Is Psychology a Science?

Is Psychology a Science?

Psychology research can be tricky, because brains are complicated. But does that mean it isn’t a science?

Hosted by: Hank Green
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March 6, 2017 / 27 Comments / by / in
  • Psychology is the study of minds. Software means information stored in a memory system. Minds are a software system stored in the cortex memory system. You can study softwares (like genomics) as well as hardwares. Psychology mostly studies the mind software which exists in the universe, so it’s most definitely a science.

    I think that over the years a lot of people have picked up lot of nonsense baggage concerning psychology, and are trying to use it as a kind “designated target” for bad scientific practices. To one degree or other, all sciences share similar problems. My suggestion is that if you’re really interested in psychology then read something, like an intro book on the topic (not merely copying other people’s opinions on what you should think about psychology). I have no problem with psychology as a topic or its knowledge.

    The most common mistake people make in studying minds is mistaking brains for minds. The brain is just the hardware. The memory system contained software is the stuff of mind (made of pure information). If you are thinking about mind related things, like perception (software viewing the universe), motor control (software controlling effectors), learning (software building), delusions (software errors), or knowledge (organized software structures), you are always thinking (a software process) about a software system.

    All hardware and software systems act like completely separate and different systems. So psychology is permanently separate from biology (like writing is separate from paper and ink). This is why no one can make a hardware model for a mind (because the part you're ignoring is the informational problem solver, stored in memory, that is the heart of intelligence). No software means no intelligence. The mind software is the reason that there is such an evolutionary push on the cortex memory system size. The bigger the memory system, the larger the software you can potentially fit (and the bigger the maximum mind size). More software always means more intelligence.

    Thanks for listening. 😉

  • Super interested in psychology and cognitive science and this series was first uploaded on my bday! It was meant to be <3

  • No

  • reads the title
    Answer: YES. IT IS. MY GOSH.

  • I like the dig at the end: "hard evidence", because he knows that psychology isn't a hard science.

  • Just so you know Hank, Psychology =/= Sociology. Stop assuming people will react how you think they will.

  • whst about the lack of replicability of results?

  • psychology is, in total as a field, not necessarily a science. with so many subjective variables and shifting cultural ethics they have no reasonable capacity for cumulative information which is the most important part of science. with all of the subjective variables there is nothing consistent, the percentage errors are much to high. 70% consistent is counted as a true while in sciences like physics or electronic engineering 99.5 or 98.5 are considered correct. it is hard to falsify reasonably via reproduction and it tries to quantify what happens to billions of people with only testing a thousand or a few at a time; all with their own outliers and exceptions. statistics are not a science, all it is is correlations of subjective probability (that being said the higgs boson was found through statistics of energy differentiation and kinetic readings that was predicted much like how Mendeleev correctly predicted the elements). The only true science they have is neurobiology and even then that's just chemistry and anatomy, not necessarily psychology. when they start relating emotions to the specific areas of synapses activating in your brain, that's the psychology part even then emotion is the subjective variable. I reasonably believe if they ever want to find a way to actually move up in the scientific fields significantly at all then they need to work more in that area instead of performing studies on "what kind of people are more likely to perform three ways?" this is what is dragging them far behind physics and chemistry.

  • Thanks for this video

  • Is Zoology a science?

  • This is amazing. I study psychology at university and I'm constantly having to validate my degree as a science! Incidentally this show is a great way for me to just go over some modules that I'm taking, so that's pretty cool. Thanks SciShow Psych team!

  • I can't believe it took me this long to find this channel. Instantly subscribed. Keep up the amazing work!

  • Is it normal to talk to yourself?

  • Your suggested definition of "a science" (i.e. "Look, this is being done by scientists, so it must be a science.") is at odds with any colloquial or professional definition I am familiar with.
    A scientist can study literally anything, that doesn't make the field of study a science. A person (scientist or no) can apply scientific method to literally anything… astrology, conspiracy theories, etc.
    In order to be considered a science, the conclusions which said study yields must bear some qualities:
    1) Those statements must be able to be falsified by measurable observations.
    2) Those statements have not yet been shown to be false despite trying really hard to show they're false.

  • The idea of psychology not being a science is likely due to its youth.

  • Psychology is NOT a science.

  • Happiness if often misunderstood. It isn't a goal. You won't obtain it if you pursuit it as if it were. Happiness is the feeling you get when you have done something well, especially if you look back on your life and conclude, after as honest an assessment as you're capable of giving it, that you've lived your life well. There are a number of other feelings that sometimes get confused with happiness; for example, euphoria or gratification.

  • are there any scientific laws in psychology?, or equations that put their theories into mathematical formula?

  • i m a psychology student… loved this show

  • Is it possible something about psychoanalysis?

  • psychology is a science only when it reaches his conclusions thanks to neurology, when it applies sociology it can be descriptive (with limitations) at best, but not scientific within the standards of the natural sciences.

  • OMG you are such an annoying presenter. Sorry.

  • After Carl Jung, Dr. Oliver Sacks Is my personal favorite psych doctor.

  • yeah, that's interesting and all, but here's the REAL question: IS MATH RELATED TO SCIENCE?

  • Without context, that question sounds super condescending. Like Sheldon Cooper asking "Is engineering really science?"

  • Psychology is pseudo science engaged in by people with grossly over inflated opinions of themselves, much like HR. Psychology has been slickly marketed in recent decades to be presented as something it's not.When I was looking at university entry after completing night school I decided to look into psychology as many of my class mates were going into psychology but there were few jobs around for psychologists. I checked the OP score to enter psychology and was somewhat surprised to discover the OP was well below university entry, low end of TAFE actually.That was 1993. Since then psychology has been elevated and post graduate requirements added in order to practice etc and psychologists have managed to get on Australia's universal health gravy train. Having been in the military and some other areas I've had with two exceptions the displeasure of dealing with a good number of psychologists. The most remarkable constant in these dealings is how superficial and procedural they are, not to mention arrogant,condescending and stunningly shallow for supposed students of the human mind. Psychologists have convinced moronic bureaucrats and corporate clones that they represent indispensable value, teamed up with HR, attached themselves as the parasites they are to organisations jealously guarding their turf and cozy packages whilst infuriating department heads who need practical people but who must take the theoretical hoop jumping fuckwits screened by these 22 yro self proclaimed geniuses who have the perfect candidate who lasts 3 months then the process begins again. My oldest brother, a very senior civil engineer who had run the S E Asian operation for the world's largest construction company was once told by a 23 yro psych graduate that she was far better qualified to select a project manager for a major construction project than he was.He was in his late 50's at the time. I despise psychologists almost as much as they despise humanity.

  • Humans are strange,fascinating and exciting, that's why you reduce them down to a single number using lazy overlay IQ tests.

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