I had to write this essay as part of my Summer work and found the research really interesting so I thought I’d share it as something a bit different.
Is Psychology a Science?
Psychology covers a wide range of topics, it focuses on behaviour and the mind and there are many different times of Psychology including clinical Psychology and personality Psychology. It has been debated by many for years whether or not Psychology is a Science or whether it does not fall under that category.
An argument which supports the fact that Psychology is a Science is that the research Psychologists do has a very scientific approach. When carrying out research Psychologists start with a hypothesis and then use a series of experiments to test this hypothesis, just as you would do in a Science experiment. The experiments have to be repeatable and the end conclusion must come from some data that has been collected. Psychology research could include scientific elements like brain scans which implies that Psychology is the Science of human behaviour. However, some people will argue that this is not enough to be able to define Psychology as a Science. Some people believe that in Science practical elements (e.g. drug trails) follow the research done however in Psychology research there is very rarely any practical follow through from the research. Some people say that Psychology research is based on beliefs about human behaviour causing Psychology not to be a Science.
It is said that a Science has to have a specific idea but Psychology has five different approach systems, not one. Some people believe that Psychology has no specific goal that they want to reach where as a Science should have one. Due to this many say that Psychology can’t be classed as a Science due to the lack of the one specific idea a Science should hold.
Some people refer to Psychology as a ‘soft Science’ because you don’t always know what’s going to happen. In Chemistry, for example, you always know what the outcome of an experiment should be, you can always make fairly accurate predictions. However in Psychology it’s hard to make overly accurate predictions because of the uncertainty of what will happen so therefore the social Sciences are usually said to be ‘soft Sciences’ but this means Psychology is still a Science.
Some people say that Psychology isn’t a Science as their experiment objectives are too hard to test properly. When Psychologists are trying to research into happiness or stress it can be hard to define what the terms really mean and therefore hard to get accurate and reliable research. Due to the vagueness of the terms it then makes it hard for an accurate or useful prediction to be made. Due to this many people believe Psychology is not a Science as the experiments conducted aren’t accurate enough.
Psychology could be considered a Science as all the methods used within the subject are based on proven data and statistics. The problems dealt with within Psychology are seeking solutions and answers therefore classing Psychology as a Science.
Psychology is the study of the mind and of behaviour and due to this I believe it’s a Science. Also the research performed within Psychology is identical to that of research performed in other Sciences. Predictions are always made and the experiments always reach a conclusion using proven data. Due to these two things I believe that Psychology is a Science.
I’d love to hear other people’s opinions on this so please feel free to leave them in the comments.