Critical Thinking Paper :Is psychology a “real” science? Does it really matter?
Paper Submitted In Fulfillment Of The Course: Psychology of Personal Adjustment
Olivia R. Doak
Instructor: Arthur D. Kemp, Ph.D., M.S.
Department of Psychology
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
The issue in this blog is psychology a real science or is the fact that it is not as rigorous as other hard sciences like biology and chemistry mean that psychology is not a science. This is not a new question in the world of science has been talking about how psychology has had sloppy studies that cannot be redone or proven which have only added to the debate about psychology place in science. The main component to this is the lack of quantifiable data and accurate terminology in the different areas of psychology like happiness where its hard to get precise data because no one feels the same way all the time.
The first piece of evidence in this article is that other science fields do not fully rigorous definitions. Most notable examples in this article are chemistry and drug discovery when talking about the definitions of druglike in these fields over the years. Now no one would ever say that chemistry is not science not to say that chemistry does not have more complete definitions then psychology. The point here is that not all definitions can cover everything in a field of science. This author of this article also draws attention to the fact that if a social scientist tries to make things to strict within their areas one they can stumble onto shaky ground. One example of this mentioned in this blog is when financiers tried to use mathematical equations, and it caused wall street many problems. The author also points out that we do not know enough about social systems for fellow scientists to insist on hard unchanging data like some other disciplines do.
Other evidence is that psychology like other fields use statistics in their studies to explain some of the things we cannot observe directly. Even though the data cannot always be replicated in repeated testing in psychology does not mean it should not be considered a science. When studying something as complex as human behavior that changes all the time cannot expect the data to be the same which is why statistics are used so you can get the necessary information that helps us understand the human mind.
Evidence that would help evaluate the ideas in this article would be to look at some of the studies done that have been considered sloppy in the field. The happiness theory for example as well as looking back at the top articles against psychology so that all the information on both sides of the argument is at hand so an informed conclusion about the validity of psychology as a science can be made. One side says that psychology breaks the definition of science so therefore it cannot be a pure science because it does not have clearly defined terminology quantifiability highly controlled experimental conditions reproducibility and finally predictability and testability. These are the five traits that define what science is in the harsh traditional sense that other fields use like physics and chemistry and this has to be taken into account but also can a field that deals with the human mind be held to those high of standards. Those who say psychology is a science would say yes because with the human element to it how can people believe that the results will always stay the same.
On the other hand, the author notes that if we lesson the definition that could lead to other problems in science. Since psychology does do studies and does help answer some of the questions about the human mind so since it does follow the scientific method and does have regulated studies it is argued that psychology does fall within the definition of science. Based on the evidence in the article there is only one conclusion psychology is a science. Taking into account that psychology is a relatively new science so of course, we are not going to have all the answers yet. The field is making headway and advancements that is making sure the data that is gathered is correct and useful so that we can find out more about the human brain and behavior and answer questions that we have pondered like why are people evil what causes depression. With psychology, we are one step closer to answering these questions.
Jogalekar, A. (2013, August 13). Is psychology a “real” science? Does it really matter? Retrieved from https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/is-psychology-a-e2809creale2809d-science-does-it-really-matter/