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Why psychology isn't science
LA Times ^ | 7-13-2012 | Alex B. Berezow

Posted on 07/13/2012 1:03:03 PM PDT by Sir Napsalot

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To: Secret Agent Man
The other interesting thing is that so many psychologists themselves are seeing a psychologist for their own issues. Another unusual aspect of this field.

Can't argue that one. The number of doctors I know who went into medicine as the result of a personal or family illness/tragedy is also staggering, and I know a lot of docs.

51 posted on 07/13/2012 5:36:04 PM PDT by Melas (u)
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To: Melas

Not quite the same thing,but I see where you are coming from. Not only do the go the doc route, but nurse, emt, etc.


52 posted on 07/13/2012 5:47:46 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Did you put this in chat?


53 posted on 07/13/2012 5:55:36 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem
Ummm, .... yes.

/nervously biting my nails

54 posted on 07/13/2012 6:02:01 PM PDT by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: tired&retired
Virtually all methods merely temporarily blocked memory retrieval and did not resolve the problem permanently. The best treatment, other than the long process of psychotherapy, was the virtual reality programs that facilitated retrieval and reframing of the traumatic memory.

I imagine this would include the construction of an emotional cushion/buffer zone that would allow the traumatized individual a safe emotional place in which to observe and re-evaluate the retrieved traumatic memory/memories.

55 posted on 07/13/2012 6:02:47 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: Secret Agent Man; Melas
The other interesting thing is that so many psychologists themselves are seeing a psychologist for their own issues. Another unusual aspect of this field.

Another interesting thing about this field is that the aspirational practitioner is seen (by others in the field) as equivalent to the professional practitioner. Compare this with the professions of medicine, law, accounting, and engineering.

56 posted on 07/13/2012 6:12:36 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: Melas

You misread my statement, or I was not clear... Psychotherapy is by far the best treatment, but it takes longer and is more costly.

I was merely saying “best treatment, other than the long process of psychotherapy...”


57 posted on 07/13/2012 8:43:32 PM PDT by tired&retired
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To: Melas

You misread my statement, or I was not clear... Psychotherapy is by far the best treatment, but it takes longer and is more costly.

I was merely saying “best treatment, other than the long process of psychotherapy...”


58 posted on 07/13/2012 8:43:43 PM PDT by tired&retired
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To: thecodont

“I imagine this would include the construction of an emotional cushion/buffer zone that would allow the traumatized individual a safe emotional place in which to observe and re-evaluate the retrieved traumatic memory/memories.”

That is the first part of a good virtual reality program.


59 posted on 07/13/2012 8:48:13 PM PDT by tired&retired
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To: GraceG
Psychology will only become “real” science when we can digitize the entire working human brain and analyse it like we would a computer in a car.

Instead of conjuring up feelings about psychology's past, take a look at modern cognitive science. It's darned impressive.

60 posted on 07/13/2012 8:51:52 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

It’s an OpEd from the LA Times. Always go with News/Activism, unless it’s obvious trivia. The social sciences have infected our politics with some of the worst nonsence and which came first chicken or egg arguments.


61 posted on 07/13/2012 9:00:04 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: Sir Napsalot
Not only is psychology not a science, it is a religion.

Just like Global Warming and Darwinism.

62 posted on 07/13/2012 9:04:07 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Sir Napsalot
The anti-scientific cast of Freud's mind is clearly indicated by his attempt to bolster his fantasy of the Oedipus complex by a pseudo-scientific theory of the inheritance of impulses from primitive ancestors who murdered their tribal father to acquire his harem of females. When it was pointed out to him that the Lamarkian theory of acquired characteristics was entirely discredited, he querulously replied: "We can't bother with the biologists. We have our own science." - Freud and the Scientific Method

63 posted on 07/13/2012 9:15:11 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Sir Napsalot

Since psychology is 100% opinion, and devoid of empiracy and objective analysis, there should be no attempt to call it science.

Its just another form of manipulation, seeking to alter reality toward acceptance of grossly deviant behavior, like homosexuality for example.


64 posted on 07/13/2012 9:26:43 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they were.)
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To: Tenacious 1; Sir Napsalot

Your agitprop is what is commonly known as a Strawman argument.

Tom Cruise has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion, and was injected to deflect and discredit the discussion.


65 posted on 07/13/2012 9:34:20 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they were.)
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To: bkepley

Psychologists do not “do science.”

They play “TV repairman” with your body, giving this drug or that, whatever is in fashion, much like a home owner of the ‘50s hauling all of the tubes of their TV set to the drug store in a bag, to be tested on the machine.

Its “wack a mole” or “skittle ball,” but certainly not science.


66 posted on 07/13/2012 9:41:33 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they were.)
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To: tired&retired

The way I knew that psychology wasn’t a science is that all the crazy people in college took a psychology degree. It seemed more like AA where the practitioners were also the patients.


67 posted on 07/14/2012 3:28:31 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Blogatron

How about the fact that the majority of psychology ‘studies’ are based on college students who need cash. Their responses are then extrapolated to the entire population. That’s not science.

Most psychology is the patient themselves talking out their problem or adversity, working on changing their reaction to it and enjoying a new, positive consequence. The fact that the psychologist has a sheepskin and the appearance of professionalism simply aids the process - a human placebo.


68 posted on 07/14/2012 3:35:09 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Don’t leave out that “scientist” Kinsey. He really helped people.


69 posted on 07/14/2012 3:41:46 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Sir Napsalot

While I generally agree with the headline, there is some science beginning to enter the field. People are doing some really interesting work in the areas of functional neuroimaging and neurofeedback these days, and effectively treating ADHD without drugs, helping people with MTBI and even stroke recover, etc.


70 posted on 07/14/2012 3:57:07 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks Sir Napsalot.
Psychologist Timothy D. Wilson... expressed resentment... over the fact that most scientists don't consider his field a real science. He casts scientists as condescending bullies... 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.
That's right, and there's also no such thing as hypnosis. /s Humans are merely walking, talking chemistry sets, and all ailments can be treated -- not cured, treated -- using medicines developed through scientifically rigorous double-blind testing, and *only* that way.

IOW, skepticultists are no different than any other fanatic down through the ages.
Alex B. Berezow:
Google
OTOH, I'll give him points for these:
71 posted on 07/14/2012 5:28:09 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: editor-surveyor
Your agitprop is what is commonly known as a Strawman argument.

Tom Cruise has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion, and was injected to deflect and discredit the discussion.

I made no argument concerning Tom Cruise, strawman or otherwise. It was an appropriate joke (and I think rather clever). It took nothing from the subject. The subject does not affect the life of a single person beyond some personal pride. You are an over-sensitive psychologist.

So...BuzzKillington.... take yourself less seriously, else some here might diagnose you with a mental condition (that Tom Cruise could help you with).

72 posted on 07/14/2012 6:38:56 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (The Click-&-Paste Media exists & works in Utopia, riding unicorns & sniffing pixy dust.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

>>/nervously biting my nails <<

I can’t help but notice you have easily get nervous and you bite your nails when you do. Tell me, did your mother bite her nails when your father was nearby?


73 posted on 07/14/2012 9:15:26 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (obozo could bring back literal slavery with chains and still he will get 85+% of the black vote)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

>>Not only is psychology not a science, it is a religion.
Just like Global Warming and Darwinism.<<

Saw that one coming from deep in left field...

Go ahead and add the religions of Geology and Astronomy to the list.

I can explain why AGW is not a science but someone has to know science to understand my explanation.


74 posted on 07/14/2012 9:18:04 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (obozo could bring back literal slavery with chains and still he will get 85+% of the black vote)
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To: freedumb2003

Funny you should ask, I remember this thing when I was 5 years old, and it was dark outside ........


75 posted on 07/14/2012 10:21:03 AM PDT by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Sir Napsalot
Funny you should ask, I remember this thing when I was 5 years old, and it was dark outside ........

I see. Go on..."

76 posted on 07/14/2012 10:28:10 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (obozo could bring back literal slavery with chains and still he will get 85+% of the black vote)
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To: freedumb2003
You can't explain it because you don't understand science. You BELIEVE in science because you can't understand it and that's why it is your religion. You believe it on faith. I don't have to BELIEVE in science like you do, because I understand science.

You don't bother trying to explain your pseudo-scientific religious beliefs to others because you are too intellectually lazy to understand them yourself.

77 posted on 07/14/2012 1:29:12 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

>>I don’t have to BELIEVE in science like you do, because I understand science.<<

One thing I can say with 100% assurance: you do NOT know science. You wouldn’t know a Scientific Theory if it bit you in the butt.

The fact I know science merely means I know science.

Your insult flinging, as usual, is mere amusement for me and entertainment for the rest of your crowd.


78 posted on 07/14/2012 1:39:29 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (obozo could bring back literal slavery with chains and still he will get 85+% of the black vote)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Freud doesn't have much to do with modern academic psychology.

Even psychotherapy and his own field of psychoanalysis embrace ideas and perspectives that Freud rejected or would have rejected (though the analysts don't like to admit it).

79 posted on 07/14/2012 1:43:10 PM PDT by x
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To: freedumb2003
Well if you are too stupid to know that Darwinism is just as much a pile of bullcrap as global warming, then you clearly don't know what you're talking about. I studied Biology and Psychology in college and I know the difference between science and bullcrap. You haven't said one thing on this thread about science, but you have posted bullcrap.
80 posted on 07/14/2012 1:45:20 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

You still flinging? God things must be boring on your side of the fence.

Again, your post says nothing about your understanding of science. But in aggregate your posts tell everyone all they need to know of the depth of your ignorance.

Again, you lack the framework to understand what science is and isn’t. Leave that for the grown-ups.


81 posted on 07/14/2012 1:52:15 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (obozo could bring back literal slavery with chains and still he will get 85+% of the black vote)
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To: freedumb2003
The reason you can't explain why global warming is not science, is because someone would then point out that all the same arguments apply to your religion of Darwinism. Psychologically, you cannot accept having your unscientific beliefs exposed, so now you are projecting your lack of scientific understanding on to me.

I understand climatology, biology and psychology, and you don't understand any of them.

82 posted on 07/14/2012 1:57:52 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: IronJack

Behavioral psychology is the only psychology that is a science.

That doesn’t mean that patients are reduced conceptually to automatons, or that behavioral conditioning is a good idea.

It just means that general truths can be inductively derived from psychology experiments.

Take, for instance, random reinforcement. It turns pigeons into maniacal key tappers. Apply it to child-raising methods. Voila! Various maladies of the adult.


83 posted on 07/14/2012 2:03:26 PM PDT by firebrand
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To: Tailgunner Joe

>>The reason you can’t explain why global warming is not science, is because someone would then point out that all the same arguments apply to your religion of Darwinism. Psychologically, you cannot accept having your unscientific beliefs exposed, so now you are projecting your lack of scientific understanding on to me.<<

You are digging your ignorance hole much, much deeper. It is people like you who can’t even tell the difference between gravity and the Theory of Gravity. For you, it goes downhill from there.

I’ll give you a lifeline here: what is a Scientific Theory? In your own words (I understand you have to use small one). Hint: it isn’t a “grown up guess.”


84 posted on 07/14/2012 2:13:30 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (obozo could bring back literal slavery with chains and still he will get 85+% of the black vote)
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To: Tenacious 1

I’m sure you love to laugh at your own ‘jokes.’

Nobody else does, so I guess you have to.

Chosing between you and Cruise, I’d have to go with Cruise.


85 posted on 07/14/2012 3:02:16 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they were.)
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To: editor-surveyor
Since psychology is 100% opinion, and devoid of empiracy and objective analysis, there should be no attempt to call it science.

It appears most people on this forum think psychology is all about mental illness and mentally ill people. That is not true. Probably half or more of psychologists are involved with research that has nothing to do with mental illness. In fact there are thousands of psychologists who do not even work with humans.

86 posted on 07/14/2012 3:15:17 PM PDT by ladyjane
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To: Tailgunner Joe
>> "You can't explain it because you don't understand science. You BELIEVE in science because you can't understand it and that's why it is your religion. You believe it on faith.

I don't have to BELIEVE in science like you do, because I understand science. You don't bother trying to explain your pseudo-scientific religious beliefs to others because you are too intellectually lazy to understand them yourself." <<

You got freedumb nailed to the wall with that. You must have a window into his soul!

87 posted on 07/14/2012 3:15:32 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they were.)
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To: ladyjane

Psychology IS mental illness, is that what you mean?


88 posted on 07/14/2012 3:17:51 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they were.)
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To: editor-surveyor

LOL -

Actually there are psychologists who have been inducted into AAAS and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They’ve never seen patients or dealt with mental illness. They’re not practitioners.

Academic/scientific psychology deals with such diverse topics as math models, neuroimaging, cognitive functioning, decision making. In fact a couple of them won Nobels - but in economics because there is no prize in psychology. (None in math either.)


89 posted on 07/14/2012 3:30:54 PM PDT by ladyjane
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To: Sir Napsalot
Of course it's not a science. Science seeks reproducible results, but it is not at all uncommon or unsurprising for practitioners of psychology to arrive at very different conclusions. And whereas true scientists have recourse to tools and methodology to critically reexamine their respective positions in the case conflicting results, psychologists are quite comfortable with allowing mutually exclusive conclusions to coexist. Two physicists who disagree about the weight of a subatomic particle cannot both be right, but neither of two psychologists with sharply divergent claims about a bed-wetting will necessarily be wrong. In real science, a conflict has to settled to be resolved.

That psychology is rhetorical is proven in the substance of the pudding itself. Whereas, in science, language is a tool of study, it is both object and subject of psychological study. Language is the matter and form of practical psychology. It begins with labeling, proceeds through commentary, and produces declarations.

90 posted on 07/14/2012 3:35:26 PM PDT by Brass Lamp
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To: firebrand
"Take, for instance, random reinforcement. It turns pigeons into maniacal key tappers. Apply it to child-raising methods. Voila! Various maladies of the adult."

It also turns people in maniacal slot machine arm pullers!

Also, just adventitious reinforcement will turn pigeons into ritualistic responders and will result in professional athletes refusing to wear clean underwear until they lose...lol.

What you are saying is correct. There are disciplines of psychology (e.g., behavior analysis) that rely on inductive, empirical methods to establish general principles and mechanisms in the study of behavior that are similar to traditional natural sciences.

91 posted on 07/14/2012 3:42:02 PM PDT by wolf24 (Operor non calco in mihi)
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To: Tenacious 1
I thought your joke quite funny, and yes, "clever" too.

It's great to have threads start with really good ones. That's why many of us love this place. The more sophisticated snark can be delicious. Your own offering was FR Puur-fect.

We like jokes. We like to share them, and have them understood, teller and listener alike.

Ironically, jokes themselves, how they "work", touching upon differing subject matter, combining them in ways which can provoke laughter, have subtle powers far beyond the momentary laugh, which long have been exploited. Which powers themselves can be understood from a basis of psychology, as a science...

Leaving one to be able to breezily proclaim, with a straight face and no malice;


92 posted on 07/14/2012 3:43:17 PM PDT by BlueDragon (cast your bread upon the waters, it will come back to you after many days... all soggy)
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To: editor-surveyor
Psychology and Darwinism are very similar in fact. Psychology is based on grouping types of behavior statistically and classifying abnormal behavior. Labeling a group of people who exhibit the same behaviors does not really explain anything about why these people are mentally ill however. For example nobody knows what causes autism, so how can anyone say that somebody even has autism, if nobody knows what causes it. How do we know that different cases of "autism" have completely different causes and should therefore be considered completely different diseases? We don't. It's the same problem with ADD. The reason so many kids get diagnosed with ADD is because ADD is not a disease, it is a type of behavior.

Darwinism is also based on a system of classification based on the logical fallacy that animals which appear similar must be related because all species share a common ancestor. Psychology is based on the error that similar behaviors have the same psychological causes. Pychology reduces people to statistics and says that we are all robots responding to stimuli. That's why it is a godless secular religion.

93 posted on 07/14/2012 6:39:41 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: x
Psychological theories are like Rorschach inkblot tests. Just as we see what we want to in the inkblot, psychologists see what they want to in us. Psychological theories tell us more about the people who came up with those theories than they tell us about ourselves.

Freud theorized about serious sexual hangups because he was a sick freak! Alfred Adler came up with the inferiority complex because he was crippled. B. F. Skinner wanted to prove that we are all just robots with no free will because he was an atheist and a materialist.

94 posted on 07/14/2012 6:56:58 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Psychology is the blind man walking barefoot through the glass shop after the earthquake.


95 posted on 07/14/2012 6:59:55 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they were.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

ping


96 posted on 07/15/2012 8:59:35 PM PDT by huldah1776
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To: Tailgunner Joe

“Darwinism is also based on a system of classification based on the logical fallacy that animals which appear similar must be related because all species share a common ancestor”

Then please explain why “New World” vultures and “Old World” vultures appear similar but are not classified as being closely related.

For someone who purports to have studied Biology your statement betrays a fundamental ignorance of even the basics.


97 posted on 07/16/2012 9:21:16 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: allmendream
"Nowadays even your shampoo is “scientifically formulated”."

It's been that way since at least the 50s.

98 posted on 07/16/2012 9:26:14 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: spunkets

A somewhat understandable reaction to our sudden emergence into the atomic age and the realization that superior science ended the war in dramatic fashion.

The “new hotness” indeed. Everyone wants in on the act when it is a huge success.

Science is a huge success.


99 posted on 07/16/2012 9:29:15 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: allmendream
Darwinism says they are related because everything is related, but there is no proof of this. It's just an assumption. In fact there is no proof they are related at all.

If you say that the theory of evolution does not rest upon the assumption of universal common descent of all living creatures, then you are the one who is ignorant of the basic fundamentals of the theory, not me. Without assuming that all animals are descended from one common ancestor, then there is no reason to assume that any of them have common ancestors.

100 posted on 07/16/2012 6:32:51 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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