This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

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 human and non-human behaviour, then to cognitive processes within psychology's first eighty years as a separate discipline. Also, a theory construction is important. This represents an attempt to explain observed phenomena, such as Watson's attempt to account for human and non-human behaviour in terms of classical conditioning, and Skinner's subsequent attempt to do the same with operant conditioning. Any science must have hypotheses, and indeed test them. This involves making specific predictions about behaviour under certain specified conditions, for example, predicting that by combining the sight of a rat with the sound of an iron bar banging behind his head, a small child will learn to fear the rat, as is the case of Little Albert (1923). Also, empirical methods are used in scientific fields to collect data, relevant to the hypothesis being tested, as is the case in many psychological experiments, such as the use of brain scanning in Dement and Kleitman's 1957 study.Science is meant to be objective and unbiased. It should be free of values and discover the truths about what it is studying. Positivism is the view that science is objective and a study of what is real. For example, schizophrenia, when diagnosed as being caused due to excess dopamine, is being studied in a scientific manner. The explanation does not take into account any cultural customs or individual differences that might lead to 'schizophrenic' behaviour. However, even in scientific research like this the person is doing the diagnosing has his or her own views, and may misinterpret behaviour because of his or her own subjective biases. For example, if someone talks about hearing voices, they may be referring to a spiritual experience, but a medical practitioner might well diagnose schizophrenia. So objective, value-free study is not easy, because the scientist has views and biases, and cultural or other issues are perhaps important factors. Some say that a truly objective study is not possible, and that a scientific approach to the study of people is not desirable.Definitions of psychology have changed during its lifetime, largely reflecting the influence and contributions of its major theoretical approaches or orientations. Kline (1998) argued that the different approaches within the field of psychology should be seen as self-contained disciplines, as well as different facets of the same discipline. He argued that a field of study can only be legitimately considered a science if a majority of its workers subscribe to a common, global...

Find Another Essay On Is Psychology a Science?

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

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

Similar Essays

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

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? Homework Assignment

864 words - 4 pages the features of my voice changed. When thinking about this I wanted to understand why this happened and if it had something to do with a part of the brain. Task 3: Is psychology a science A reason why psychology is not counted as a science is because of certain variables. In normal sciences such as chemistry and physics, variables are clearly acknowledged. Some of them being current, voltage, amps and grams when carrying out research and

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