The philosophy of science (Psychology as science (usefulness of…
The philosophy of science
Scientific revolution: C17
Geocentrism to Heliocentrism
: the Earth is the centre of the universe & everything orbits it... 5 elements are: air, fire, water, earth, aether.
Super-lunar and sub-lunar regions
Sun is the centre of the universe, earth orbits the sun in 1 year, earth spins on axis once a day
was criticised and hard to accept for some: e.g. "if the earth spins why don't people fly off the surface" and
why don't other planets vary in size as we move further/closer to them?
through telescope observations discovered that moon not smooth, many more stars than first thought etc and
Mars and Venus change size
hence supporting H model
religion and science divided (division of body and mind/soul)
dualism of the mind and body (pineal gland binds the two together)
Mechanistic view: everything in the universe is simply a machine
humans are 'self-perpetuating machines' meaning bodies regulate their own functions
animals don't have souls, only humans
physical laws of the universe developed, gravity! noted that
exists: the way we see the world may be deceptive... common sense is not scientific!
's scientific model: science can flourish through standardised observations and experiments... observation
reasoning necessary to progress understanding
Age of enlightenment: C18/C19
Positivism= science & scientific methods is the only way to aquire authentic knowledge... religion &philosophy are inferior to science
's natural selection, survival of the fittest... the concept of thriving within a certain environment
& anthropology: study of human society & the evolution of human characteristics
shift toward mental processes: thought, sensation, emotion, self-consciousness etc
first used/ psyche investigated in early C19
psychophysics: physical stimuli and their mental affects
Science V non-science
Common-sense view: reasoning that facts known through objective observation are a reliable foundation of scientific knowledge & can be used to produce theory,
Our senses are not reliable! Illusions e.g. line length
All observation requires interpretation and therefore
cannot be objective
also, awareness of a theory may alter perception of observed events/objects
theories may involve facts which are
by humans e.g. technological advances have allowed us to see atoms etc which previously we could not
without a theory how do we know what to look for and where? progress would be v slow through this method
Inductive reasoning: a few facts create a conclusion: most likely not good evidence
e.g. this mindmap is boring & this is a Conceptual issues mindmap, in conclusion all conceptual issues mindmaps are boring
repeated observation only increases the likelihood it is not
need Deductive reasoning!
C20: Postmodernists: science isn't real it is just a construct
e.g. Feyerabend who thought religion could produce knowledge as well as science
labelled as 'condescension & ignorance' rather than actual argument against scientific study
Psychology as science
Psychology = common sense?
NO: surveys show that people don't know psychological theories so it cant be!
what makes a science?
Procedural safeguards against confirmation bias
do this: randomised control, double-blind, placebo, stats techniques (factor analysis?)
Willingness to see own errors
Every1 is unique so can we ever yield meaningful results which
Would this not apply to medicine also? each case is unique and yet we can still have rules which generalise
uniqueness may not be relevant to/ interact with psych interventions & so is irrelevant!
: statistical inconsistencies in psych vs physics
harder to generate useful predictions in psych
usefulness of psychology?
criminal justice system
safety and wellbeing of all (e.g. violent individuals)
make the most of our brains! (cognitive)