Is psychology a science?

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Nilloc James
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Is psychology a science?

Post #1

Post by Nilloc James »

This article came up in another thread

http://www.arachnoid.com/psychology/

Can psychology be called a science?

Can the mind and/or brain be studied scientifically?

Is it even possible to talk about psychology as if it is one field? There are many areas and both a scientific and clinical branch that don't have much in common.

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Post #2

Post by McCulloch »

I have to wonder why this question is being posed in a site called Debating Christianity and Religion.

To me there are many elements of Freudian and Jungian psychology which are more religion than science, although the practitioners like to dress it up in scientific language. I believe that the actual scientific elements of psychology will eventually be subsumed into the real science of neurology.
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Post by Nilloc James »

Now Im used to academic nor clinical psychology. I can think of 0 researching psychologists that font view freud as a discredited pseudo-scientist.

I think it is fair to analyse other groups seperately (e.g. The functionalists or cognitive psychologists)

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Post #4

Post by JoeyKnothead »

From the OP:
Can psychology be called a science?
And rightly.
Can the mind and/or brain be studied scientifically?
Every time one asks, "Reckon why", science has occurred.
Is it even possible to talk about psychology as if it is one field? There are many areas and both a scientific and clinical branch that don't have much in common.
Science is in its essence a philosophy, and the study of psychology is but one brance of that branch. Science looks at something and tries to explain it. This is the essense of psychology. Granted, our brain does work on the physical level. There is data, however, to suggest that from this physical level, an emergent 'mind', or psychological level is brought forth.

I know to my soul if I jump out of a tree, I'm heading t'wards earth. That is as scientific a notion as any.

Until just that one time I jump, and end up on the moon. Science is somewhat bound to observations of the past, and becomes less reliable when looking to the future. Psychology suffers the same problem, so it ain't like just that notion makes one better'n the other'n.

I suffer auditory hallucinations. In scientific terms, there is some data to indicate my synapses are actually firing when such occurs. Now the question comes, is it a product of my 'mind' that produces such firings, or is it these firings that instigate these hallucinations? Is this a product of the pysical, or the mental? This is what psycology seeks to explore. Where the physical is ruled in, the physical holds sway, but as with so many notions, we don't just stop pondering 'cause we think we've found a solution.

The 'scientist' will point to those synapses, while the 'psychologist' will be less enthused. In the final analysis though, psychology is, like most fields of study, as reliant on scientific principles as any.
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Re: Is psychology a science?

Post #5

Post by help3434 »

[Replying to post 1 by Nilloc James]

Well Psychologists use scientific studies to see how people behave, so I think it is a science. I don' think Freudian and Jungian psychology is scientific. Have their ideas ever been rigorously tested?

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Re: Is psychology a science?

Post #6

Post by YahDough »

Nilloc James wrote: This article came up in another thread

http://www.arachnoid.com/psychology/

Can psychology be called a science?

Can the mind and/or brain be studied scientifically?

Is it even possible to talk about psychology as if it is one field? There are many areas and both a scientific and clinical branch that don't have much in common.
Academically, Psychology developed as a branch of Philosophy.
A science it is not unless it is Christ centered.

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Re: Is psychology a science?

Post #7

Post by labhras »

YahDough wrote:
Nilloc James wrote: This article came up in another thread

http://www.arachnoid.com/psychology/

Can psychology be called a science?

Can the mind and/or brain be studied scientifically?

Is it even possible to talk about psychology as if it is one field? There are many areas and both a scientific and clinical branch that don't have much in common.
Academically, Psychology developed as a branch of Philosophy.
A science it is not unless it is Christ centered.
Definition of science: the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment
Definition of psychology: the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.
Definition of psychology: the mental characteristics or attitude of a person or group
http://oxforddictionaries.com/

Going from the much respected Oxford Dictionary and it's definitions then I would say that yes it is a science.
How else could we have developed medications that specifically affect a person's emotions and mentality?! How else could we have developed clinical methods for addressing dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy etc ? It was through the application of scientific methods, research and experimentation.

Like all Science the results, observations, deductions can be utilised for good or for bad usage. The psychology of Freud, Jung and others has broaden to
encompass more than the philosophy.

I must disagree with Yahdough on the point of "A science it is not unless it is Christ centered." Science as previously defined is not shaped by religious interpretations. How we react, use and handle information derived from any scientific field is what is important. That, for me as a Christian, has to be Christ-centered. But the quest for knowledge and understanding does not demand the inclusion of any religion in order for it to be validated as a science.

Larry
The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.
Nahum 1:7
:-k

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Re: Is psychology a science?

Post #8

Post by YahDough »

labhras wrote:
YahDough wrote:
Nilloc James wrote: This article came up in another thread

http://www.arachnoid.com/psychology/

Can psychology be called a science?

Can the mind and/or brain be studied scientifically?

Is it even possible to talk about psychology as if it is one field? There are many areas and both a scientific and clinical branch that don't have much in common.
Academically, Psychology developed as a branch of Philosophy.
A science it is not unless it is Christ centered.
Definition of science: the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment
Definition of psychology: the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.
Definition of psychology: the mental characteristics or attitude of a person or group
http://oxforddictionaries.com/

Going from the much respected Oxford Dictionary and it's definitions then I would say that yes it is a science.
How else could we have developed medications that specifically affect a person's emotions and mentality?! How else could we have developed clinical methods for addressing dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy etc ? It was through the application of scientific methods, research and experimentation.

Like all Science the results, observations, deductions can be utilised for good or for bad usage. The psychology of Freud, Jung and others has broaden to
encompass more than the philosophy.

I must disagree with Yahdough on the point of "A science it is not unless it is Christ centered." Science as previously defined is not shaped by religious interpretations. How we react, use and handle information derived from any scientific field is what is important. That, for me as a Christian, has to be Christ-centered. But the quest for knowledge and understanding does not demand the inclusion of any religion in order for it to be validated as a science.
I suppose one could loosely call it a science, if they used Christian principles within the practice. However, with Christ it becomes a perfect science. :)
1Cor:2:16: For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

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Re: Is psychology a science?

Post #9

Post by Goat »

YahDough wrote:
I suppose one could loosely call it a science, if they used Christian principles within the practice. However, with Christ it becomes a perfect science. :)
1Cor:2:16: For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Please show that your opinion has anything to do with facts. Your quote has nothing to do with science what so ever. It is a sound bite taken out of context.

Theology by sound bite is not sound theology.
“What do you think science is? There is nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. So which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?�

Steven Novella

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Re: Is psychology a science?

Post #10

Post by labhras »

[Replying to post 8 by YahDough]

I can understand what you are trying to say but science is science with or without God. Science is the word to describe the grouping of efforts used to better understand what things are, how they are and why they are. It is no different to studying languages or math or history. This allows the development of knowledge and understanding, though not always with wisdom. If in an experiment i choose to use a litmus paper or a tissue is not guided by by faith but by knowledge of a process or method. What I do once I have induced or deduced an understanding/knowledge then how I handle that is affected by my moral insight. Mine is guided by Jesus Christ and by my faith in Him. The same would apply to any other religious or non-religious scientific practitioner, each guided by their system of morals in how best to use the new knowledge/understanding. Maths, writing, reading, language, astronomy ,engineering, etc so many of these were developed in cultures before Jesus was born, in cultures where the God of Moses was not acknowledged.

Larry
The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.
Nahum 1:7
:-k

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