Is Psychology a science or is it just bullshit...

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by DestroyCurrency?, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. DestroyCurrency? Registered Member

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    like astrology?
     
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Let me guess...you are a freshman in college

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    It's more bullshit than physics but less than astrology

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    The descriptions of what could be wrong with the mind are reasonable. Applying them to actual people is problematical.
     
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  5. DestroyCurrency? Registered Member

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    What I meant to say is, is psychology a science in the sense that it totally disregards the scientific method since it works with people as qualitatively instead of quanitatively. I dont see it as a science
     
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  7. DestroyCurrency? Registered Member

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    Junior actually, but yes, astrology is significantly higher on the bullshit scale than psychology, I wasn't saying it was completely wrong, just that it wasn't as much of a science as the other sciences.

    As for astrology and new age, I can't understand how some people actually believe that shit. Like this girl... http://kelleemaize.com/
    She actually believes in it. I would like to have a conversation with her about the laws of physics and see how long it takes her to devolve into a rant about the feminine energies of the earth.
     
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I studied political science and psychology for my undergrad degree (and international business for my graduate degree). Every political science student, at one point, thinks that socialism (or communism or a barter economy or whatever) sounds good.

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    It's because in high school everything in social studies is "whitewashed" in effect. It's all about how things are supposed to work and in college you learn the details of how things actually work (no more parents to have to worry about offending).

    Every person just out of college is liberal and as they have more money/assets they become more conservative (not necessarily more Republican)

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    Not be to harsh, but it's naive to believe in no money, bartering, whatever. It's OK to think about it to make sure we always are making the best decisions but it's still naive.

    Again, every collage student comes home sure that their parents are idiots or just don't know what they now know. That's not generally the case

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    It seems that every political science professor should be President as they know more. Ideas are a dime a dozen however. The difficulty with politics is operating within the system (getting elected, dealing with the money and promises). Political Science professors don't generally have those skills and if they did they would have to make similar decisions to the current politicians that we don't like

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    In 10 or 20 years if you read your current ideas you will be embarrassed

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    That doesn't mean that you shouldn't currently ask the questions that you are asking.

    I agree with Psychology being largely (but not completely) BS as it's applied. The more severe the problem the more Psychology is appropriate (even then it's not science to the same degree as Physics) but that applies to any of the "social sciences".

    There are people who are paranoid, have issues with authority, are delusional. However if you lock me up in a cage and then start applying those labels because I'm angry and want to get out then it's BS

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  9. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Don't think it's "bullshit." But, is it entirely "steered" by science? Not sure. Interestingly, psychology is relied on heavily in criminal cases whereby the determination to free or incarcerate someone is often dependent upon psychological analysis. It therefore can be a highly effective analytical tool, when used in the appropriate environments.

    The challenge with psychology is that it can often be considered a "belief system" or a science based on subjectivity rather than objective scientific reasoning.

    To me, regardless of how we classify it, psychology is essential and has benefits that far outweigh the negatives.

    Plus, I just find it fascinating.

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  10. Doubter Registered Member

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    They have long way to go to prove some of their hypothesis, but evolutionary psychologists like Steven Pinker for example, have some really interesting scientific evidences for the development of the human brain and behavior. Their work is basically based on the evolution theory which they think that Freud and other early psychologists/psychiatrists wrongly neglected to incorporate in their study of the human mind [with which I would agree].

    Edit:

    You may be interested in these videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZw3lxyuhEU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNnIGh9g6fA

    Both very respected in their fields.
    Buss' books 'The Evolution of Desire' and 'Dangerous Passion' are highly regarded by many scientists, like Dawkins for example.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Psychology is often called one of the "soft sciences," a group that also includes such disciplines as linguistics and economics.

    The point is that psychologists (and linguists and economists) try their best to respect the scientific method in their work, but the very nature of the discipline makes certain principles that comprise the scientific method impractical or even impossible to follow.

    Linguistics (my avocation) is the easiest to illustrate. Science requires reasoning from evidence, but we have no evidence of the development of languages prior to the Bronze Age (around 3000BCE), when the technology of writing was invented. Language probably arose about 70,000BCE, based on archeological and anthropological evidence of an explosion of new, complicated, coordinated activities that couldn't possibly be performed by people who were also using their hands for communication. But this evidence tells us nothing about that first language except its existence. It doesn't tell us how (or if) the Indo-European languages are related to the Afroasiatic languages, or to the Sino-Tibetan languages, or to any other family.

    Psychology has its own set of problems. Experimentation is another cornerstone of the scientific method, but psychological experiments of any major scope are very likely to be immoral or even illegal.

    I'm sure by now you don't need an explanation of how difficult it is to treat economics as a science.

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    So biology, physics, chemistry, etc., retain their integrity as hard sciences because the entire scientific method can be used in their study, whereas the soft sciences will always be their poor relatives.

    We do the best we can with psychology, so we get to call it a kind of science. But it will never be in the same category as the hard sciences.
     
  12. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Psychology questions weather it is a science itself.
     
  13. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Let me guess, is this also a spamming bullshit post? Or is this one you actually want people to answer?
     
  14. TuesdayNightCompany Registered Member

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    It's bull. One of the main premises of psychiatry and psychology is that chemical imbalances in the brain cause mental disorders, and that drugs can be applied to correct some of these imbalances.
    But there is no testing to back this up. If you complain about being depressed to a psychiatrist, they'll prescribe something to you without any form of testing. No brain scans, no lab tests, nothing remotely scientific. There is no baseline for "normal" behavior, no idea what a brain of a "well-adjusted" person would actually be like, and so on.
    No scientific process is applied at all - it's absurd that it's even considered a "science."
    Psychiatry and psychology are very closely related, although psychologists are supposed to be more along the "therapeutic" side of things and they are often the ones people think of when they see a movie where some guy is weeping on a couch while someone puffing a pipe takes notes. But they are doing very, very subjective work. No doubt about that. It is a poorly codified subject, and almost anyone can be a schooled expert and have wildly different methods, beliefs, and results, all while being a "legitimate psychologist."
    The area of the human brain is so ridiculously subjective it's hard to take anyone seriously - all this money being spent on research and we keep getting that this part of the brain MIGHT do this or that. It's not a scientifically predictable area, at all. We are nowhere near being able to determine what is the correct chemical slushie mix for anyone to "get better", anymore than we are able to scientifically predict what will be the best advice for someone.
     
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Depression’s Chemical Imbalance Explained

    By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor

    Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on November 10, 2006

    "For over three decades, scientists have attributed a chemical imbalance in the brain as the source of major depression. Now, a new study provides an explanation of how this “chemical imbalance” occurs.

    Major depression is a disease that impacts approximately 5% of people globally. For over 30 years, scientists believed that monoamines– mood-related chemicals such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine– are low in the brain during major depressive episodes. This is commonly referred to as a “chemical imbalance”. However, no one had ever found a convincing explanation for monoamine loss, until now.

    This study by the Canadian-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is published in the November Archives of General Psychiatry.

    Dr. Jeffrey Meyer investigated whether brain monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) — an enzyme that breaks down chemicals like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine– was higher in those with untreated depression. The results showed that in major depression MAO-A was significantly higher in every brain region that the scientists investigated. On average, MAO-A was 34% higher.

    According to Dr. Meyer, “In major depression, higher levels of MAO-A is the primary process that lowers monoamine levels. Having more MAO-A leads to greater breakdown of key chemicals like serotonin.”

    This study by the Canadian-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) includes a detailed new monoamine model of depression, based upon this work as well as four previous publications from Dr. Meyer and collaborators at CAMH.

    Said Dr. Meyer, “A key barrier to making advances in treating depression is a lack of precise disease models. Having disease model is like having a map. Once you have that map you can really begin to understand how an illness like depression works, and offer more targeted and effective treatment.”

    A second part of this new model is that monoamine transporters have an important role in removing monoamines away from active sites. Having more of a monoamine transporter is not helpful as it removes more monoamine — for example if one has more serotonin transporter, one would additionally lose more serotonin during depression.

    “An important aspect of our advanced monoamine model is that individuals with depression lose chemicals like serotonin and dopamine at different rates based upon transporter density. This helps explain why one person with depression may experience loss of appetite while another may not. And some people have more severe symptoms than others,” said Dr. Meyer.

    This advanced monoamine model of depression is a huge step forward in the disease frontier. It brings the study of mental illness closer to the advancements seen in research into physical illness such as cardiac disease, and offers one of the most comprehensive disease models in mental illness.

    The next step for researchers will be to investigate why MAO-A levels are raised in the brain and consider prevention strategies. Prevention strategies are critical — according to the World Health Organization, major depression is currently the fourth leading cause of death and disability and is expected to rise to second by the year 2020."---http://psychcentral.com/news/2006/11/09/depressions-chemical-imbalance-explained/398.html
     
  16. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    Psychology has to deal with a phenomena of nature that lies outside the philosophy of science. For example, if you had a dream, although science can infer a dream from REM and brain waves, it has no way to confirm the content of your dreams. Although the content is a natural output of the brain, the details cannot be proven nor are they reproducible based on steps of the scientific method.

    The way around this is the scientist would need to become both the scientist and the experiment. In the third person, technology is not yet advanced enough to verify simple output like dream details. More advanced stuff like brain firmware are even more difficult to prove in the third person.
     
  17. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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  18. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    This is a step in the right direction. But can still see our own dreams in details machines can't yet see. If you had a dream there are subtle details making the dreamscape almost appear real. That amount of detail would require direct observation with the skill of a trained scientists. The third person is like doing surgery with an ax.

    As an analogy, say you had a toothache and you trying to describe this to someone who never had one. There is a limit to how well they can empathize with you situation. Without direct experience there is a degree of separation. Say those who never had a toothache were in charge of writing an article about the nature of having a toothache, would that be accurate science? The answer is yes since all would be verifiable among those who never had one. If one scientists among them had a toothache during the writing of the report would this add anything to the analysis? The answer is yes and no since there is no way to prove if what he claims is real since it can only be experienced within him.
     
  19. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    It's just a matter of time. There are no theoretical barriers to mind reading.
     
  20. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Yogi Berra: "Yes."
     
  21. Mazulu Banned Banned

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    If psychology had a useful benefit, it would help people feel better and be happier. As it turns out, astrology actually does that by giving people a feeling that they understand the world, that they can predict it and therefore control their lives.

    I suppose psychology justifies its existence by identifying people with mental illness and then treats them with medication. The biggest mental illness in the United States is depression. Medication for depression works by suppressing the feelings of being sad; such medications do not make anyone feel happier, only less sad.
     
  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    6,284
    Well I must admit the notion of "political science" strikes me as a joke, as well.

    But I suppose in relation to both this and psychology, it depends what one means by "science". The original meaning is simply "knowledge" (scientia) and it was used in that sense until about 150-200 years ago. But nowadays is has become shorthand for Natural Science, i.e. the discipline of understanding the natural world, through application of the empirical scientific method of enquiry. From this perspective it strikes me that Psychology is more of a science than Economics, which is in turn more of a science than Politics, but that none of these three is a true Natural Science in the sense of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Sciences, Astronomy, etc.

    Which is not in any way to dismiss them, or to compare them with a manifestly fake pseudo-science such as astrology. When I was at university Politics, Philosophy and Economics was a popular course, but this really belonged in the Humanities, not the Sciences.

    Psychology? Well, hmm. It's sort of neither fish nor fowl, really, isn't it? And a lot of its practitioners have beards, which is usually a sign of charlatanism......(only kidding). It seems to me far too "human", too cultural and too subjective to be a real natural science, anyway.
     
  23. Doubter Registered Member

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    It depends what kind of astrology. Traditional Western (medieval) and Indian astrology can actually make you feel pretty much inhibited. Many times they show you limitations that aren't actually there and stuff that can be improved being put into the category of unchangeable fate. As we all know Astrology is not an exact science [it is not science at all] so the predictions of such inhibitions (whether they are innate or circumstantial) can be pretty much wrong while making your life, hope [faith in life] and attitudes toward the same, pessimistic; pessimism that can throw you into a despair.

    In the same time, modern Western astrology is fulfilled with boosting the ego tips, wishful-thinking, and is result of the New-Age philosophy.

    If one thinks a bit about it, it will notice that the philosophy behind the astrologies gives the tone to these astrologies.
    In Hellenistic astrology it is the stoic tone of limitations of the immutable fate. In Indian astrology it is the concept of karma as an aspect of what we would call 'fate'. In Medieval astrology it is a mix of Greek philosophy with Christianity (+ neon-Platonism and (neo?) Stoicism). In modern Western astrology it is the New-Age philosophy as a blend of everything existing out there, filled with much boost of the ego and belief in an almighty powerful man who can control this universe.

    One should be very careful with astrology and the philosophies behind, it can do harm and give non-realistic expectations (optimistic or pessimistic).
     

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