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Do you consider psychology as an hard science ?

Animekitty

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Psychology is about understanding people.

There is little fashion on how to measure if a person understands other people.

Everything boils down to subjective interpretation with little objectivity.

Sociology is higher in objective measurement.
 

Hadoblado

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Hard/soft not binary. It's on a scale, and psychology is closer to the soft end. Wiki says a hard science is high on perceived methodological rigor, exactitude, and objectivity, with a soft science being low on all these things.

The rigour in psychology varies, but it's not perceived as particularly rigorous. A lot of psychology is irreplicable.

The exactitude of psychology is very low. Humans behaviour is inherently highly variable, and the measurement of it tends to be inexact.

The objectivity of psychology is low. Because psychology is largely statistics based, everything is open to interpretation. Statisticians will argue forever over how to properly interpret results.

So I think all of this points to it being pretty clearly soft. That's not to say it's not a science, that psychologists are incompetent, or it's not worth pursuing (my degree is in psychology). It just means the parameters of the field are different. There is a lot more noise in the data, and a lot more room for error.
 

sushi

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its better than psuedoscience but still alot more room for development. somewhere between no and yes.
 

Cognisant

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For an insight into human psychology I think we gain more by studying history, the exact details may change but very few events in history are completely without precedent.

I expect the current racial tensions will play out much as they did before, there will be marches, there will be a change of presidency, changes of policy, the rioting will cease and 20-30 years it'll all happen again.
 

Animekitty

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I expect the current racial tensions will play out much as they did before, there will be marches, there will be a change of presidency, changes of policy, the rioting will cease and 20-30 years it'll all happen again.

I expect a lot more than human riots 20 years from now.

I,Robot |2004| Battle Scene

 

sushi

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For an insight into human psychology I think we gain more by studying history, the exact details may change but very few events in history are completely without precedent.

I expect the current racial tensions will play out much as they did before, there will be marches, there will be a change of presidency, changes of policy, the rioting will cease and 20-30 years it'll all happen again.

history is more of a sociology imo, it reccords evolution of society from past to present.,

psychology is more akin to personality theories and types and different types of people.,as to individual. seeing the personality as a function from input to output.
 

Grayman

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It seems like it is mostly just about categorizing and classification. It isn't very good at defining concepts of cause and effect. Most mental conditions are defined by like behaviors even if the cause of those behaviors is different. It's like defining a disease by its symptoms rather than the virus that causes it.
 

byhisello99

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Psychology is a science because it uses the scientific method. Are all practitioners equally adept? No. Is it a primitive science? Yes. So was physics not too long ago. But, I never read that physics was not a science because it was primitive.

Are all, or even most, inquiries reproducible? Probably not. That is as likely to be a function of the discipline's lack of maturity as whether the discipline is a science.

We are still in the stage of uncovering the phenomena in psychology. We discover new forces in psychology every year, such as a newly-found hormone. In physics, we pretty well know what the forces are.

Chemistry is easy because within an element's isotopes each atom is identical throughout the universe. There do not appear to be two identical brains anywhere. We know that if we apply c Calories of heat to a measured cube of i Isotope of e Element at a Altitude in nominal n Atmosphere we get r Result. The mine whence came the atoms is irrelevant as are the miners, the prior owners, etc. But, the history of an individual mind can disrupt a typical cause-effect relationship.

We have come to some general conclusions: most psychiatric disorders have a somatic component, malleability of some characteristics is limited, there is a strong cause-effect relationship between childhood abuse and an adult's mental illnesses, and a few thousand more. Identical twin studies help, but there are few subjects available. Heritability is a question. Interaction between toxins and brain cells and then the rest of the body is poorly understood.

Diagnosis by reported or observed symptoms is the best we have in some cases. And, individual diagnosticians can go very far off track. I was supervising a neuropsychologist who was himself overseeing a new PhD's residency when I encountered a disturbing issue. A patient was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but something wasn't quite right. The patient was retired from the US military and the neuropsych had pulled his military medical records before seeing him. He asked the patient to describe his career, and knew immediately he was displaying grandiosity. An enlisted member simply didn't have the kind of career the patient described.

The neuropsych had tested the patient's IQ using Stanford Benet and concluded it was about 145. That is far too high for the patient to have had any confidence in pulling off his claims. I went into the Defense Department's master database and found that the patient had retired as an officer; the local database indicated the patient had retired in 1995 in an enlisted rank that had been abolished in 1975. In somatic medicine that is called treating the lab report instead of the patient. Every other reported "symptom" was confirmation bias.
 

ZenRaiden

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It is essentially a science about the body and brain and mostly the brain. It clearly is not easy since the human brain is still not understood. The human brain is the reason we can behave in such complex ways.

Even medicine is not hard science. A psychologist or a doctor can help you in millions of non scientific ways. :D
 

byhisello99

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Even medicine is not hard science. A psychologist or a doctor can help you in millions of non scientific ways.

Medicine is both a science and an art. Whether it is a hard science or a soft science does not seem to me as important as that it is also an art. We reach the edge of what we know and still do not have the answer. That is where we stop, except in cases of patient treatment. If the patient will die, or suffer irreparable damage without treatment, the scientist must leap into the unknown and create the missing pieces. Some of this is informed guesswork, some isn't. Sometimes the result isn't good. Five years ago I had reached a point where radiation treatment was doing more harm than good, and appropriate chemotherapy drugs were ineffective. My oncologist and I discussed the situation and I explicitly asked him to stop functioning as a scientist and become an artist. He created a custom toxin that worked. I am now five years cancer-free.
 
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