Have you ever wondered if psychology can be linked to traditional sciences?
Let us find that out.
What is psychology?
Psychology can be defined as the study of mind and behavior in simple words.
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What is Psychology?
What is Science ?
Science is defined as a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject.
According to Britannica, science is concerned with the physical world and its phenomena and that entails unbiased observations and systematic experimentation.
According to Berkeley, University of California, Science is both a body of knowledge and a process.
Can we relate psychology to science?
Psychology is a science because
- Scientific Method/ tools – Modern psychology has developed the application of the scientific method for psychological phenomenon. For example EEG, fMRI, Observations, Experiments (Zeigarnik effect, stroop effect), etc.
- Objectivity – While studying a subject in psychology we have to make sure we do not let our perception influence our conclusion, further creating a bias. Science places a great deal of emphasis on objectivity, which can be obtained if there is consensus on the definition of a concept and how it can be measured. Psychology use Standardized tests like– NEO FFI, MBTI, APPTITUDE TEST like SAT, GRE etc.
- Hypothetico-Deductive Model of Descartes- It suggests that scientific advancement can take place if you have a theory to explain a Concept /Phenomenon. Psychology has lot of theories (BIG FIVE Model, Motivation Theories) like any other sciences.
- The Hypothesis Testing– Like any other science subject (physics, biology, etc.) Psychology do focus on hypothesis testing to find fact to generalize.
- Empirical Data- Psychology do collect data empirically by using different sampling methods like any other.
- Research – Like any other science subject, Psychology focuses on research and uses statistical tools & research methodology.
Exceptions to why psychology is not an absolute science
- No absolute zero – Psychological phenomenon /concepts cannot have absolute zero as other science subjects will have.
- Subjectivity– there is much scope for subjectivity in psychology.
On the above points discussed for the question ’whether psychology is science or not?’ can be conclude in considering Psychology as science subject/ discipline with the limitations. Similar to sciences subjects, psychology too has exceptions. Psychology as a subject tilted towards science more than arts; as it focus more on studying psychological phenomenon / concepts by using scientific methods for empirical data collection to test theories and hypothesis.