• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the disadvantages of the use of the scientific method in psychology

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Science itself is only a science because it is has control, predictability, replicabilty (being able to replicate the experiment), objectivity, and be falsifiable (where a theory can be proved correct). It is also reductionist, deterministic, empirical (gains information through direct obseration) and nomoethic. Psychology cannot be classed as a science because it doesn't contain the same characteristics. A disadvantage of the scientific method in relation to psychology is that its reductionist; something that psychology it never reduces behaviour down to one factor, as it looks at human beings as a whole, taking into consideration individuals have different biological and environmental backgrounds. If it was scientific it would mean that only one of the many different approaches (Biological, Cognitive etc) ...read more.

Middle

It is the same with the Freudian theory of the psychosexual stages. There is no proof that certain fixations at different stages of our infantry (anal, oral, phallic etc.) will affect our adult personalities. These theories also contradict the biological and cognitive approaches theories that should be taken into account. However, some people still class psychology as a science, because either way it's impossible to scientifically 'measure' humans as we can with time and atoms. Furthermore, psychology, unlike science is subjective. This means that results of experiments can be skewed due to observer bias. An example of this is dream analysis/clinical interviews. The UK + US Diagnostic Project found that American psychiatrists diagnosed depression when shown a video of a clinical interview, whereas British ones diagnosed schizophrenia. ...read more.

Conclusion

Becca's natural experiment where she introduced TV to Figi to see if it affected the growth of eating disorders gathers spontaneous and qualitative data, yet it lacks many factors that are vital for the scientific method: control of the IV, and replicability because it was a one off experiment. However, it is desirable for psychology to be called a science because people trust it, and would feel diagnosis' that were made would be more reliable. But if psychology were truly a science, it would mean our actions are due to just one cause, which is inappropriate because humans have varied biological and environmental backgrounds meaning there are many different justifications for behaviour, hence the different psychological approaches. However, is science really scientific? Kuhn argued that scientists themselves aren't always objective as their findings could be influenced by wanting to prove their own 'scientfic' theories. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. Anxiety disorders

    This is known as operant conditioning. Aim - Watson and Rayner wanted to show how a phobia can be learned. Method - A 9 month old baby known as Albert was tested for fear reaction to a number of stimuli including a white rat, a rabbit, some cotton wool and a hammer hitting a steel bar just behind his head.

  2. Eating Disorders

    The communication within the family may have changed because one member has become ill. It is therefore not possible to state causality. Biological explanations. Both anorexia and bulimia run in families. Strober found that first degree relatives of anorexic daughters were four times more likely on average to have the disorder themselves.

  1. PHISIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY

    define the prefrontal cortex as "that region which is coextensive with projections from the dorsomedial nucleus" (1993, p 412) The prefrontal cortex is connected to the premotor cortex (containing the supplementary motor cortex) and thus indirectly to the primary motor cortex.

  2. Is geography a science?

    The definition of 'science' is very much open to interpretation, meaning that science, like geography, has become immensely broad and thus can no longer be confined to the laboratory. Currently the global human population is 6,391,281,842 3. With this many people spread across the world, problems are continuously rising - famine, deforestation, ozone depletion, overcrowding and vulnerable populations.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work