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Could or should psychology be called a science?

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Introduction

Could or should psychology be called a science? Hannah Richards The advantages of calling psychology a science are huge. It allows us to state that it contains objective facts, correct our mistakes and build on previous discoveries. However many refute giving psychology the tile of 'a science' believing that humans are far too complex in their processes to be explained in generalised terms. The key assumptions of 'science' are; Invariance, in science a set of laws don't change, Determinism, meaning that everything can be explained using these laws and that there is a reason for everything and finally Operationalism, trusting in an objective and accurate set of measured variables. Many psychologists believe that these key principals conflict with those of human cognitions; which are often complex and seem to fail to follow any set rules of nature. People inevitably change over time; this fact challenges the principal of 'Invariance' from the scientific point of view. ...read more.

Middle

However science might say that you can infer the thoughts and feelings of a person from their external behaviour. Many psychologists would state that 'psychologies inability to predict human behaviour could be taken as proof that psychology isn't a science because science works on the principals that if you observe something enough times you will be able to understand it and predict what will happen in the future.' Science however, began like psychology; without all the answers and indeed even modern medical science cannot predict all the answers e.g. Modern medicinal science doesn't know how to cure cancer because they don't know how it will react to different drugs. We would demand a far more complex analysis from a psychologist than we would from other scientists. We might ask a psychologist what a human will do, this question could be considered as broad as asking a physicist what will happen to a specific drop of water in the ocean. ...read more.

Conclusion

If psychology became a science then humans would have to be tested upon to gain more accurate results and to create complex laws about them. These experiments might be unethical, for example we have seen the research that Milgram did, however even though it was controversial the participants agreed that they were unharmed and that they were glad to have participated. There would also be strict ethical guidelines should humans be tested on. Many psychologists believe that the reason psychology shouldn't be a science is due to the mysterious and uncertain nature of it. The fact that we don't understand 'love' might make it seem more magical and exciting, something that appeals to human nature. The advantages to understanding something like love would mean that we could prevent areas such as divorce, break up and heartbreak, causing a less painful world for humans. The complexity of areas of psychology, such as love and hate, means that inevitably the mystery and human mis-understanding surrounding such phenomena would be unlikely to be removed. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - ...read more.

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