"Is Psychology a Science?"

4 AO2 points for the issue/debate of whether Psychology should be classed as a Science or not

for PSYA4 Section C - Research Methods (AQA A specification)

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  • Created by: jb1995
  • Created on: 07-01-13 17:56
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"Is Psychology a Science?"
PSYCHOLOGY SHARES THE GOALS OF SCIENCE
Psychology adopts the scientific method, with many
psychologists proposing theories/models which can be
falsified and tested by highly controlled experiments.
However, there is the question of whether simply using the
method of Science is enough to actually be a Science.
KUHN'S VIEWS
Kuhn stated that Psychology is a `pre-science' as it has
many different paradigms ­ none of which are widely
accepted by everyone.
Palermo argued that Psychology is a `revolutionary
science' because it has gone through various paradigm
shifts.
In either case, the idea of Psychology being a Science is
supported because it must develop in the same way that
other Sciences do (according the Kuhn).
PSYCHOLOGY AS A PSEUDO-SCIENCE
Many people believe that Psychology does nothing but
`dress up' basic scientific ideas.
Miller (1983) stated that although many Psychologists
employ the scientific method, the essence of Science has
`passed them by'.
This has led to many people believing that Psychology
should be seen as a `pseudo-science'.
ISSUES WITH OBJECTIVITY AND CONTROL
Often in Psychology, research is subject to a lack of
objectivity due to experimenter/investigator bias and a lack
of control due to the effects of extraneous variables (such
as demand characteristics and other participant variables).
This affects the internal validity of the research.
This contradicts the idea of Psychology being a Science
because objectivity and control are two main aims of
Science.

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