Psychology and Scientific Method

Q. Psychology is not fully compatible with scientific methods. Give five reasons to explain this statement. 150 words ( 10 Marks)

3 thoughts on “Psychology and Scientific Method”

  1. what is psychology: as per APA, it is the scientic study of human behaviour and mind.As different perspectives have come into the picture, is it fully compatible with scientific method is the question. the following points will help establish the same that despite psychology being a science, it is not fully compatible with scientific methods.
    1. scientific methods are unbiased and experiments are controlled. The same is apt for cognitive and behaviorist, but it fails in psychoanalysis as psychoanalysis involves biasedness and generalised interpretation.
    2. in scientific methods, variables are direct and established unlike in psychology. Like if someone is sweating that might be hormonal problem or anxiety. hence, seweating is directly linked to anxiety cant be directly established.
    3.No direct cause effect relationship in psycholoanalysis as it uses case study.
    4. Scientific methods deal with theory that can be established. But psychology only explain things.
    5. scientific methods have direct bearing on observation. But in cognitive psychology as it focusses on mental process that is not directly observeable.
    conclusion: as per the words of thomas kuhr, psychology is a pre-science. Thougfh modern psychology like behaviourism directly deals through scientific methods, still it is not completely compatible with scientific methods unlike biology ,physics, chemistry.

  2. Psychology is science only to the extent where it uses scientific methods such as empirical observations and logical reasoning.But psychology can’t be studied in a complete scientific manner because of the following reasons:
    i) Nature of behaviour is very complex. A single perspective can’t explain it. So, some perspectives like psycho-dynamic perspective are also taken into account which can’t be established scientifically.
    ii) It is non-material in nature. Cognitive processes like thinking and our beliefs can’t be observed empirically.
    iii) It is dynamic in nature. Dynamic things can’t be studied using scientific methods.
    iv) Psychology uses inferences from behaviour.Inferring is not unscientific but here inferences keep changing and hence it is not verifiable.
    v) Psychology is interpretive reality ie, subjective in nature. So, we can say it becomes personal.

    So we can say behavior is very complex, dynamic and interpretive in nature. Only scientific methods can’t explain it.Other methods also need to be taken into account. Hence, psychology is not fully compatible with scientific methods.

  3. Psychology can be said to be a science as it employs scientific method to study about the way the people think, feel and behave. Psychology is not only the study of human’s mind rather it is the study of it’s perception within which we observe, reflect and make decisions.
    It can not be fully compatible with scientific method because –
    1. In scientific method variables were directly established which is not always the case in psychology.
    2. In psychoanalysis, there is biased approach and generalized interpretation whereas scientific method was unbiased and experiments were controlled.
    3. Scientific method have direct bearing on observation whereas cognitive psychology focuses on mental process that cannot be directly observed.
    4. In psychology, there is an explanation of things whereas scientific method has established theories.
    5. While conducting research there is ethical concerns which prohibits certain experiments and application of scientific method in psychology.
    Therefore, psychology can be studied through scientific method but there is limitations as there was also non-material things like, analysing someone’s behaviour.

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