My name is Sharon and I am a undergraduate student at Chester University. I am in the middle of completing an assignment on the old question, "To what extent could Psychology be considered a science." I am hoping to have a couple of opinions from practicing psychologists regarding their views on this matter. Could you please take the time to reply, just a couple of lines, about how you feel about this question, and whether you agree or not, and why.
Thank you for your time in this matter.
Psychology is different from all other fields of study in that the object of study (the human mind) is also the instrument of study. This is a profound statement about which you should think as deeply as possible because it touches intimately upon the question you have put to me.
In some aspects, psychology is a science, or, at least, is conducted according to scientific standards. For example, someone might put forth a theory to be tested. Let’s say that the theory is an idea in the field of social psychology such as “people tend to vote more for tall, handsome candidates for office than for short, less good looking ones.” To examine this thesis, the techniques of statistics may be used to set up and conduct an experiment, and the results evaluated accordingly. This is classic science because it posits a theory and tests the theory according to the scientific method. [If you do not fully comprehend the scientific method and what it requires to be valid, please read about it before continuing with your project].
other aspects of the field called "psychology" are not
scientifically verifiable. Take for example my own work in
psychotherapy. Although I have read and understand the findings of
the scientific side of psychology, and although these do provide some
basis for my work, for the most part what I do is more an art than a
science. In my therapy practice, which I say is more art than
science, I may speak with someone about her problems in living. In
the course of that conversation, I try to enter into her experience
by means of what is sometimes called “vicarious introspection,”
which means that I use my own inner experience as a background
against which I can try to understand the emotional experience of my
Good luck with your project, and be well.