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Psychology - is it a science or not. The ultimate debate thread Watch

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    The last debate in contemporary science (well, not really)

    Is psychology a science?
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    yes

    a social science
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    Just completed my Psychology degree.
    Yes, most definitely a science.
    Though, with some of the A level content (which I didn't do), I can see why some believe it may not be.
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    Yes, especially when looking at biological and neuroscience explanations for behaviour.
    Psychology comes up with an idea then tests it using experiments just like a science would.
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    (Original post by racheyroo)
    Yes, especially when looking at biological and neuroscience explanations for behaviour.
    Psychology comes up with an idea then tests it using experiments just like a science would.
    I'm about to do a masters in cognitive neuroscience in a medical context... think its really interesting stuff... why I chose to do psychology really
    Yeah - absolutely sick of science statistical methods - it's akin to what they use in medicine, I suppose.

    The only stuff that really doesn't qualify as science is psycho-dynamics and the like (some very useful, some rather stupid); though that is only a small part of psychology - but unfortunately, stereotypically, often forms the image of psychology quite a bit of the time.
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    Definitely with medical aspects, mind, brain and body behaviour


    Nightworld1066
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    I'm about to do a masters in cognitive neuroscience in a medical context... think its really interesting stuff... why I chose to do psychology really
    Yeah - absolutely sick of science statistical methods - it's akin to what they use in medicine, I suppose.

    The only stuff that really doesn't qualify as science is psycho-dynamics and the like (some very useful, some rather stupid); though that is only a small part of psychology - but unfortunately, stereotypically, often forms the image of psychology quite a bit of the time.

    That sounds really interesting ive just finished my first year of my degree and im loving it so far, i think degree level really shows how sciency it is. Yeah i hate that everyone assumes psychology is freud and thats all it involves therefore it's useless etc when in reality its a tiny tiny part which is just largely focused on at a level
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    A social science yes... but not a "science science"

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    Yes. Especially when it comes to things like neuropsychology/neuroscience and the biological basis for mind and behaviour.
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    Does it follow the scientific method? If so, then yes. If not, no.
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    There are social sciences and there are natural sciences. Neither is 'more sciencey' than the other,as by definition they both use the scientific method.

    The only difference is that in 'hard' sciences (not a synonym for difficult), it is easier to apply the scientific method.

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    psychology = beta
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    Some aspects are scientific, whilst others are not. I'm doing a Psychology degree so I do have (some) faith in the subject
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    Definition of science:
    the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

    :yes:
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    (Original post by karmacrunch)
    A social science yes... but not a "science science"

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    Yes and no.
    Some parts of it are as 'sciency' as it gets; such as cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging.
    Other parts not so much of course.
    I like that it is such a broad field; containing both science and subjective extrapolation; but you have to consider that too when looking at behavior.
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    Personally, I would say that a very large amount of Science comes into it (especially Biology), but it is definitely not considered "one of the Sciences".

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    It strictly uses the scientific method so in that sense yes.


    But it's difficult because unlike other sciences where X and Y are both physical, in fields of Psychology such as Cognitive psychology, X is physical (behaviour) but Y is a non-physical essence (the mind). That's what causes some people to be skeptical about whether it's a science. But I think those skeptics are wrong, anyone who's read a decent paper on cognition knows it's value as a science.


    I think another cause of skepticism is it's occasional use of qualitative research methods which until recently hasn't at all been respected amongst Psychologists, but times are definitely changing where that's concerned.


    I think Psychology has to be the most interesting science for me because it's so fast paced, and because we have so much to learn. Methods are advancing so quickly and experiments can be so innovative.

    Unfortunately psychology as a science is sometimes viewed similarly to mental illness as a disease. Some people just have that old fashioned view that because you can't physically see it, it doesn't exist (as an illness or a science).
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    All hail Feynman!



    Then again, he was heavily mathematically inclined/had a proclivity for physics.
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    Yes and no.
    Some parts of it are as 'sciency' as it gets; such as cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging.
    Other parts not so much of course.
    I like that it is such a broad field; containing both science and subjective extrapolation; but you have to consider that too when looking at behavior.
    Same, I think psychology is really amazing especially neuroscience too!
    (Original post by Zen-Ali)
    x
    Too lazy to watch :rolleyes:

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    (Original post by karmacrunch)
    ...
    I implore you to hearken to the great mind that is Feynman.
 
 
 
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