Psychology as a science?

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TA67 Offline
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Psychology as a science?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:53 pm



Do you guys consider psychology a science? Or somewhat of pseudo-science?


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Re: Psychology as a science?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:24 pm



It's definitely a science. It's just not a physical science.
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Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:23 pm



I think it is a category under a larger science, that of the Medical field. Just like orthopedics or Neurology. It is beginning to have some tenets that make it stand on it's own, but relies on other information to have a foundation. I think the rub is that what you are looking for in Psychology is not "concrete"...meaning the results can not be "quanitfied" physically. Like in orthopedics, you break a knee, it looks physically messed up, and then it heals, and looks better. The same process happens in Psychology, but the outward change is not as readily eveident
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Re: Psychology as a science?

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:58 pm



ottomagne wrote:It's definitely a science. It's just not a physical science.
(Gravedig here, but regarding this entire subforum is a big giant gravedig, it's not exactly a big deal)

Not a physical science? The only science I can think of that's not a physical science is math.

Psychology relates closely to neurology, which is the science of how the matter in the brain works. And that's physical. So I guess psychology is physical.

It's definitely a science; a science of how the mind works.
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Re: Psychology as a science?

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:23 pm



VoteLobster wrote:
ottomagne wrote:It's definitely a science. It's just not a physical science.
(Gravedig here, but regarding this entire subforum is a big giant gravedig, it's not exactly a big deal)

Not a physical science? The only science I can think of that's not a physical science is math.

Psychology relates closely to neurology, which is the science of how the matter in the brain works. And that's physical. So I guess psychology is physical.

It's definitely a science; a science of how the mind works.
Just because something has to do with something that physically exists doesn't mean it's a physical science. You're interpreting physical science incorrectly.

This is going to be a butchered definition, so hopefully the scientists on the board won't murder me, but a physical science is a science that deals with measurements of a quantifiable nature - ie, you can measure/calculate the speed of sound/light, you can weigh an object whose mass is unknown, you can see cell organelles, and measure atomic mass. In psychology and other non-physical sciences, data is qualifiable rather than quantifiable. Why did Pavlov's Dogs begin to salivate after they rung the dinner bell? That's not something you can answer with numbers and measurements. That's why it's not a physical science.
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Re: Psychology as a science?

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:47 pm



ottomagne wrote: This is going to be a butchered definition, so hopefully the scientists on the board won't murder me, but a physical science is a science that deals with measurements of a quantifiable nature - ie, you can measure/calculate the speed of sound/light, you can weigh an object whose mass is unknown, you can see cell organelles, and measure atomic mass. In psychology and other non-physical sciences, data is qualifiable rather than quantifiable. Why did Pavlov's Dogs begin to salivate after they rung the dinner bell? That's not something you can answer with numbers and measurements. That's why it's not a physical science.

Ohhh. That makes sense. So I guess it's just about why the body and mind do certain things when different neurons fire. So it doesn't go down to the physical level. (I hesitated to say 'physical' because deep down, basically everything that happens is physical. That's how I arrived at my initial mistake.)
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Re: Psychology as a science?

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:04 pm



VoteLobster wrote:
ottomagne wrote: This is going to be a butchered definition, so hopefully the scientists on the board won't murder me, but a physical science is a science that deals with measurements of a quantifiable nature - ie, you can measure/calculate the speed of sound/light, you can weigh an object whose mass is unknown, you can see cell organelles, and measure atomic mass. In psychology and other non-physical sciences, data is qualifiable rather than quantifiable. Why did Pavlov's Dogs begin to salivate after they rung the dinner bell? That's not something you can answer with numbers and measurements. That's why it's not a physical science.

Ohhh. That makes sense. So I guess it's just about why the body and mind do certain things when different neurons fire. So it doesn't go down to the physical level. (I hesitated to say 'physical' because deep down, basically everything that happens is physical. That's how I arrived at my initial mistake.)
BUT.... Pavlov's dogs reacted because there were PHYSICAL changes in the reaction in their brains that caused them to act that way. The neurons fired in a way that the electrical signals burned new physical paths in the dogs nervous systems to allow them to react that way. Neurons firing is totally a physical, quantifiable thing that neurologists can measure...
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Re: Psychology as a science?

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:10 pm



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branches_of_science

Physical science is pretty much limited to Physics and Chemistry. Physical science is a type of natural science, which includes biology. Psychology is a social science, which also includes political science, economics, and even history. Social science and natural science together make up empirical science, which is science based on observable phenomena that can be repeated. Separate from empirical science is formal science, which includes math, logic, and stats.
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Re: Psychology as a science?

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:16 pm



sxetnrdrmr wrote: BUT.... Pavlov's dogs reacted because there were PHYSICAL changes in the reaction in their brains that caused them to act that way. The neurons fired in a way that the electrical signals burned new physical paths in the dogs nervous systems to allow them to react that way. Neurons firing is totally a physical, quantifiable thing that neurologists can measure...
Yeah. That's what I thought initially, and it makes perfect sense. But I was told that physical sciences are where you're actually measuring something physical. You're not measuring or doing any math with the neurons, you're just questioning why the neurons in the dogs' brains reacted as they did.
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