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Psychology is pseudoscience

user13579
Posts: 822
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5/9/2016 9:32:45 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
Psychology is the study of imaginary unfalsifiable concepts. Even the mind itself is not a scientific concept! A scientific "study of" unscientific concepts cannot be science.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
Chaosism
Posts: 2,649
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5/10/2016 12:55:46 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/9/2016 9:32:45 PM, user13579 wrote:
Psychology is the study of imaginary unfalsifiable concepts. Even the mind itself is not a scientific concept! A scientific "study of" unscientific concepts cannot be science.

Is this applicable to the entire field, or to specific aspects of it?

What about studies of general behavioral tendencies, such as biases? Those can be falsified through experimentation.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/11/2016 1:14:02 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/9/2016 9:32:45 PM, user13579 wrote:
Psychology is the study of imaginary unfalsifiable concepts. Even the mind itself is not a scientific concept! A scientific "study of" unscientific concepts cannot be science.
I think your position is overstated, User, but not entirely silly.

Science needs to validate its own ontology. By that I mean, the language by which a discipline describes its own field of study itself needs to be constantly tested and validated by the discipline's methods.

The validation of ontology requires constant reconciliation of what is observed with what is thought to exist. Behaviours that correlate suggest attributes of the same function, while behaviours that dissociate suggest more than one function operating.

Mind refers to a collection of cognitive functions and experiences (all observable either directly through behaviour, or indirectly through a subject's reporting), and psychologists often act on the supposition that these functions and experiences may be integrated and coherent, but we have yet to be sure that they actually are.

For example, suppose humans had not one functioning mind, but two, connected by the corpus callosum? [https://en.wikipedia.org...] Or suppose some emotions and impulses did not form within the brain, but rather arose from the actions of intestinal flora, acting through the vagus nerve? [https://www.ucsf.edu...]

It's quite possible that over time, psychology may have to redefine itself from 'the study of behaviour and mind' to something like 'the study of behaviour, cognition, and the human experience.'

Conjecturing the existence of a coherent, single, integrated mind isn't pseudoscience. However, failing to examine and test its validity would be.

This is why psychology is a science while homeopathy (say) is only a pseudoscience: psychology constantly challenges and revises its ontology, and improves its methods, models, transparency and standards of evidence, while homeopathy doesn't.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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5/12/2016 3:56:22 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/9/2016 9:32:45 PM, user13579 wrote:
Psychology is the study of imaginary unfalsifiable concepts. Even the mind itself is not a scientific concept! A scientific "study of" unscientific concepts cannot be science.

I want to wholly disagree with you, but I think there is some truth to what you're saying; especially with many of the popularized psychological concepts that float around in the media.

Saying that, however, there is much to do with psychology that isn't like that at all. And the generalized study of human behavior (which is part of psychology), throws up interesting falsifiable theories all the time.

A great example, is the psychology of habitual behavior and behavior change, with theories and methods including things like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which are not just theories, but are testable, and measurable in their success. Behavior change, specifically is incredibly well studied and well theorized.