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    I was answering a question about Freud's theory about the unconscious mind and that his ideas are unfalsifiable because the unconscious mind cannot be accessed, which means we cannot prove Freud's ideas right or wrong. My teacher answered with 'why do we need to be able to do this?'

    So, why do we need to be able to prove or disprove theories? I don't understand how to answer that question.

    Thanks for your help!
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    You don't need to, but if you ascribe to Karl Popper's theory then you do. The main thing about Freudian theory is that he gave a general theory about what causes human psyche but it can't be falsified because it doesn't lend itself well to falsification by testification e.g. there is no way to study thanatos as it isn't clearly defined (it is wishy-washy) and cannot be supported or refuted by experimentation. I don't agree with Popper generally. I guess you need to prove or disprove theories to see if they are right. But tell your teacher that it is impossible to prove a theory, that will flumox her, you can only ever disprove a theory according to Popper.
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    Psychologically speaking, Falsifiability is the chance to prove something is false. As Freud's theory about the unconscious mind cannot be objectively tested, it is unfalsifiable meaning we cannot prove it right or wrong.

    When trying to prove a theory, it is important to be able to show cause and effect or a causational link. However, if something is unfalsifiable then it is impossible to do this, and thus it is impossible to prove or disprove a theory.

    Put simply, falsifiability (the ability to prove or disprove a theory) is important as it is the basis of whether a theory can be proven as scientific or not!

    Hope this helped
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    (Original post by JamesManc)
    It doesn't need to be, but if you ascribe to Karl Popper's theory then it does. The main thing about Freudian theory is that he gave a general theory about what causes human psyche but it can't be falsified because it doesn't lend itself well to falsification by testification e.g. there is no way to study thanatos as it isn't clearly defined (it is wishy-washy) and cannot be supported or refuted by experimentation. I don't agree with Popper generally. I guess you need to provve or disprove theories to see if they are right. But tell your teacher than it is impossible to prove a theory, that will flumox her, you can only ever disprove a theory according to Popper.
    Thanks for your answer. You have made a very good and interesting point there! I shall tell her that because I am interested in what she will say.
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    (Original post by TFoulg)
    Psychologically speaking, Falsifiability is the chance to prove something is false. As Freud's theory about the unconscious mind cannot be objectively tested, it is unfalsifiable meaning we cannot prove it right or wrong.

    When trying to prove a theory, it is important to be able to show cause and effect or a causational link. However, if something is unfalsifiable then it is impossible to do this, and thus it is impossible to prove or disprove a theory.

    Put simply, falsifiability (the ability to prove or disprove a theory) is important as it is the basis of whether a theory can be proven as scientific or not!

    Hope this helped
    Thanks for answering, you have made it very clearer!
 
 
 
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