is the essence of a human in a conceptual sort of way (i.e. a human's spirit is the collection of that person's thoughts and memories that make up their "being"), then you must be talking about a supernatural spirit that is only temporarily attached to the ephemeral physical body and will exist beyond that physical attachment.

If the human spirit you refer to, AbdelZ, is the supernatural one, then your bias is showing. If by "human spirit" you simply mean the collection of thoughts and memories that we call our being then maybe you're right about it being beyond human science- but I'm doubtful. I think that time, collection of knowledge, and technology will continue to be combined to help us uncover the mysteries. Thoughts and memories are a result of the physical and are natural in their entirety. We are already learning new ways to study them.

I firmly believe you are wrong about your assertion about psychology being a pseudoscience, given the information posted above by Mr.Samsa and Lilith Pride.
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12-12-2011, 03:44 PM (This post was last modified: 12-12-2011 03:52 PM by AbdelZ.)
RE: is Psychology science ?
(12-12-2011 03:33 PM)kineo Wrote:  Pretty sure he's saying that you're bias is showing.

I could be wrong, but it seems like you've got a preconception that there exists a supernatural human spirit that is non-physical, that is spiritual. Unless you're saying the human spirit is the essence of a human in a conceptual sort of way (i.e. a human's spirit is the collection of that person's thoughts and memories that make up their "being"), then you must be talking about a supernatural spirit that is only temporarily attached to the ephemeral physical body and will exist beyond that physical attachment.

If the human spirit you refer to, AbdelZ, is the supernatural one, then your bias is showing. If by "human spirit" you simply mean the collection of thoughts and memories that we call our being then maybe you're right about it being beyond human science- but I'm doubtful. I think that time, collection of knowledge, and technology will continue to be combined to help us uncover the mysteries. Thoughts and memories are a result of the physical and are natural in their entirety. We are already learning new ways to study them.

I firmly believe you are wrong about your assertion about psychology being a pseudoscience, given the information posted above by Mr.Samsa and Lilith Pride.

You were both wrong about what i was saying :


Let's put it this way :

Considering the fact that the very definition of psychology is all about the study of the human mind & thus human behaviour :

How do you picture the nature & function of the human spirit or mind or whatever you wanna call it ?

before answering just that , just tell me what the human spirit or mind is

is the human spirit mind or consciousness just a matter of material neuro-physiological biological processes , just "material processes " as the materialistic approach of life says , a materialistic approach of life that goes back all the way to the 18th century at least & can be thus not separated from its own Eurocentric cultural historic ...context

or just tell me 'what makes us human " ? or "what is man ? " : the latter question as THE key one all beliefs , cultures, thoughtstreams , ideologies ...turn around : every answer to that question has moral ethical political social & other repercussions & determines the individual-society relationship....

To make it even "easier " for you as can be , just tell me what matter is

Start from below then with ...matter , thanks , appreciate
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12-12-2011, 04:02 PM
RE: is Psychology science ?
Easy peasy. Let's start from the beginning. I.

I matter. See how easy that was? You know what else? You matter. Pretty cool for a Setian to have such insight into a Muslim, no?

That's psychology, is it not?

Here's another one for ya. There's 2 of me. The one who writes, now. The one who considers, always, and writes as an expression of consideration.

The first one can be said to be the "I" of now, a temporal, mortal being.

The second one can be said to be the "I" of eternity, an immaterial immortal soul.

Only the second one is where all the "issue" lies. There are those that contend this second "I" is the soul, and of god. And there are others, such as myself, that contend this second "I" is merely reinforced pattern arising from experience, empathy, and education.

But those three Es are not quantifiable. Do you fear that psychology and neuroscience are making inroads into quantifying that which is of god? Do you really think god is that limited? The enemy of god is not the infidel outside of self, it is the infidel within; that wishes to speak for Allah rather than listen to Allah.

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