study of behaviour : LUSENET : History & Theory of Psychology : One Thread

do psychologist study behaviour scientifically.

-- michael eme (, May 27, 2004


Some claim to. It depends on your view of "scientific." Some of these issues will be discussed in most introductory psychology textbooks.

-- Christopher Green (, May 27, 2004.

Hi Michael, I think most academic psychologists would say that many psychologists study behavior scientifically (at least some of the time). Another helpful way to look at the issue is that some areas of psychology (e.g.,physiological psychology, experimental analysis of behavior) are typically considered more "objective" (i.e., greater use of experiments, quantitative analysis, operational definitions) than other areas (e.g., humanistic psychology, transpersonal psychology). Even though there a significant difference in beliefs and techniques, I like to think of the above differences in objectivity in terms of degree, but not everyone will see it that way. Keep in mind that even the more objective psychologies (or physics for that matter) rely to some extent on assumptions and speculation. Interestingly, it seems that the less objective areas of psychology or less objective techniques can sometimes produce insights, theories, or research ideas that more objective areas or techniques have missed (possibly because the less objective techniques are more senitive at getting as certain psychological structures or processes). I feel the more and less objective psychologies complement each other. I hope this helps. Paul

-- Paul Kleinginna (, May 31, 2004.

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