Psychology as a science
- science is objective, controlled, replicable, able to validate or falsify and prediction are made.
- science has a 'paradigm' (Kuhn) - a shared set of assumptions.
- some researchers would argue psychology is not a paradigm but that it has experienced paradigm shifts.
- for example, we began with biology (hard science), around the 1900's psychodynamic approach emerged (Freud), this is considered to be a 'soft science', its subjective, unfalsifyable and lacks controlled investigation.
- psychology then moved into behaviourism (in the middle), it uses experiments and observations. we then moved into cognitive approach - more scientific (harder) science than behaviourist.
- most areas of psychology are scientific, they use experimental research methods. experiments are advantageous in psychology because, we can test behaviour in valid, reliable ways.
- controlled studies, e.g. Gibson and Walk/Asch enable us to measure results accurately in quantitative ways - gaining statistical fata from which hypotheses can be accepted/ rejected.
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- experimental studies such as Milgram gives us cause and effect relationships, this is better than non-experimental methods which only show correlationg.
- they are more objective than case studies, so likely to be more valid, e.g. Freud's case study of Little Hans which is highly interpretive and therefore less scientific than experiments.
- in conclusion, there is a lot of scientific study in pscyhology
- most of the psychological approaches use experiments to test a hypothesis, which are scientific.
- this is good because it makes research more credible and results can be widely applied, e.g. Loftus and palmer
- overall psychology can be considered as rooted in hard science because of its origins in biology
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