I. Psychology is the science of behavior.
II. Alternative approaches (phrenology, astrology, philosophy, etc.) to studying behavior
III. What is science?
A. What science is not: Common misconceptions about science
1. Science is not the same as statistics (Darwin, Piaget, Skinner, Gestalt Psychology all did well without using statistics)--although statistics can be a useful tool for scientists.
2. Science is not synonymous with technology.
a. Polygraph and phrenometer were not scientific
b. If enough technological knowledge were accumulated in a field, people might stop trying to get answers to questions and instead only focus on applying what we already know.
B. Key qualities of science:
1. Objective empirical evidence: "Show me" attitude
2. Replication: "Let me see for myself"
3. A social enterprise
a. Scientists check each other's work4. Skeptical: Many ideas are rejected. Ideas must be supported by evidence.
b. Scientists build on each other's work
IV. Is psychology really a science?
1. Check each other's workD. Skeptical: "Pet" theories often rejected
2. Build on each other's work
V. Should psychology be a science?--A close look at other ways of knowing
1. Incorporated into scientific methodB. Authority: "Expert says"
2. Logic alone is not enough--Truth can seem strange (Tiny germs killing people)
C. Popularity: But truth is not a popularity contest
D. Experience, but
1. Humans are not so perfect that we learn perfectly from experienceE. Intuition:
a. We can't believe our eyes.
b. We can't always trust our memories.
c. People are hypothesis-confirmers, not testers
2. Our experience may not be typical
a. "A stopped clock is right twice a day."
b. Lottery winners' experience is that playing the lottery is profitable
1. Wishing doesn't make it so.
2. Is "intuition" a fancier word for "opinion"?
3. How do we deal with conflicting intuitions?
1. Good for answering questions that are unanswerable by science
a. Moral questions (what "should" we do)2. Not available to everyone: Not everyone has faith and people may have different faiths.
b. Metaphysical questions
3. Can be supplemented by the scientific method when testing propositions about physical reality
A. Psychology is a science
B. Nonscientific approaches to psychology have led to errors and pain
- Early Rorschach tests
- Early lie detectors
- Tests and procedures used by at least 25% of therapists today!