Psychology as a Science

Key features

EMPIRICISM: information is gained from direct obeservation or experiment 

OBJECTIVITY: results are not biased or distorted by personal influence

REPLICABLITY: similar results are found consistently when repeating the study

CONTROL RELATIONSHIPS: cause and effect and causal relationships can be established which can control and predict our world

THEORY CONSTRUCTION: set of general principles used to explain a particular observation

  • INDUCTION: particular --> general - particular observation is generalised to a broader theory
  • DEDUCTION: general --> particular - general theory created and then particular observations are found to back this up. supported by Karl Popper who said laws and theories should be created and then used to generate expectations that can be falsified.

FALISFIABLE: theories can only be dis-proved not proved.

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Miller 1983 suggested psychologists are doing no more than 'dressing up' that may take on scientific tools like quantified measurements and statistical analysis but the essence of science has eluded them.

Thomas Kuhn 1962 said psychology is a pseudoscience as it lacks a shared paridgm like biology and chemsitry 

Heisenberg 1927 said it is impossible to observe anything without its behaviour changing even a sub atomic particle

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IDEOGRAPHIC APPROACH: Involves treating people individually 

NOMOTHETIC: Involves treating people in a generalised way

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