Is Psychology A Science? Essay

2371 words - 9 pages

1. The Status of Psychology as a ScienceIn module 3, we looked at some arguments for and against the use of the scientific method in research. Here, our emphasis is on science in general, not just the methodology (although some of the content you learned for that exam could likewise be used here).This controversy focuses on the issue of psychology's status as a science. There are two strands to this debateIs psychology as a science?Should psychology be a science?While the first question looks at whether psychology, in its present form meets the criteria of a science subject, the second examines whether being classed as a science is something that psychology should strive for. As with any controversy, there are proponents for and against both of these arguments.However, before we can assess the status of psychology as a science, we must first define what science is.a) Define scienceScience is: the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. According to modern definitions, science has the following features (Eysenck and Keane 1990)Controlled observations: in most sciences it is typical for experiments to involve observing the effects of some specific manipulation.Objectivity: even if total objectivity is impossible, it is still important for data to be collected in a way as close as objective as possibleTesting theoretical predictions: scientific experiments are generally carried out to test the prediction of some theory.Falsifiability: the notion that scientific theories can potentially be disproved by evidence.Paradigm: there is a generally accepted theoretic orientation within a scienceReplicability: the findings obtained by researchers need to be replicable or repeatable; it would be hard (or impossible) to base a science in inconsistent findings.However, they also point out that the division between science and non-science is not as clear cut as used to be believed.Can you think of an example of a particular aspect/s of psychology that you have studied which you could use to demonstrate these concepts?b) Discuss the status of psychology as a scienceIs psychology a science?Before looking at the arguments for whether it is desirable for psychology to be a science, we shall first assess whether it actually is a science.1a: Argument - At least some 'levels' of psychology are scientificOther more established sciences are reductionist to a certain degree (physics, biology etc) and it is considered desirable because complex phenomena are best understood in terms of a simpler 'level' of explanation. Many aspects of psychology are reductionist, in that they aim to explain complex behaviour by breaking it own into more simple components.Give two theories from psychologies that are reductionist in their explanation of complex human behaviour.Reductionism is desirable because it allows us to create testable predictions which can then be carried out in controlled experiments for...

Find Another Essay On is psychology a science?

Psychology as a Science: Jaegwon Kim's Argument and Why it is Faulty

2098 words - 9 pages Jaegwon Kim thinks that multiple realizability of mental properties would bring about the conclusion that psychology is most likely not a science. Several functionalists, specially, Fodor, take up the opposing stance to Kim, supporting that the multiple realizability of mental states is one of the reasons why psychology is an autonomous and justifiable science. Essentially, Kim think that in order for mental states to be multiply realizable then

This essay is titled "Is Psychology a Science?" and analyses the subject from the root to what it has become today

2008 words - 8 pages 1. A BRIEF HISTORY OF PSYCHOLOGYPsychology has existed for a long time, yet its history of being a science is relatively short. It originates in the study of philosophy, and people have had to deal with psychological questions for a long time. Yet it was only recognised as a science in 1979 when Wilhelm Wundt established the first laboratory for the scientific study of psychology, in Leipzig, Germany.Wundt described psychology as a science by

What is Human Nature: A Literature Review of the Philosophy of Science and Evolutionary Psychology

970 words - 4 pages When psychologists speak about human-nature, it is as if we are no longer apart of human-nature. Human-nature appears to be discussed in the sense of dehumanized, sub-human, animals that are no longer part of nature at all. Is it truly possible that we are so far gone from what we were evolved to be that we no longer have a human-nature (Morton & Postmes, 2011; Fisher, 2012)? Current sociological writing generally avoids the term human-nature

What Is Science; Is Medicine A Science?

3273 words - 13 pages , it could be replaced by better theories such as genetics, psychology and sociology.Thus we can see that that strongly is in fact a pseudo-science, and this is an important distinction to make, as many people will get confused and believe that astrology has true scientific foundation and thus may be given more credence than it actually deserves.Scientific methodology - the nature of science I think an important aspect to be examined, is how true

Is Marketing a Science?

3292 words - 13 pages behavioral science or business area and is, in fact, considerably more advanced than most of the research conducted in areas such as personnel, accounting, sociology, or social psychology."Given such marketing's long standing and concentrated emphasis on science, then, one would reasonably expect that the discipline's scientific credentials would be firmly established by now. But since science consists of both a body of knowledge - that is

Is International Relations a Science?

1430 words - 6 pages Introduction There is an alarming difference on how science and political science affect those looking for answers through these disciplines. When a new theory or explanation emerges in the scientific community, most are quick to say, “science has proven...” However, when political scientists arrive at a new conclusion, or when an existing “fact” turns out to be false, and a new paradigm comes along in the political science arena, most people

IS MARKETING A SCIENCE OR ART?

1019 words - 4 pages IS MARKETING A SCIENCE OR ART?To sее whеthеr or not mаrkеting is sciеncе; it is first nеcеssаry to undеrstаnd thе tеrm "Mаrkеting." Mаrkеting is mаny things; it is еssеntiаlly bеhind thе survivаl of most orgаnizаtions. In todаy's world it is fаst pаcеd &amp

Cloning is a Misunderstood and Underestimated Science

3159 words - 13 pages Cloning is a Misunderstood and Underestimated Science On February 23rd of 1997, an announcement was made that would shake the world and, inevitably, change it forever. Ian Wilmut, an embryologist with a genetic research facility named the Roslin Institute in Scotland, claimed that he and a group of scientists had successfully cloned a sheep. The sheep, named Dolly, was revolutionary in the Bioengineering world because it was the first

Evolution Essays - Is There a Conspiracy to Suppress Creation Science?

591 words - 2 pages Is There a Conspiracy to Suppress "Creation Science"?   Two Works Cited   A frequent claim in creationist literature is that there is a wealth of scientific evidence to support creationism, but that secular, mainstream scientists are suppressing its publication in peer-reviewed journals. They are not giving creation-scientists a fair shake, they claim; they are being censored.  The fact is that creation scientists are

A look into the Matrix. Is it science fiction or is it Fantasy?

650 words - 3 pages As I sat in my nightmare and vision class, and watched the move The Matrix with the rest of my peers, I couldn't help but wonder if The Matrix was a work of science fiction, or if it was more a fantasy movie. It wasn't until I was done watching the movie did I realize that it was indeed a science fiction movie. Although many might disagree, I feel that the matrix is science fiction for many reasons. The film The Matrix is science fiction

This Is A Paper That Was Written To Express A Reaserch Paper, Written About Forensic Science. It Is Plainly Titled "Forensic Science."

477 words - 2 pages Forensic Science: Solving the MysteryDid you ever wonder who solves those impossible cases you have seen on T.V.?Well, surprisingly it is not the police officers, at least most of the time. It is Scientists. They study a science called Forensic Science. A reporter from UXL Science states, "Forensic science is the application of science to matters of law." ("Forensic" 1 of 3). So, they take evidence and help out the police.The first part of

Similar Essays

Is Psychology A Science? Essay

1639 words - 7 pages Is Psychology a science? In order to answer this question it is important to understand the definitions of both psychology and science. The word 'psychology' comes from the Greek 'psyche' (or soul) and 'logos' (or study), which came to be known as the 'study of the soul'. The American Heritage Dictionary defines psychology as:1. the science dealing with the mind and with mental and emotionalprocesses2. the science of human and animal behavior.In

Is Psychology A Science? Essay

1266 words - 5 pages Psychology is commonly defined as 'scientific' study of human behaviour and cognitive processes. Broadly speaking the discussion focuses on the different branches of psychology, and if they are indeed scientific. However, it is integral in this to debate to understand exactly the major features of a science, in order to judge if psychology is in fact one. There must be a definable subject matter - this changed from conscious human thought to

Psychology A Science Essay

1649 words - 7 pages the dictionary has provided us with a clue to the answer, it describes science as: 1. systematized knowledge derived from observation, study, etc. 2. a branch of knowledge, esp. one that systematizes facts, principles, and methods 3. skill or technique In order to prove this claim we have to look at whether or not psychology can fill this definition above.Scientific study is a valid way of coming to an understanding of life, and can be very useful

Psychology As A Science: Kim's Argument And Why It Is Flawed

2078 words - 9 pages Jaegwon Kim thinks that multiple realizability of mental properties would bring about the conclusion that psychology is most likely not a science. Several functionalists, specially, Fodor, take up the opposing stance to Kim, supporting that the multiple realizability of mental states is one of the reasons why psychology is an autonomous and justifiable science. Essentially, Kim think that in order for mental states to be multiply realizable then