The scientific method may lack internal validity
- Investigator effects and demand characterisitics threaten internal validity.
- For example, a questionnaire with leading questions would lack validity.
- Investigator effects also occur in the 'hard' sciences, e.g. the uncertainty principle.
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The scientific method may lack external validity
- If experimental findings don't match real-life observations they do not generalise beyond the setting in which they are conducted.
- For example, Milgram's findings about proximity did not explain obedience in the Nazi death camps.
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The scientific method can be reductionist
- Operationalising variables is reductionist as we oversimplify behaviours.
- For example, Laing suggested we should consider each case of schizophrenia individually (idiographic approach) rather than describing them as in purely physical-chemical terms.
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The scientific method tends to ignore individual d
- Science is nomothetic, looking for similarities and making generalisations.
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The scientific method raises ethical issues
- Good scientific research has ethical costs, e.g. psychological harm. A balance between scientific benefits and ethical costs is desirable but may ignore individual rights.
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