Should Psychology Be Considered As A Science?

1353 Words Oct 19th, 2015 6 Pages
There is much debate as to whether Psychology can be regarded as a ‘science’. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Psychology (Coleman, 2009) Psychology can be defined as the ‘scientific study of human behaviour and cognitive processes.’ Science is generally defined as the ‘systematic way or method of obtaining knowledge’ (Merriam-Webster, 2008). When we think of science, we think of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Psychology is often thought of as just ‘common sense’, however many of the perspectives in Psychology such as Biological, Behaviourist and Cognitive assert that they are scientific. There are other perspectives in Psychology such as Psychodynamic theory and Humanist which are considered to be non-scientific.
It is also important to consider the major features of a science, in order to judge whether Psychology can in fact be considered as one. This assignment will aim to answer the question by first looking at whether Psychology is a definable subject matter (Kuhn, 1970). The next paragraph will focus on the importance of the role of theory. This represents an attempt to explain observed phenomena, such as Skinner’s (1938) attempt to account for behaviour (human and non-human) in terms of operant conditioning. Furthermore, any science must have a hypothesis and be able to test them by making predictions about behaviour under certain conditions. Also, empirical methods and replication will be discussed as well.
According to Kuhn (1970), for a subject to be…

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