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Psychology is not a science...

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    O RLY?
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    But isn't it about the human mind? And if it's not, how come at sixth forms, you require a certain grade in science?

    Sure neg my curiosity. -_-
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    Spanish isn't a language either.
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    To be fair, at A-level Psychology is a complete joke when compared to a real science such as physics. its literally just remembering textbook answers. They stick statistics in and watch the class crumble at something like standard deviation.

    I know I'll get negged for this but its my experience from someone who did psychology and physics.
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    kay.
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    (Original post by Safiya122)
    But isn't it about the human mind? And if it's not, how come at sixth forms, you require a certain grade in science?
    By that kind of logic, can you answer me why a lot of science courses at Universities do not see it as a science and put an emphasis on 'lab-based' (Chem, Bio, Phys) ones?
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    It is a social science, not an academic science
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    it's a pre-science. due to the whole paradigm shizzle and how there is no universal paradigm in psychology


    alright then, negg me for simply saying something i was taught in my A2 psychology course..
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    I didn't really consider it a science but then I took it as an optional psychology module alongside my English degree at university. I would consider it a science as psychologists do controlled experiments to prove theories and then some publish their results in scientific journals. In a few of the topics, we learn about neurons and hormones and so on, stuff that would probably be considered to fall within the boundaries of biology. I think that people who don't consider it a science probably have little awareness of modern psychology (i.e. post Freud) like I did when I first started the course or are readers of pop. psychology.
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    (Original post by PrismaticCore)
    By that kind of logic, can you answer me why a lot of science courses at Universities do not see it as a science and put an emphasis on 'lab-based' (Chem, Bio, Phys) ones?
    I'm not actually debating that pyschology is a science subject since I plan on taking it for sixth form. I'm just wondering as to why science is required in sixth forms, if you believe it's not a subject of science.
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    I did bio at uni ad psychology was my MOMD (you get to choose a module outside the discipline for some of your credits). Tbh I thought it was an easy choice but after taking that module I'd say it is a science...
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    Well if you do A2 psychology for Edexcel you actually have to discuss whether psychology is a science or not as a part of the exam. I personally think it is only a social science, but not a 'proper' science. Don't really see how you can compare it to the likes of chemistry and so on.

    But here's some explanations that I've learnt in lessons for it being a science aswell as not being a science:


    You have to try and be as objective as possible when it comes to research and experiments to avoid affecting results. However there are aspects of psychology that are almost entirely subjective ie. the psychodynamic approach in psychology which is mostly Freud's work. But there's also the idea of creating a hypothesis and doing experiments to prove the hypothesis is correct and to provide evidence, which would prove it to be scientific.

    Some aspects of psychology actually involve science. Biological psychology looks into how the brain works and how it affects our behaviour, how neurotransmitters affect our behaviour like dopamine with schizophrenia, gambling & other addictive behaviours etc. But then you could easily say once again that the psychodynamic approach ignores this kind of thing, aswell as the social approach etc. But there are others that involve a bit of science but not entirely composed of it, like criminological psychology.

    You can kind of see how you can say one thing but it's easily counteracted, which is why no one has actually decided whether it's a 'real' science or not. It's still being debated today, but at the moment it's classified as a social science, which I think is right.
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    Many areas of Psychology are wholly scientific - cognitive neuroscience for example. We use the same experimental procedures as the hard sciences do, and many findings go on to be published in incredibly high status journals like Nature and Science. Go and tell the people who do this research that their findings from fully controlled fMRI studies aren't scientific.

    However, there are a lot of areas that are not yet at the stage where they can be fully scientific, as the nature of the discipline puts constraints on them. It's very difficult to get a proper insight into areas like memory, personality and cognition, due to the nature of the brain. Still, the experimental method is used to test hypotheses and as much effort as possible goes into keeping findings fully scientific and empirical.

    Psychology, by its very nature, will never get away from some problems with being scientific, because its discipline revolves around humanity - there are far too many variables to ever control them all - and as much as it would help, we can't go stealing babies and putting electrodes into their heads to try and observe language acquisition.

    Psychology A-level is nothing compared to degree level - it is very much rote memory and a very limited insight. But in universities, where the research is actually done, it is as scientific as it is possible to make it.
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    (Original post by oElectronic)
    Well if you do A2 psychology for Edexcel you actually have to discuss whether psychology is a science or not as a part of the exam. I personally think it is only a social science, but not a 'proper' science. Don't really see how you can compare it to the likes of chemistry and so on.

    But here's some explanations that I've learnt in lessons for it being a science aswell as not being a science:


    You have to try and be as objective as possible when it comes to research and experiments to avoid affecting results. However there are aspects of psychology that are almost entirely subjective ie. the psychodynamic approach in psychology which is mostly Freud's work. But there's also the idea of creating a hypothesis and doing experiments to prove the hypothesis is correct and to provide evidence, which would prove it to be scientific.

    Some aspects of psychology actually involve science. Biological psychology looks into how the brain works and how it affects our behaviour, how neurotransmitters affect our behaviour like dopamine with schizophrenia, gambling & other addictive behaviours etc. But then you could easily say once again that the psychodynamic approach ignores this kind of thing, aswell as the social approach etc. But there are others that involve a bit of science but not entirely composed of it, like criminological psychology.

    You can kind of see how you can say one thing but it's easily counteracted, which is why no one has actually decided whether it's a 'real' science or not. It's still being debated today, but at the moment it's classified as a social science, which I think is right.
    The A-level syllabus covers Freud and psychoanalysis very disproportionately to how much it's actually relevant today. Since I've been at university it's been mentioned... twice, I think, in the whole first year. The job of A-level is to give an equal hearing to all angles, past and current - but in the modern discipline psychoanalysis has almost disappeared, especially the Oedipus complex etc. Doubtless Freud gave us our beginnings, but in actual theory and research, his ideas were thrown out years ago and replaced with empirical observation.
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    not a physical science like biology, physics and chemistry
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    (Original post by Oh my Ms. Coffey)
    To be fair, at A-level Psychology is a complete joke when compared to a real science such as physics. its literally just remembering textbook answers. They stick statistics in and watch the class crumble at something like standard deviation.

    I know I'll get negged for this but its my experience from someone who did psychology and physics.
    To be fair, high school biology is like this too. You just remember facts from a book.
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    I just said this another thread somewhere:

    And yeah, a lot of psychological studies are seen as invalid by everyone in the scientific community (and I do a science myself too) because most of them don't provide hard scientific evidence which is measurable- like studies done in a lab for example would. The reason for that though, is just because it's hard to measure behaviors/feelings/thoughts - there isn't any solid cut off points for things. And that's a big reason why psychology is seen as a soft subject, and looked down upon by scientists. There was even some guy who made a thread in the medicine forms not too long ago questioning whether psychiatrists could be classed as proper doctors.
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    I would say that it depends on the methodology used by the psychologist.
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    Allow psychology.

    All about neuroscience boys.

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