Is Psychology a science?

What is the definition of science?
The obstaining and manipulation of objective data in order to form a theory
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What is the first argument against psychology being a science?
It is not precise enough to be a science
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What is the second reason?
Psychology is required to measure in order to conform to its definition of 'the study of the mind' can not be measured other than through human dissection.
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What is this method said to be?
Subjective, hence suggesting that psychology does not reside sufficient accuracy and precision
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What does sicence require?
Objectivity and inductive reasoning, taking a specific fact via which a generalised hypothesis is formed
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What will this essay discuss?
Precise/objective methodology, Popper, Descartes, Kuhn and Weber
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What is paragraph 1
Precise/Objective methodology
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What is the main component of a science?
That it is having precise and objective methodology to test hypothesis and theories (Lawson, Graham and baker, 2007)
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How does psychology do this?
Behaviourism for example lends itself to scientific methodology given its various theories, eg: Theories of learning and principles explaining behaviours e.g. law of effect presented by Thorndike (1898)
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For example?
Watson and Rayner (1920) Little Albert experiment
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How does cognitive psychology adopt scientific approach?
It relies heavily on using specialised objective equipment, eg: EEG (Also used in scientific research)
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How does biological and developmental follow scientific methodology?
McDermott et al (2018) investigated veterans who suffered from PTSD, they demonstrated amygdala hyperactivity while viewing threatening faces, A MEG study
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Therefore?
Psychology's experiment can follow objective procedures as shown in previous experiments, which would suggest it could be classified as a science
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However
(Gareau, 1987) that society, its institutions and social relationships are not susceptible to scientific study, and that the methods of the natural sciences should not be applied to social phenomena
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Second paragraph
Popper
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What idea did Popper introduce?
The idea of falsification of theories as a science
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What did he claim?
Scientists propose theories which they know provide an assumption and according to Popper, science is the refutation of theories in order to improve theories
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What is the overall purpose?
To come to a theory that cannot be refuted
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What did he state the aim of science was?
To eliminate the false and establish the true (Lacey 1999
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What did Popper state?
The typical theory is the presentation of a highly probable statement which may not require refutation certainly
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What is a good theory?
Highly improbably and will require certain refutation
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What did Popper think as a good theory?
It consists of certain conjectures
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In relation to Popper, what is there no mention of?
certainty in the proposition of theories, to a large extent, psychology can be considered as a science; theories are established but inevitably as technology developed more can be measured with certainty and hence mroe refuted
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What would this lead to?
The more accurate theories can become
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Therefore what was popper's aim?
That scientists go out of their way to make sure that their study is indestructible, they refute their study rather than confirm it
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Example:
Shannon (1950) Binary logic, information can be quantified with certainty, this proves only to demonstrate that Popper's idea of natural progression of science through falsification to which psychology can confirm to and hence considered as a science
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What is a contrasting paragraph?
Kuhn
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What did Kuhn think about Popper's theory of falsification?
It was too simplistic and historically inaccurate, Kuhn suggested the theory of the paradigm shift
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What is the theory of the Paradigm shift?
Scientific theories are proposed with confidence in their accuracy. Scientists took upon their theories as 'sacred' until their theory can't be justified
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Therefore?
This theory is considered to be reductionist and a paradigm shift occurs, much like the shift from behaviourism to cognitive science, occurs when theory is proposed in which no anomoly can be found
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What does the paradigm shift demonstrate?
Science as a constant working progress to which once again, psychology can conform to a large extent as explained previously in relation to Popper's view of science
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What did Decartes propose?
Science as the development of objective theories of certainty which have been established on the basis of the justfication of laws
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What did he claim?
Science must be undertaken via inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning
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What did Protagoras state (400BC)
No matter how highly probable an idea might be, no degree of probability is sufficient to substitute certainty
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What stance does this take?
it still supports Descartes
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How can this be applied to?
Psychology still may be established as a science as no theory is formally established without certainty.
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Facts are not formed because of what?
They are not formed into general hypotheses without certainty
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However, why can psychology be not considered as a science?
Because it can be seen as subjective until, as weber claimed, a law has been established.
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Inevitably what?
There will always be a degree of uncertainty in theories which do not consist of laws. However, in this case, psychology may not be considered as a science to a very high degree
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What is the fourth paragragh?
Feyerabeud considered both Kuhn and Popper's theories to be far too simplistic
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He stated that science was what?
Not simply solving minor problems and that it is an objective manipulation of empirical date from which theories are important to our understanding
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What is psychologies role?
The study of the mind is certainly considered to be one of the more important aspects of the world and understanding required
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What did charles Darwin state?
The understanding and investigationg into mechanisms of human and animal behaviour may enable us to predict future changes
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How was this concept further developed?
By Weber
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WHat law did he invent?
The law of Just noticeable difference and claimed that though the investigation of human mechanisms, laws can be used and that behaviour can be predicted
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Therefore, certain behaviours can be?
avoided
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Therefore, what did he suggest science was?
Only one law is required for a subject to be required as a subject, psychology is already greatly established to be a science
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Card 2

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What is the first argument against psychology being a science?

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It is not precise enough to be a science

Card 3

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What is the second reason?

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Card 4

Front

What is this method said to be?

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Card 5

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What does sicence require?

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