Skip to comments.Why psychology isn't science
Posted on 07/13/2012 1:03:03 PM PDT by Sir Napsalot
Psychologist Timothy D. Wilson, a professor at the University of Virginia, expressed resentment in his Times Op-Ed article on Thursday over the fact that most scientists don't consider his field a real science. He casts scientists as condescending bullies:
"Once, during a meeting at my university, a biologist mentioned that he was the only faculty member present from a science department. When I corrected him, noting that I was from the Department of Psychology, he waved his hand dismissively, as if I were a Little Leaguer telling a member of the New York Yankees that I too played baseball.
"There has long been snobbery in the sciences, with the 'hard' ones (physics, chemistry, biology) considering themselves to be more legitimate than the 'soft' ones (psychology, sociology)."
The dismissive attitude scientists have toward psychologists isn't rooted in snobbery; it's rooted in intellectual frustration. It's rooted in the failure of psychologists to acknowledge that they don't have the same claim on secular truth that the hard sciences do. It's rooted in the tired exasperation that scientists feel when non-scientists try to pretend they are scientists.
That's right. Psychology isn't science.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
[Disclaimer: I am trained in Analytical Chemistry, all my professional work is in Molecular Biology.]
“Why psychology isn’t science”
Written by Tom Cruise
Why can we definitively say that? Because CLIMATOLOGY often does not meet the five basic requirements for a field to be considered scientifically rigorous: clearly defined terminology, quantifiability, highly controlled experimental conditions, reproducibility and, finally, predictability and testability.
I could go with that.
Excellent, relevant, and important piece. Bravo to you for posting this.
You meant the article is written by Tom Cruise? Or the discipline itself is written by Tom Cruise?
The author is correct. Wilson should go into therapy.
Science is “the new hotness” and everybody wants in on it.
Nowadays even your shampoo is “scientifically formulated”.
Something doesn't have to be science to be of use and of value - but like barnacles attaching themselves to the bottom of a ship - the hangers on must occasionally be scraped off.
Well, psychology isn’t a pedestrian crosswalk either, so?
Until they put Hoplophobia in the DSM.
when majority opinion determines what is a mental illness and what isn’t (aka 1973-74 homosexuality 180 degree shift) it isn’t science.
When you can be screamed at and threatened by homosexuals to change your mind about homosexuality and cave into the demands of angry homosexuals at your convention, it isn’t science.
Either I'm getting sloppy or you just emerged from primordial soup.
My cynical (joking) reference was in regards to Tom Cruise's interview with Matt Lauer in which he decried all psycotic drugs are evil. "You don't know about these things, Matt. I do!" - Cruise claiming his expertise in cures for depression, psychosis, etc.
No one on the planet can predict how any one individual is going to react to any given stressful situation.
All of this “psychology” saying what happened and why after-the-fact is a bunch of hooey.
If science is a guessing game then I guess pschychologists are scientists.
That’s about all they are good for-—guessing about what is wrong.
I blame these guys:
It seems to me that a psychologist can do science whether or not psychology is science so it’s a bit of a cat fight.
One need not be an anti psychology zealot to point out that it is not science.
I made the mistake of reading some of Hubbard's sci fi - before I knew he was a cult leader - and he did have an interesting point.
An alien (who looked and acted human) on Earth decided that a psychologist had more power than the police.
The police can arrest you, but you get a trial. In prison they cannot drug you, and you have a defined sentence.
A psychologist can imprison a person based upon saying that person is crazy, they can drug them with whatever they want, and hold them until they decide they are better.
A rather interesting (and scary) proposition - especially if you are a borderline psycho like Hubbard!
I dare you to go over to the research department and tell those “biologists” that they are not scientists because what they are working on does not apply a scientific solution to a problem.
It if weren't for psychology, those scientists wouldn't know what they were trying to scientifically “fix.”
All that said, as an engineer, I understand the position of the snobby scientists. Much the way there are no absolute baselines in “climatology,” much of what is studied as normal and abnormal is in varying degrees subjective.
>>> or you just emerged from primordial soup
You are right, I didn’t know what Tom said ......
I predict that you would poop your pants if I pushed you off of a platform in front of an approaching train.
There. Now it's science. :o)
Deciding who is and who is not “depressed” enough to need such is subjective and (so far) not scientifically determined.
As one in four women in America are currently on mental health drugs - either throughout history 25% of women were CRAZY - or the diagnosis is a bit fast and loose - and self serving.
A monthly counseling session serves the psychologist who diagnoses the depression, and depression has gone from a normal thing that should be temporary to a lifelong condition seems to necessitate life long medical intervention.
I work for a pharma company also.
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