WJEC A2 Psychology PY3 - Advantages of the Scientific Method

Notes for the Advantages of the Use of the Scientific Method essay in Section C of PY3 exam

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Scientific Method Advantage - Falsifiability

1. FALSIFIABILITY = it is impossible to prove a hypothesis correct as there is always the risk the results of a study occurred by chance. Therefore if a scientific method is falsifiable, it increases the predictive validity and allows a theory to be refined/rejected if predicted results do not materialise

(+) it is an advantage because: allows a researcher to set up circumstances where theories/hypotheses can be disproven. Therefore evidence can be presented to support or (more importantly) contradict previous research which allows more research to be conducted to refine a theory

Example:

  • Selye's (1949) General Adaptation Syndromepredicted in the exhaustion stage, illness occurs as a result of depletion of stress hormones, however later evidence falsified this claim and suggested an excess of stress hormones instead. Although potentially disappointing for Selye, good for Psychology as by a process of elimination the truth can be uncovered and previous research, still valid but, disproven. Unlike unscientific, unfalsifiable theories like Freud's concepts eg repression that can never be disproven

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