Is Psychology a Science?

Perspective #1:  Is Psychology a Science? This is a topic of great debate. For this forum question I have the unnerving task of responding from a “no” perspective. I have to admit it was quite difficult for me to take this stance, however, it was interesting nonetheless. In our text, author Peter Rickman argues against psychology being classified as a science, such as physics and those other natural sciences. I agree with Rickman when he notes that the thought or conversation of science often leads one to think of physical science. As the text states, disciplines involving the study of humanities do not compare to or with that of physical sciences. Disciplines which study human nature, such as psychology, are a separate group which requires almost complete substitutions to the scientific method. One argument I read states that psychology is not falsifiable, meaning that psychologists often only publish those positive findings that support versus unsubstantiate their hypotheses. This brings about the belief that psychologists are more interested in supporting their own beliefs about the human experience rather than understanding and/or accepting the truth about the experiment. Hence, the Stanley Milgram Study on Disobedience. Milgram manipulated the study by tricking the participants into believing they were actually performing shock treatments. This deception ultimately swayed the results of his experiment. According to the text, yes, there are commonalities amongst the physical sciences and human studies, however, human studies is not classified as a science in the same manner as is physics. It all boils down to the study of human beings being profoundly different than the study of physical objects and thus cannot be studied in the same manner or with the same methods. I agree with Rickman when he states, “psychology does not need to be recognized as a science to be an influential discipline in the academic and practical world”. Again, this belief is based on the premise that human beings cannot be studied with the same validity as those physical subject matters of “hard” sciences are studied. (Brandi)

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