Is Psychology a Science? (debate)

  • Created by: katie
  • Created on: 04-06-15 14:53
list what makes a subject scientific?
reductionist, falsifiable, hypothesis writing, controls (thus removing bias as far as poss), empirical data, objectivity, paradigm (according to Popper)
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define falsifiable
trying to prove that a hypothesis is false
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define reductionism in this context
reducing complex issues into smaller parts
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define hypothesis writing
making a statement about what is to be expected by the researcher
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define Popper's paradigm
underlying assumptions of a science
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define empirical data
data that can be scientifically tested using statistical tests
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can psychology be called a science: what would you include
reductionism, falsification, paradigm, research methods
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expand upon reductionism in regards to psychology as a subject
IS A SCIENCE: lab and field experiments are reductionist - reduce complex behaviours to small parts to study them
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expand upon falsification in regards to psychology as a subject
NOT A SCIENCE: psychologists don't try to falsify their hypothesis, only to prove them e.g. in Money's study, he ignored evidence that went against his hypothesis (Brenda playing with brother's toys and not wanting to wear a dress at first)
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expand upon the paradigm in regards to psychology as a subject
NOT A SCIENCE: in sciences there are underlying assumptions but in psychology there are many different paradigms from approach to approach that believe diff things
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expand upon research methods in regards to psychology as a subject
IS A SCIENCE: develop theories from studies that are mostly lab and field experiments which involve hypotheses being written and empirical testing. NOT A SCIENCE:case studies (holistic, subj. & idiographic) & surveys (subjective interpretation)
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define idiographic and nomothetic
idiographic: specific, not universal. nomothetic: general scientific laws, universal
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SOCIAL APPROACH: is it scientific?
1)says society has evolved to have agents and followers which aligns with the theory of evolution which is a scientific theory 2)lab /milgram/ and field /hofling/ experiments: hypothesis, controls, reductionist 3)surveys: subjective interpretation
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COGNITIVE APPROACH: is it scientific?
1)lab /craik & tulving/ and field /godden and baddeley/ experiments 2)some theories such as levels of processing are hard to measure as they are unconscious 3)studies processing in the brain which is measurable as it is biological information
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1)looks at the unconscious e.g. ID, ego which aren't measurable 2)participants asked to generate data freely e.g. free association: no hypothesis 3)case studies: subjective interpretation, holisitc as measure multiple behaviours & are idiographic
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BIOLOGICAL APPROACH: is it scientific?
1)uses scanning techniques which are objective 2)looks at genes, hormones and neurotransmitters which are obviously scientific and they are measurable concepts 3)tight controls and testing of a hypothesis in studies e.g. bonson and goldstein
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LEARNING APPROACH: is it scientific?
1)reductionist: reduces behaviour to small parts so is easily measurable 2)uses animal studies and lab experiments which are controlled and are scientific methodology 3)aims to look at nomothetic laws of behaviour e.g. Bandura: anti-social behaviour
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Card 2


define falsifiable


trying to prove that a hypothesis is false

Card 3


define reductionism in this context


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Card 4


define hypothesis writing


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Card 5


define Popper's paradigm


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