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Top Pop psychology myths

Debate Information

NOTE:
Edit: Hi guys, this is a heads-up. I have decided to redo a debate regarding psychology being an exact science. After reflection and review, I feel while not inaccurate this debate wasn't done in a good way and was also somewhat non-transparent.

I still feel however that this site is currently lacking in spectator size. Hence why I have been hesitant to debate much on here lately. After all, the debate is and always has been a spectator sport. And I also argue much better with a much larger audience base. Nontheless, I will post it anyway. And I guess there are other sites with a larger audience where I can engage in more fruitful discussions if the debate degenerates.


So, what do we mean by pop psychology myths? These are widespread beliefs about psychology that have nothing to do with psychology or they are distorted versions of actual psychological research. And there are literally hundreds of these myths, however, I would like to explore some of the most common ones as I have seen some of them appear online lately. The two myths we will look at first are that psychology is not a real science and is nothing more than just a collection of interesting theories (this is in the top 10), and secondly the idea that inheritable traits cannot be changed.


Myth: Psychology is not a real science

If you are like most people when you think of psychology you probably think of guys like Sigmund Freud or Carl Jung. Some of you may even envision a client lying down on a sofa being asked some personal questions by some guy with a beard in a chair that is trying to establish how you came to have your issues. Now, whilst this is part of psychology it's what many would call the softer side, and some would even say this is more of an art than a science and that is completely fair, even though a lot has changed significantly since the times of Freud and Jung. And just if not all then definitely most scientific disciplines contain both soft and hard aspects psychology is no different. For example, even in medicine, there is that "real-world data" aspect.

I guess we could argue that the harder aspect of psychology is the stuff that is going on behind the scenes; that is proper scientific research being conducted, and this is happening the majority of the time. This research consists of three main methods that are classed as descriptive, correlational, and experimental. Now, I don't want to get too bogged down in scientific jargon here and so I will try to represent a basic summary of what this means - Observations are made, predictions are made, and then those predictions are tested in highly controlled experiments. Then research findings are published that then in turn go through a phase known as critical appraisal, and thus the cycle continues.  This is exactly how other scientific research is conducted like medical research for instance. Albeit psychologists are not usually medically qualified (some are) the research methodology is exactly the same. Not to mention that many psychologists also work closely with medical practitioners and are also under the same obligation to critically appraise the literature regarding Evidence-Based Health Care (EBHC).

I guess one of the reasons why this myth prevails is in part due to the way in which psychology was being studied in its infancy which was rather sloppy. I read someone saying recently that the way in which it is studied now is sloppy which is completely untrue, and hopefully, by now I have shown you how indeed it is the opposite that is true. In addition to that tons of other pop-psychology myths get thrown around constantly such as opposites attract, people have different learning styles, some people are clairvoyant, and a whole host of other ludicrous things that are constantly being shoved down the public's throats as if they are to do psychology when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

To summarize, Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. Just like most sciences, it consists of both hard and soft scientific elements. Additionally, the research methodology that is conducted is the same as most other sciences such as medical science for instance. Nontheless, the myth that it isn't a real science prevails due to several factors such as other pseudoscientific nonsense being pushed as if it were psychology when it isn't, media and political influence (this also includes the entertainment industry), and sometimes, unfortunately, a few frauds within the scientific community that even though they were spotted among their peers they still manage to spread their nonsense into the public hemisphere; these guys are the ones that were accredited that later got strike off or those that were non-accredited all along that somehow still managed to slip right through into the public eye. But it should be noted that these are the kinds of factors that surround not only this and other pop-psychology myths but a whole plethora of other science myths.


Myth: Heritable traits cannot be changed

First, I would like to explain to you what heritability in the language of scientific vocabulary actually means, and I will try to explain this as simply as I can to the best of my ability. Basically, this is to do with the percentages of individual differences due to genetic differences across people, and despite the popular psychology belief myth it actually turns out this does not concern what's within people. To think it does is also a bit silly. for example, you cannot say that 90% of your IQ is from your genes and 10% is from your environment. Instead, this statistic means that across people in a population 90% of their differences in IQ are due to variations within their genes, and the other 10% down to differing factors within their environments. So, the idea that inherited traits cannot be changed is a popular psychological myth. They definitely can be changed and there is plenty of research and examples of this. And I will demonstrate here an example - Phenylketonuria is a 100% inheritable condition:

Overview

Phenylketonuria (fen-ul-key-toe-NU-ree-uh), also called PKU, is a rare inherited disorder that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build up in the body. PKU is caused by a change in the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) gene. This gene helps create the enzyme needed to break down phenylalanine.Without the enzyme necessary to break down phenylalanine, a dangerous buildup can develop when a person with PKU eats foods that contain protein or eats aspartame, an artificial sweetener. This can eventually lead to serious health problems.For the rest of their lives, people with PKU — babies, children and adults — need to follow a diet that limits phenylalanine, which is found mostly in foods that contain protein. Newer medications may allow some people with PKU to eat a diet that has a higher or an unrestricted amount of phenylalanine.Babies in the United States and many other countries are screened for PKU soon after birth. Although there is no cure for PKU, recognizing PKU and starting treatment right away can help prevent limitations in areas of thinking, understanding and communicating (intellectual disability) and major health problems.https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/phenylketonuria/symptoms-causes/syc-20376302#:~:text=Phenylketonuria (fen%2Dul%2Dkey,needed%20to%20break%20down%20phenylalanine.

Also, note that the above is a 100% heritable condition that can and has been modified using the right treatment plan. And this also brings me to the other point which is that not all traits are 100% heritable as some people mistakenly believe they are. Some also like to talk about traits as if they are being measured within someone and that is not how it works. In conclusion, all heritable traits can be modified and there are plenty of examples of them that have been. And I guess the prevalence of these myths continues due in part because they were once in the academic literature. Despite the fact that these findings were later retracted after critical appraisal they still continue. This is probably to do in large part again with the media and the entertainment industry - and that includes even reality T.V and Documentaries.







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  • maxxmaxx 983 Pts   -  
    i agree that psychology is a science. The reason many do not, is they view science as physical processes rather than mental.  The second part that inheritable traits can be changes is both true and false. The example that you gave is however a disease, and it really does not get changed as much as be cured. Other traits are up for grabs. I have already stated that personality traits are not changeable we simply apply them to how we live and the life style adapts to the traits.  @ZeusAres42
  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 Emerald Premium Member 2233 Pts   -   edited November 13
    maxx said:
    i agree that psychology is a science. The reason many do not, is they view science as physical processes rather than mental.  The second part that inheritable traits can be changes is both true and false. The example that you gave is however a disease, and it really does not get changed as much as be cured. Other traits are up for grabs. I have already stated that personality traits are not changeable we simply apply them to how we live and the life style adapts to the traits.  @ZeusAres42
    I am aware of what you have stated and you are wrong. It is in fact a pop-psychology myth that the notion that just because something is heritable means we cannot change it. I fully demonstrated this in my post above, and there is also an insurmountable amount of research that verifies this.

    The point is that you along with many of the general public are under the false illusion that because something is heritable this must mean that it is all the time 100% heritable and it cannot be changed. Thus, you still seem to be misunderstanding that personality traits are measured across a sample of a population and not within people. Also, note that these measurements of heritability are not only dependent on genetics but also on environmental factors within the sample. 

    Furthermore, it does not matter if we are talking about traits or diseases if this is related to the subject of heritability. And the example I provided was to demonstrate how something that is 100% heritable can be changed. Likewise, personality traits can be changed given the right conditions, and this has also been done many times in experiments. In addition to that, you might find it interesting to know that there are several personality traits that are not 100% heritable, however, it still wouldn't make any difference in being able to change them as has already been shown.

    FYI, this is also something I am currently studying albeit I have procrastinated a bit on these studies as of late but I am planning to get straight back into it in the very near future. @maxx



  • maxxmaxx 983 Pts   -  
    well, claiming i am wrong, is not proof. psychologists are divided on the matter. again some traits can be changed, and it does matter which ones and which ones can not. you can not throw everything into one basket and say this is it.  life styles and way of living are not your personality. That is one point you failed to address. It is how you apply the personality traits you inherit  to those life styles.   the basic core of our personality does not change. @ZeBut i guess again that we agree to disagree so lets not get back upon the merry-go=round. @ ZeusAres42
  • maxx said:
    well, claiming i am wrong, is not proof. psychologists are divided on the matter. again some traits can be changed, and it does matter which ones and which ones can not. you can not throw everything into one basket and say this is it.  life styles and way of living are not your personality. That is one point you failed to address. It is how you apply the personality traits you inherit  to those life styles.   the basic core of our personality does not change. @ZeBut i guess again that we agree to disagree so lets not get back upon the merry-go=round. @ ZeusAres42

    Firstly, please have the decency to actually quote my post before you go ahead and attempt to misquote me. Here is a reminder of what I said:
    maxx said:
    i agree that psychology is a science. The reason many do not, is they view science as physical processes rather than mental.  The second part that inheritable traits can be changes is both true and false. The example that you gave is however a disease, and it really does not get changed as much as be cured. Other traits are up for grabs. I have already stated that personality traits are not changeable we simply apply them to how we live and the life style adapts to the traits.  @ZeusAres42
    I am aware of what you have stated and you are wrong. It is in fact a pop-psychology myth that the notion that just because something is heritable means we cannot change it. I fully demonstrated this in my post above, and there is also an insurmountable amount of research that verifies this.

    The point is that you along with many of the general public are under the false illusion that because something is heritable this must mean that it is all the time 100% heritable and it cannot be changed. Thus, you still seem to be misunderstanding that personality traits are measured across a sample of a population and not within people. Also, note that these measurements of heritability are not only dependent on genetics but also on environmental factors within the sample. 

    Furthermore, it does not matter if we are talking about traits or diseases if this is related to the subject of heritability. And the example I provided was to demonstrate how something that is 100% heritable can be changed. Likewise, personality traits can be changed given the right conditions, and this has also been done many times in experiments. In addition to that, you might find it interesting to know that there are several personality traits that are not 100% heritable, however, it still wouldn't make any difference in being able to change them as has already been shown.

    FYI, this is also something I am currently studying albeit I have procrastinated a bit on these studies as of late but I am planning to get straight back into it in the very near future. @maxx


    well, claiming i am wrong, is not proof.

    Sometimes a well-reasoned educated explanation is enough to be provided as proof depending on the subject. That is exactly what I did. Your argument is a clear reflection of a misunderstanding of what heritability means in terms of scientific vocabulary and I have just given you an elaborate explanation of what this means. Perhaps I am still not making myself clear. What you are doing here is basically an attempt to try and move the goalposts.

    Furthermore, if you are going to make these claims then make sure you provide proof when you do the same as you did beforehand. In other words, don't hold other people to a standard if you are unwilling to uphold that your standard yourself. I am assuming you wanted me to provide you with some research literature here. However, I don't relinquish the idea of a pin-pong link war, and nor do I want to waste my evening going through tons of papers that you didn't even bother to read yourself. That being said, if there are other people on this site that comment on here I guess I wouldn't mind sharing and discussing the literature with them depending on who they are of course. 


    psychologists are divided on the matter

    Psychologists are definitely not divided on something that ranks within the top 50 psychology myths. They may have been way back when it was still in its infancy. This definitely is not the case anymore. The consensus regarding this is now very clear.  


    again some traits can be changed, and it does matter which ones and which ones can not

    This sounds a bit like a special pleading as well as a bit of a strawman although I doubt this strawman was intentional. Your initial argument was that personality traits cannot be changed at all. Now, you're saying some can and some cannot be changed. Not saying this is wrong or right but it wasn't your initial argument which was the blanket statement "personality traits cannot be changed."


    you can not throw everything into one basket and say this is it.

    I never did say that or imply it. You somehow managed to infer it though.


    That is one point you failed to address. It is how you apply the personality traits you inherit  to those life styles.   the basic core of our personality does not change.

    This is a red herring; a distraction from the original debate that relates to the myth that just because a trait is heritable means it cannot be changed. Not to mention also inaccurate.


    But i guess again that we agree to disagree so lets not get back upon the merry-go=round

    I am more than happy to disagree with a widely held belief that is nothing more than a myth that has long since been debunked in the up-to-date academic literature. @maxx



  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4800 Pts   -  
    Your argument in favor of psychology as it is practiced today being a real science is very vague. You essentially explained what science is, then claimed that psychology satisfies that definition, and that is it. Let me address three of the four paragraphs you wrote in support of your thesis (the first paragraph is not something I have a very well developed opinion on).
    ZeusAres42 said:

    The hard aspect of psychology is the stuff that is going on behind the scenes; that is proper scientific research being conducted, and this is happening the majority of the time. This research consists of three main methods that are classed as descriptive, correlational, and experimental. Now, I don't want to get too bogged down in scientific jargon here and so I will try to represent a basic summary of what this means - Observations are made, predictions are made, and then those predictions are tested in highly controlled experiments. Then research findings are published that then in turn go through a phase known as critical appraisal, and thus the cycle continues.  This is exactly how other scientific research is conducted like medical research for instance. Albeit psychologists are not usually medically qualified (some are) the research methodology is exactly the same. Not to mention that many psychologists also work closely with medical practitioners and are also under the same obligation to critically appraise the literature regarding Evidence-Based Health Care (EBHC).
    You claimed that this stuff is going on "behind the scenes", but did not provide any support of this claim. You described how this research is allegedly being conducted, with no concrete examples.
    ZeusAres42 said:

    I guess one of the reasons why this myth prevails is in part due to the way in which psychology was being studied in its infancy which was rather sloppy. I read someone saying recently that the way in which it is studied now is sloppy which is completely untrue, and hopefully, by now I have shown you how indeed it is the opposite that is true. In addition to that tons of other pop-psychology myths get thrown around constantly such as opposites attract, people have different learning styles, some people are clairvoyant, and a whole host of other ludicrous things that are constantly being shoved down the public's throats as if they are to do psychology when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.
    You have not shown it. Assuming you are referring to my comment about psychology in a different thread, I did not say anything there that contradicted what you wrote here. My argument was based on the standards of the field that are maintained by the top journals in psychology, not on the superficial actions that psychologists take when conducting research. In everything that you wrote in the first paragraph, you never actually touched the content of that research. "Observations are made, predictions are made, and then those predictions are tested in highly controlled experiments" - all of this is true, but this does not at all imply that any of these parts is made following the scientific method. My problem with psychology is exactly that the standards of what is considered an observation, a prediction, a test and a highly controlled experiment are incredibly low in the field.
    ZeusAres42 said:

    To summarize, Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. Just like most sciences, it consists of both hard and soft scientific elements. Additionally, the research methodology that is conducted is the same as most other sciences such as medical science for instance. Nontheless, the myth that it isn't a real science prevails due to several factors such as other pseudoscientific nonsense being pushed as if it were psychology when it isn't, media and political influence (this also includes the entertainment industry), and sometimes, unfortunately, a few frauds within the scientific community that even though they were spotted among their peers they still manage to spread their nonsense into the public hemisphere; these guys are the ones that were accredited that later got strike off or those that were non-accredited all along that somehow still managed to slip right through into the public eye. But it should be noted that these are the kinds of factors that surround not only this and other pop-psychology myths but a whole plethora of other science myths.
    I am not familiar with this terminology: in the field in which I have worked, nobody talked about "soft scientific elements". An element is either scientific or not scientific. In proper science, every claim must be logically justified, and that justification must be perfectly accurate - and whenever you cannot claim something with 100% accuracy, you must relax your claim. Any claim that is not 100% accurate is an erroneous claim from the scientific perspective.
    You further described how people claim that psychology is not science due to mistaking the real psychological content with the pseudoscientific one. You did not at all touch on the arguments from people who have actually read peer-reviewed psychological papers and found them wanting.

    Now, I have read quite a few psychological papers published in such journals as Nature, Annual Review of Psychology, and Psychological Bulletin. Some of them described serious scientific research, featuring mathematical models with hard statistical estimates of the proposed mechanisms, delving deep into describing the collected data and the degree to which it is susceptible to noise, and in which the authors proposed very concrete predictive models that can be applied in the real world situations. Most, however, lacked rigor, contained a lot of handwaving and what I like to call "wandering thoughts" (when the authors propose a very complicated idea out of the blue, then say that it "might" be true and is not outruled by the data, and conveniently leave it at that), and, frankly, contained very little scientific value, if at all, in that they could not be applied to anything outside of the very narrow scope of the study.

    In order to make this debate a little more concrete, I propose the same to you that I did to maxx in another thread (a proposal that he, of course, simply ignored): find a paper in a respectable peer-reviewed journal in psychology that, in your view, satisfies the standards of scientific rigor common for hard science (mathematics, physics, computer science, biology...). Then describe its contents as briefly as you can, summarizing the data, the methodology, the results, and the significance of those results in the field - does not have to be perfectly accurate and researched (after all, one is unlikely to understand the state of affairs in the field after reading several papers in it), but does have to match the contents of the paper. Then I will read (actually read, in its entirety - might take a couple of days, but it will be a worthwhile time investment) it and respond in kind.
    If the paper that you find turns out to satisfy the scientific standards expected in hard science (which may very well happen; I have seen such papers in psychology), then I will find a different paper which, in my view, does not satisfy those standards, yet is very commonly cited in the field. And we can discuss that.

    Ultimately, my claim is not that every single published research in psychology is non-scientific - not at all, and that claim is simply not true. But it is about the general standards in the field.

    I will add in conclusion that I always have debates of this kind in good faith, provided the opponent demonstrates the desire to do the same. When I am shown to be wrong, I admit to being wrong. My mind is open to the idea that psychology as it is practiced today is a valid scientific field, and that the paper I have read and found lacking were an exception, not the rule. Psychology is not my area of expertise, and even if it was, I could easily be living in a bubble and reading papers only in a very narrow subfield of it, oblivious to the rest of it. 
  • DeeDee 4846 Pts   -  

    @Maxx @ZeusAres42


                               Your latest fallacy is ………WE AGREE TO DISAGREE FALLACY 


    The dodge of ‘agree to disagree’ is usually offered by the person who knows their shabby opinion has no real basis in truth or fact. It’s just something they think.

    This is an extremely devious way of ending a debate the coward  takes in an attempt to make out that a “friendly exchange “ has ended amicably  It is just  another form of passive aggression.

    “Agreeing to disagree” offers no possibility of reaching across the table. It offers no motivation to have grown up conversations that include mediation , non-violent communication solutions, or even a hint of willingness to see the other side.

    There is nothing agreeable about being so consumed by being right that taking in another perspective isn’t even possible. No one ‘wins’, ultimately, by keeping their fragile egos intact.

  • DeeDee 4846 Pts   -   edited November 14
    I don’t believe psychology is a real science , I only have to do a search online to be greeted by such things as “hedonic psychologists “, quantum psychologists like Robert Anton Wilson head of the Satanist church and the equally insane Deepak Chopra as practitioners of such ……we then have Transpersonal psychology otherwise know as Spiritual psychology another favorite loved by new age nuts ……I can list hundreds more all of which offer university degrees around the world , I cannot seriously place this Woo amongst Chemistry , math , physics 

    I will grant there may be some serious work done in different fields by a minority of what’s termed psychologists but I think the term “psychology “ needs to be changed as it has always carried that sort of tag as in the back page of a woman’s magazine asking questions like “ does your cat love you “ fill out the questionnaire and see what out top psychologists say

    You can do an online psychology degree most anywhere in the world and they are run by the most dubious sounding institutes and individuals . Such is the ridicule heaped on pschologists that the ignoble awards have a list of various ridiculous claims put forward by these quacks……. Here’s just a few of the hundreds ……

    1993 – Alien abductions are real

    Professor John E. Mack was a Harvard psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who said people who claimed to have been abducted by aliens were not crazy. Along with David M. Jacobs of Temple University, he thought the experience of abductees didn’t fit with either psychological or psychiatric models. In fact he believed the abduction stories were true and argued their purpose was the production of children.

    ***** – Sorry Professor, full marks for this one, very silly.

    1994 – Heavy fines for spitting out gum

    The 1994 winner was Lee Kuan Yew, the Prime Minister of Singapore, who carried out a 30-year study into the effects of punishing the citizens of Singapore for chewing or spitting out gum or feeding the pigeons. Stiff fines for both littering and spitting have succeeded in making Singaporeans some of the most litter-conscious citizens in the world.

    * What on Earth is silly about this one?

    1995 – Art loving pigeons

    Continuing the flying rat theme, in 1995 Shigeru Watanabe, Junko Sakamoto, and Masumi Wakita, of Keio University won the Ig Nobel for teaching pigeons to discriminate between the paintings of Monet and Picasso. When the paintings were upside down, however, they could still spot Picasso’s paintings but not Monet’s.

    *** – moderately silly, but I’m sure they had they’re reasons. Please tell me they had their reasons!

    It should be noted that the piece below again clearly demonstrates the claims made by psychologists need to be taken with more than a grain of salt , in fact I think the author of the piece is being rather generous in his assesment , I suggest the rate is a lot higher , 


    Over half of psychology studies fail reproducibility test…..

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2015.18248



    Why psychology isn’t science

    BY ALEX B. BEREZOW

    JULY 13, 2012 12 AM PT

    Psychologist Timothy D. Wilson, a professor at the University of Virginia, expressed resentment in his Times Op-Ed article on Thursday over the fact that most scientists don’t consider his field a real science. He casts scientists as condescending bullies:

    “Once, during a meeting at my university, a biologist mentioned that he was the only faculty member present from a science department. When I corrected him, noting that I was from the Department of Psychology, he waved his hand dismissively, as if I were a Little Leaguer telling a member of the New York Yankees that I too played baseball.

    “There has long been snobbery in the sciences, with the ‘hard’ ones (physics, chemistry, biology) considering themselves to be more legitimate than the ‘soft’ ones (psychology, sociology).”


    The dismissive attitude scientists have toward psychologists isn’t rooted in snobbery; it’s rooted in intellectual frustration. It’s rooted in the failure of psychologists to acknowledge that they don’t have the same claim on secular truth that the hard sciences do. It’s rooted in the tired exasperation that scientists feel when non-scientists try to pretend they are scientists.

    That’s right. Psychology isn’t science.

    Why can we definitively say that? Because psychology often does not meet the five basic requirements for a field to be considered scientifically rigorous: clearly defined terminology, quantifiability, highly controlled experimental conditions, reproducibility and, finally, predictability and testability.

    Happiness research is a great example of why psychology isn’t science. How exactly should “happiness” be defined? The meaning of that word differs from person to person and especially between cultures. What makes Americans happy doesn’t necessarily make Chinese people happy. How does one measure happiness? Psychologists can’t use a ruler or a microscope, so they invent an arbitrary scale. Today, personally, I’m feeling about a 3.7 out of 5. How about you?



    The failure to meet the first two requirements of scientific rigor (clear terminology and quantifiability) makes it almost impossible for happiness research to meet the other three. How can an experiment be consistently reproducible or provide any useful predictions if the basic terms are vague and unquantifiable? And when exactly has there ever been a reliable prediction made about human behavior? Making useful predictions is a vital part of the scientific process, but psychology has a dismal record in this regard. Just ask a foreign policy or intelligence analyst.

    To be fair, not all psychology research is equally wishy-washy. Some research is far more scientifically rigorous. And the field often yields interesting and important insights.

    But to claim it is “science” is inaccurate. Actually, it’s worse than that. It’s an attempt to redefine science. Science, redefined, is no longer the empirical analysis of the natural world; instead, it is any topic that sprinkles a few numbers around. This is dangerous because, under such a loose definition, anything can qualify as science. And when anything qualifies as science, science can no longer claim to have a unique grasp on secular truth.



    That’s why scientists dismiss psychologists. They’re rightfully defending their intellectual turf.



    Despite psychology being a social science, some clinical psychologists are resistant to evidence-based practice.[9] And despite the phrase primum non nocere

    24px-Wikipedias_Wsvgpng

     (first, do no harm) being precept of bioethics and medicine, some types of psychological treatments have been shown to be harmful yet continue to be practiced.[10] Lilienfeld identified several psychological therapies that are likely to be harmful:[10]

    • Critical incident stress debriefing — risk of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms[10]
    • Scared Straight interventions — exacerbation of conduct problems, leading to increased crime.[11] A 2004 study found that Scared Straight programs have a net estimated program cost to society of $203.51 for every dollar spent (e.g., due to increased imprisonment).[12]
    • Facilitated communication — a technique meant to allow nonspeaking autistic people with severe motor problems to "speak" using a facilitator, while in reality the facilitator unwittingly controls the person's hand (like a ouija board). It has been associated with false accusations of child abuse.[10]
    • Applied behavior analysis — a system of punishments and rewards that trains autistic children to obey different commands. Its evidence base is weaker than advertised,[13] and preliminary research into its effects found a significant risk of post traumatic stress disorder.[14]
    • Attachment therapy (rebirthing) — several deaths and serious injuries of children have resulted from this treatment[10][15]
    • Recovered-memory techniques — production of false memories[10]
    • Dissociative Identity Disorder-oriented therapy — induction of "alters" (alternative identities)[10]
    • Grief counseling

    24px-Wikipedias_Wsvgpng

    •  for individuals with normal bereavement reactions — increased depression[10]
    • Expressive-experiential therapies (focused expressive psychotherapy, gestalt therapy) — exacerbation of painful emotions[10]
    • Boot-camp interventions for conduct disorder — exacerbation of conduct problems,[10] risk of death from abusive treatment[16]
    • DARE programs (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) — ineffective, increased alcohol or other drug usage[10]

    Additionally, reparative therapy is considered pseudoscientific,[17] potentially harmful,[18] and is opposed by the American Psychiatric Association.[18]


  • BoganBogan 203 Pts   -  
    @maxx wrote "I have already stated that personality traits are not changeable we simply apply them to how we live and the life style adapts to the traits."

    Wrong there Maxx.    I have no idea where you got that misinformation from?   Even among my own friends, I have one friend who's personality has changed so much over the years that myself, his wife, and his other friends now shun him.    He has become an angry man walking around with a giant chip on his shoulder looking for offence where non was intended.     He now lives in a socially isolated world away from most people who knew him.    All of his former friends now just avoid him.   When I moved house to an entirely new location, I did not tell him where I relocated too.     

    Criminals change their personalities after the age of 40.    Serious criminality can be seen as a form of delayed childhood where criminal "adults" never achieved a level of socialization necessary to think of themselves as part of a self protecting group of people, instead of being the center of the universe.    After age 40, criminals tend to "grow out" of criminality.    Usually the only "old man's" crimes are pedophilia and embezzlement.
  • maxxmaxx 983 Pts   -  
    our personality is our identity. Our identify does not change. What you may perceive as a personality change is just our personality adapting to various life situations and experiences. Our personality adapts to life, life does not adapt to personality. You can live half your life as a fast paced stock broker in a huge city half your life, and then suddenly move way down south and become a good for real redneck; ,complete with coon dogs, boating , fishing, hunting, baccy chewing bib wearing boon docker. This new life is not a personality change. You just adapt your personality to a new way of living. 
  • BoganBogan 203 Pts   -  
    Your "identity", my dear Maxx, is which tribe or group you "identify" with.     Everybody has multiple "identities".    A man may be a tradesman, a hunter, a father, a Labor voter, a working class man, an Australian, a Penrith Panthers fan, a gambler, a Caucasian, and a husband.    All of these "identities" makes up a particular person's "identity."   Which groups you "identify" with is your "identity."

    A person's personality is how they behave.     People's behaviour changes through life.     We are different people when we grow out of childhood and become "mature" (socially responsible.)     How socially responsible we become is a factor of circumstance.     Parents and grandparents have always been societies most socially responsible demographic.     As adults, young adults are the least socially responsible, especially males. 

    Personality is a factor of both nature and nurture.      Nature provides the underlying blueprint, and nature builds upon the base.        I think that the validity of what i am writing was conclusively proven by the TWA (Twins Reared Apart) studies.      If one twin reared in one family became criminal, there was a statistically significant chance that the second twin would become criminal also, thereby proving that genetics and crime are linked.    But the fact that it did occur that the twin of a criminal, raised in a different family, did not automatically become criminal, proved that good parenting and a pro social environment can prevent a child who is genetically prone to criminal behaviour, from becoming criminal.    Your personality is not simply a product of your genes. 

    If you claim that personality changes by adapting to life, then I would reply that it is still changing.     A banker who becomes a redneck has to make some changes in his personality to fit in with the other rednecks he now sees as his new peer group that he aspires to be a part of.    Bankers look down on rednecks.    If he wants to be a redneck then he can no longer play the part of the social superior or he will not be accepted.   He has to change his personality from one who seeks social superiority, to one who is accepting of social inferiority among his former friends, collogues, and probably, his family.     


  • xlJ_dolphin_473xlJ_dolphin_473 1706 Pts   -  
    @ZeusAres42
    You're confusing psychology with psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is the use of talking therapy to resolve issues in patients' interpersonal relationships. Psychology is the study of human behaviour according to experimental design. Both are worthy of respect, but psychology is certainly a science.
    ZeusAres42
  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 Emerald Premium Member 2233 Pts   -   edited November 17
    xlJ_dolphin_473 said: @ZeusAres42 You're confusing psychology with psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is the use of talking therapy to resolve issues in patients' interpersonal relationships. Psychology is the study of human behaviour according to experimental design. Both are worthy of respect, but psychology is certainly a science.
    I am a little perplexed about how you came to the conclusion that I was confusing these two subjects. I thought it might be my mention of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud because it is definitely not the definition I used that didn't contradict the one you used although you did leave the bit about the mind out of your description whereas I didn't.

    And by "mind"  what is meant in psychology is to do with cognition and other factors considering the brain. There are four major aspects of psychology which are cognitive, behavioral, biological, and sociocultural, and if not all the time they definitely complement one another most of the time. And yes I am aware that there is a subject field other than psychology that also dabbles in areas to do with the brain, however, that does not mean I confusing them with the study of psychology.

    Regarding Freud and Jung one was an Austrian Neurologist (Sigmund Freud) and the other was a Swiss psychiatrist and Psychologist (Carl Jung). Both of these professionals had an influence on psychology with Freud often being quoted as the father of modern psychology and Jung the founder of Psychoanalytical psychology. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Sigmund-Freud/Psychoanalytic-theory, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Carl-Jung.

    To conclude I will say that out of the two of us I definitely don't think it's me that is confusing these disciplines. However, it is understandable how one might get confused here since there is a significant amount of overlap between psychology, Psychiatry, and Psychotherapy:

    Below is a brief description of each of the different areas.

    What is psychology?What is psychiatry?What is psychotherapy?What is psychology?Psychology is the study of people: how they think, how they act, react and interact. It's concerned with all aspects of behaviour and the thoughts, feelings and motivation underlying such behaviour.Psychology is a discipline that is firstly concerned with the normal functioning of the mind and has explored areas such as learning, remembering and the normal psychological development of children. It has been one of the fastest growing university subjects and is increasingly available in schools and colleges.Psychologists are not usually medically qualified and only a small proportion of people studying psychology degrees will go on to work with patients.Psychologists can specialise in a number of areas, such as mental health and educational and occupational psychology. In healthcare, psychologists specialise in clinical, counselling, forensic or health psychology.Psychological therapy rolesFind out more about the work of clinical psychologistsFind out more about the work of counselling psychologistsFind out more about the work of forensic psychologistsFind out more about the work of health psychologistsThere are also roles using psychology for other staff, including assistant psychologists, psychological wellbeing practitioners and high intensity therapistsWhat is psychiatry?Psychiatry is the study of mental health problems and their diagnosis, management and prevention. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have qualified in psychiatry. They often combine a broad general caseload alongside an area of special expertise and research.Find out more about the work of psychiatristsWhat is psychotherapy?Psychotherapy is conducted with individuals, groups, couples and families. Psychotherapists help people to overcome stress, emotional and relationship problems or troublesome habits.There are many different approaches in psychotherapy, or talking therapies, which include:cognitive behavioural therapiespsychoanalytic therapiespsychodynamic therapiessystemic and family psychotherapyarts and play therapieshumanistic and integrative psychotherapieshypno-psychotherapyexperiential constructivist therapiesA psychotherapist may be a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional, who has had further specialist training in psychotherapy. Increasingly, there are a number of psychotherapists who do not have backgrounds in the above fields, but who have undertaken in-depth training in this area.Medical psychotherapists are fully-qualified doctors who have qualified in psychiatry and then undertaken a three or four-year specialist training in psychotherapy. Their role is in the psychotherapeutic treatment of patients with psychiatric illnesses.Find out more about the role of psychotherapistshttps://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/psychological-therapies/differences-between-psychology-psychiatry-and-psychotherapy
    That being said I will admit that at other times I have gotten confused with these disciplines myself but I don't see that being detected here in my OP. However, after several times of reviewing what I wrote, I can see how the post may not be coming across as very transparent. Hence, I am currently the in process of re-editing it.

    As for your last bit about psychology being a real science, I am glad we agree on that. And I wouldn't expect anyone of your caliber to be under any illusion this is pseudoscience. If you are from the UK and have any academic background you should ideally be aware that this is now treated as an accredited field often studied at accredited establishments including Oxford And Cambridge, and has a strict recruiting process in terms of academic rigor.

    References:






  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 Emerald Premium Member 2233 Pts   -   edited November 18
    MayCaesar said:
    Your argument in favor of psychology as it is practiced today being a real science is very vague. You essentially explained what science is, then claimed that psychology satisfies that definition, and that is it. Let me address three of the four paragraphs you wrote in support of your thesis (the first paragraph is not something I have a very well developed opinion on).
    ZeusAres42 said:

    The hard aspect of psychology is the stuff that is going on behind the scenes; that is proper scientific research being conducted, and this is happening the majority of the time. This research consists of three main methods that are classed as descriptive, correlational, and experimental. Now, I don't want to get too bogged down in scientific jargon here and so I will try to represent a basic summary of what this means - Observations are made, predictions are made, and then those predictions are tested in highly controlled experiments. Then research findings are published that then in turn go through a phase known as critical appraisal, and thus the cycle continues.  This is exactly how other scientific research is conducted like medical research for instance. Albeit psychologists are not usually medically qualified (some are) the research methodology is exactly the same. Not to mention that many psychologists also work closely with medical practitioners and are also under the same obligation to critically appraise the literature regarding Evidence-Based Health Care (EBHC).
    You claimed that this stuff is going on "behind the scenes", but did not provide any support of this claim. You described how this research is allegedly being conducted, with no concrete examples.
    ZeusAres42 said:

    I guess one of the reasons why this myth prevails is in part due to the way in which psychology was being studied in its infancy which was rather sloppy. I read someone saying recently that the way in which it is studied now is sloppy which is completely untrue, and hopefully, by now I have shown you how indeed it is the opposite that is true. In addition to that tons of other pop-psychology myths get thrown around constantly such as opposites attract, people have different learning styles, some people are clairvoyant, and a whole host of other ludicrous things that are constantly being shoved down the public's throats as if they are to do psychology when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.
    You have not shown it. Assuming you are referring to my comment about psychology in a different thread, I did not say anything there that contradicted what you wrote here. My argument was based on the standards of the field that are maintained by the top journals in psychology, not on the superficial actions that psychologists take when conducting research. In everything that you wrote in the first paragraph, you never actually touched the content of that research. "Observations are made, predictions are made, and then those predictions are tested in highly controlled experiments" - all of this is true, but this does not at all imply that any of these parts is made following the scientific method. My problem with psychology is exactly that the standards of what is considered an observation, a prediction, a test and a highly controlled experiment are incredibly low in the field.
    ZeusAres42 said:

    To summarize, Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. Just like most sciences, it consists of both hard and soft scientific elements. Additionally, the research methodology that is conducted is the same as most other sciences such as medical science for instance. Nontheless, the myth that it isn't a real science prevails due to several factors such as other pseudoscientific nonsense being pushed as if it were psychology when it isn't, media and political influence (this also includes the entertainment industry), and sometimes, unfortunately, a few frauds within the scientific community that even though they were spotted among their peers they still manage to spread their nonsense into the public hemisphere; these guys are the ones that were accredited that later got strike off or those that were non-accredited all along that somehow still managed to slip right through into the public eye. But it should be noted that these are the kinds of factors that surround not only this and other pop-psychology myths but a whole plethora of other science myths.
    I am not familiar with this terminology: in the field in which I have worked, nobody talked about "soft scientific elements". An element is either scientific or not scientific. In proper science, every claim must be logically justified, and that justification must be perfectly accurate - and whenever you cannot claim something with 100% accuracy, you must relax your claim. Any claim that is not 100% accurate is an erroneous claim from the scientific perspective.
    You further described how people claim that psychology is not science due to mistaking the real psychological content with the pseudoscientific one. You did not at all touch on the arguments from people who have actually read peer-reviewed psychological papers and found them wanting.

    Now, I have read quite a few psychological papers published in such journals as Nature, Annual Review of Psychology, and Psychological Bulletin. Some of them described serious scientific research, featuring mathematical models with hard statistical estimates of the proposed mechanisms, delving deep into describing the collected data and the degree to which it is susceptible to noise, and in which the authors proposed very concrete predictive models that can be applied in the real world situations. Most, however, lacked rigor, contained a lot of handwaving and what I like to call "wandering thoughts" (when the authors propose a very complicated idea out of the blue, then say that it "might" be true and is not outruled by the data, and conveniently leave it at that), and, frankly, contained very little scientific value, if at all, in that they could not be applied to anything outside of the very narrow scope of the study.

    In order to make this debate a little more concrete, I propose the same to you that I did to maxx in another thread (a proposal that he, of course, simply ignored): find a paper in a respectable peer-reviewed journal in psychology that, in your view, satisfies the standards of scientific rigor common for hard science (mathematics, physics, computer science, biology...). Then describe its contents as briefly as you can, summarizing the data, the methodology, the results, and the significance of those results in the field - does not have to be perfectly accurate and researched (after all, one is unlikely to understand the state of affairs in the field after reading several papers in it), but does have to match the contents of the paper. Then I will read (actually read, in its entirety - might take a couple of days, but it will be a worthwhile time investment) it and respond in kind.
    If the paper that you find turns out to satisfy the scientific standards expected in hard science (which may very well happen; I have seen such papers in psychology), then I will find a different paper which, in my view, does not satisfy those standards, yet is very commonly cited in the field. And we can discuss that.

    Ultimately, my claim is not that every single published research in psychology is non-scientific - not at all, and that claim is simply not true. But it is about the general standards in the field.

    I will add in conclusion that I always have debates of this kind in good faith, provided the opponent demonstrates the desire to do the same. When I am shown to be wrong, I admit to being wrong. My mind is open to the idea that psychology as it is practiced today is a valid scientific field, and that the paper I have read and found lacking were an exception, not the rule. Psychology is not my area of expertise, and even if it was, I could easily be living in a bubble and reading papers only in a very narrow subfield of it, oblivious to the rest of it. 


    Firstly, you sound a little bit irked. And I get and I do apologize for the laughs in the other thread which I have now removed. It was more of amusement though and not of derision. Nontheless, I can understand how one might take offense. I will get to what found amusing later. And while I am at it I would also like to apologize to  @maxx as I will admit that both me and May were engaging in gratuitous criticism than scholarly critique within other debate threads. Now, moving on.


    Your argument in favor of psychology as it is practiced today being a real science is very vague. You essentially explained what science is, then claimed that psychology satisfies that definition, and that is it. Let me address three of the four paragraphs you wrote in support of your thesis (the first paragraph is not something I have a very well developed opinion on).
    I will admit that I could have elaborated more, and hence I am in process of re-editing and this should be updated by the weekend. And no, I did not give any generalized description of what science is, and nowhere in in my OP can this be found, and I will pay money to any spectator here if they can find it. All I gave was a description of how psychology was generally defined and how it followed a scientific research methodology that is conducted especially if the sub-types relate to evidence-based healthcare (EBHC) along with other aspects with respect to (EBHC).


    ZeusAres42 said:

    The hard aspect of psychology is the stuff that is going on behind the scenes; that is proper scientific research being conducted, and this is happening the majority of the time. This research consists of three main methods that are classed as descriptive, correlational, and experimental. Now, I don't want to get too bogged down in scientific jargon here and so I will try to represent a basic summary of what this means - Observations are made, predictions are made, and then those predictions are tested in highly controlled experiments. Then research findings are published that then in turn go through a phase known as critical appraisal, and thus the cycle continues.  This is exactly how other scientific research is conducted like medical research for instance. Albeit psychologists are not usually medically qualified (some are) the research methodology is exactly the same. Not to mention that many psychologists also work closely with medical practitioners and are also under the same obligation to critically appraise the literature regarding Evidence-Based Health Care (EBHC).
    You claimed that this stuff is going on "behind the scenes", but did not provide any support of this claim. You described how this research is allegedly being conducted, with no concrete examples.
    So, because according to you this post was not enough it equates to it not being valid right? Secondly, what examples can you give that would satisfy this claim as being of more substance? Talking about how psychology is generally defined, touching on research methodology and how it is conducted, and the fact all of this stuff is easily accessible (even more so if you have access via an institution) is not enough for you? Also, I find your skepticism (that I and others would actually call denialism) odd here after having frequently asserted your scientific background on this debate site. Furthermore, we are not talking about specific studies that were taking place here; that was and is not what this debate is about.

    ZeusAres42 said:

    To summarize, Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. Just like most sciences, it consists of both hard and soft scientific elements. Additionally, the research methodology that is conducted is the same as most other sciences such as medical science for instance. Nontheless, the myth that it isn't a real science prevails due to several factors such as other pseudoscientific nonsense being pushed as if it were psychology when it isn't, media and political influence (this also includes the entertainment industry), and sometimes, unfortunately, a few frauds within the scientific community that even though they were spotted among their peers they still manage to spread their nonsense into the public hemisphere; these guys are the ones that were accredited that later got strike off or those that were non-accredited all along that somehow still managed to slip right through into the public eye. But it should be noted that these are the kinds of factors that surround not only this and other pop-psychology myths but a whole plethora of other science myths.
    I am not familiar with this terminology: in the field in which I have worked, nobody talked about "soft scientific elements". An element is either scientific or not scientific. In proper science, every claim must be logically justified, and that justification must be perfectly accurate - and whenever you cannot claim something with 100% accuracy, you must relax your claim. Any claim that is not 100% accurate is an erroneous claim from the scientific perspective.
    You further described how people claim that psychology is not science due to mistaking the real psychological content with the pseudoscientific one. You did not at all touch on the arguments from people who have actually read peer-reviewed psychological papers and found them wanting.


    You know full well that this was a summary of my thread and that my mention of "soft" and "hard" sciences was a             reference to how people generally often view different scientific disciplines. You're deliberately just playing games here and it's not going to work. Now, if I wanted to play games I could do the same as you and point out your claim in the other thread about psychology being borderline science; you said yourself - either something is scientific or not. Maybe you should take your own advice regarding this paragraph. Furthermore, you even cite yourself that physics, biology, etc as hard sciences, and I never even mentioned these in my thread. Now I would agree with you but again I find it odd that you claim now you are not familiar with these terms and later cite something as hard science that I never even touched upon.

    "Observations are made, predictions are made, and then those predictions are tested in highly controlled experiments" - all of this is true, but this does not at all imply that any of these parts is made following the scientific method.
    As for this TF are you talking about? Testing a falsifiable hypothesis has nothing to do with the scientific method?

    Now, I have read quite a few psychological papers published in such journals as Nature, Annual Review of Psychology, and Psychological Bulletin. Some of them described serious scientific research, featuring mathematical models with hard statistical estimates of the proposed mechanisms, delving deep into describing the collected data and the degree to which it is susceptible to noise, and in which the authors proposed very concrete predictive models that can be applied in the real world situations. Most, however, lacked rigor, contained a lot of handwaving and what I like to call "wandering thoughts" (when the authors propose a very complicated idea out of the blue, then say that it "might" be true and is not outruled by the data, and conveniently leave it at that), and, frankly, contained very little scientific value, if at all, in that they could not be applied to anything outside of the very narrow scope of the study.
    This means nothing. Anyone can read loads of papers online, and cite to their "alleged" credentials that I have seen you do this repeatedly. However, unless you can demonstrate your expertise within the subject field that is being discussed and/or show that you are qualified and experienced within this field then this means nothing more than just a fallacious attempt to make your argument sound more valid. I guess we can call this a fallacious appeal to self as an authority.


     In order to make this debate a little more concrete, I propose the same to you that I did to maxx in another thread (a proposal that he, of course, simply ignored): find a paper in a respectable peer-reviewed journal in psychology that, in your view, satisfies the standards of scientific rigor common for hard science (mathematics, physics, computer science, biology...). Then describe its contents as briefly as you can, summarizing the data, the methodology, the results, and the significance of those results in the field - does not have to be perfectly accurate and researched (after all, one is unlikely to understand the state of affairs in the field after reading several papers in it), but does have to match the contents of the paper. Then I will read (actually read, in its entirety - might take a couple of days, but it will be a worthwhile time investment) it and respond in kind.
    If the paper that you find turns out to satisfy the scientific standards expected in hard science (which may very well happen; I have seen such papers in psychology), then I will find a different paper which, in my view, does not satisfy those standards, yet is very commonly cited in the field. And we can discuss that.
    Firstly, you are not my professor. Secondly, similarly, as I said to Maxx I don't think it is any prudence to get into a link war just to prove who is better at reading papers. Thus this is irrelevant to this debate. By all means, if you would like to create another thread that deals with the subject of how to read a paper properly I would be more than happy to discuss that there with you. In fact, I propose this to you as you tend to talk about reading papers a lot and often portray yourself as being an expert at this. And there are several issues I would like to address if you do this. I mean you have already created several red flags for yourself with just this wild claim alone:
    Then describe its contents as briefly as you can, summarizing the data, the methodology, the results, and the significance of those results in the field - does not have to be perfectly accurate and researched (after all, one is unlikely to understand the state of affairs in the field after reading several papers in it), but does have to match the contents of the paper.
    For instance, you have come to the sole conclusion alone that because you have read more scientific papers than the average person (that is if you are telling the truth) this means that others are unlikely to understand what they read. That is just one issue among many with this claim such as you also assuming a lot about yourself here in comparison to others on this site. And again, that is if you are telling the truth. However, even if you were being honest constantly citing yourself as an authority on any and every scientific subject and your "alleged" expertise regarding any and every scientific paper is nothing more than just proof by assertion; it literally means nothing! Not to mention this is also ludicrous behavior.

    mathematics, physics, computer science, biology
    Oh yeah, while you didn't say it here I have seen elsewhere you say you were a Statistician, Biologist, Physicist, and Computer Scientist among many others. And I gotta say I am very impressed with how you manage to juggle several professional careers at the same time. What are you; a Biologist by day, and a Physicist by night? I guess amongst your peers you're known as the "super scientist" right?

    I will add in conclusion that I always have debates of this kind in good faith, provided the opponent demonstrates the desire to do the same. When I am shown to be wrong, I admit to being wrong. My mind is open to the idea that psychology as it is practiced today is a valid scientific field, and that the paper I have read and found lacking were an exception, not the rule. Psychology is not my area of expertise, and even if it was, I could easily be living in a bubble and reading papers only in a very narrow subfield of it, oblivious to the rest of it. 
    If you're going to come here all guns blazing then at least be consitant and end in the same way as you arrogantly started instead of grandiosely playing the humble card in conclusion. And lastly, what I will say is that you have given me a lot of advice here in terms of concreteness and substance and yet you did do any of this yourself with your argument about psychology being pseudoscience. And as I said to maxx you shouldn't hold another person to a standard if you are unwilling to uphold that standard yourself; perhaps you should take your own advice.  In any case, all that stuff is irrelevant since this was/is a casual debate about a generalized description of what psychology is and what it isn't, and how it is often perceived by some people; it had no relevance to specific scientific studies in a specific scientific paper. And nor does one have to go through tons of journals just to confirm that this is an accredited field; I have never heard such nonsense. Oh yeah, and what I found amusing regarding your claim about psychology being more of a pseudoscience nowadays is the implication that it was studied better in its infancy which doesn't follow (non-sequitur).




  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4800 Pts   -  
    ZeusAres42 said:

    Firstly, you sound a little bit irked. And I get and I do apologize for the laughs in the other thread which I have now removed. It was more of amusement though and not of derision. Nontheless, I can understand how one might take offense. I will get to what found amusing later. And while I am at it I would also like to apologize to  @maxx as I will admit that both me and May were engaging in gratuitous criticism than scholarly critique within other debate threads. Now, moving on.
    No, I have purely referred to your content posted in this thread, aside from one comment that you made in another thread that is pertinent to this content. I ignore all emotes people use on this website and do not hold grudges against anyone; I am here purely for debating interesting subjects and am not emotionally invested in any conversations (the moment I feel that I am becoming emotionally invested in something, I quickly withdraw, as I know that the quality of my argumentation is going to drop significantly otherwise).

    ZeusAres42 said:

    I will admit that I could have elaborated more, and hence I am in process of re-editing and this should be updated by the weekend. And no, I did not give any generalized description of what science is, and nowhere in in my OP can this be found, and I will pay money to any spectator here if they can find it. All I gave was a description of how psychology was generally defined and how it followed a scientific research methodology that is conducted especially if the sub-types relate to evidence-based healthcare (EBHC) along with other aspects with respect to (EBHC).
    You referenced EBHC, indeed, but did not elaborate on how it works exactly. Other than that, the paragraph I cited can be applied to virtually any other scientific field; I did not see anything specific to psychology there. I may have missed something, in which case I apologize.

    ZeusAres42 said:

    So, because according to you this post was not enough it equates to it not being valid right? Secondly, what examples can you give that would satisfy this claim as being of more substance? Talking about how psychology is generally defined, touching on research methodology and how it is conducted, and the fact all of this stuff is easily accessible (even more so if you have access via an institution) is not enough for you? Also, I find your skepticism (that I and others would actually call denialism) odd here after having frequently asserted your scientific background on this debate site. Furthermore, we are not talking about specific studies that were taking place here; that was and is not what this debate is about.
    I gave an objective reason why this claim is unfounded. My personal opinion here does not come into play.

    Any example that presents what happens "behind the scenes", as you put it, would do. This is actually a great place to cite a review paper on the concrete methods used in psychological research and provide a brief summary of its contents, so as to contrast them with what most people view psychological methods to me.

    I am always skeptical about everything by default (as, I think, any logic-oriented person should be). I fail to see how you can do proper science (or any intellect-driven activity in g) otherwise.

    ZeusAres42 said:

    You know full well that this was a summary of my thread and that my mention of "soft" and "hard" sciences was a             reference to how people generally often view different scientific disciplines. You're deliberately just playing games here and it's not going to work. Now, if I wanted to play games I could do the same as you and point out your claim in the other thread about psychology being borderline science; you said yourself - either something is scientific or not. Maybe you should take your own advice regarding this paragraph. Furthermore, you even cite yourself that physics, biology, etc as hard sciences, and I never even mentioned these in my thread. Now I would agree with you but again I find it odd that you claim now you are not familiar with these terms and later cite something as hard science that I never even touched upon.
    And my claim is that this separation of scientific fields into "soft" and "hard" is invalid; I am not playing any games at all. As far as I am concerned, "soft science" might as well be called "science in which you are allowed to make deliberate logical mistakes" - which, of course, is a bit of an oxymoron.

    I am aware of these terms used by other people, but I am not aware of them being used in a manner that makes a lot of sense. I suppose I should have used better wording; I admit this paragraph was a bit cheeky, and your objection is perfectly valid.

    ZeusAres42 said:

    As for this TF are you talking about? Testing a falsifiable hypothesis has nothing to do with the scientific method?
    For instance, take the first part: "observations are made". As an extreme example, contrast someone using multiple thermometers to measure the temperature of the surface of lake Michigan at a given point - with someone who put his finger in the water and said, "It is warm". In both cases, observations are made; in only one case those observations were made with enough rigor for them to constitute a part of the scientific method. Same goes for all other parts of the process that I cited.

    ZeusAres42 said:

    This means nothing. Anyone can read loads of papers online, and cite to their "alleged" credentials that I have seen you do this repeatedly. However, unless you can demonstrate your expertise within the subject field that is being discussed and/or show that you are qualified and experienced within this field then this means nothing more than just a fallacious attempt to make your argument sound more valid. I guess we can call this a fallacious appeal to self as an authority.
    Which is precisely what I had in mind when I wrote the next paragraph. I only make (or, rather, try to make) claims like this about myself when I intend to demonstrate them somehow, as long as my opponent proposes a reasonable (and reciprocal) way of me going about it.

    ZeusAres42 said:

    Firstly, you are not my professor. Secondly, similarly, as I said to Maxx I don't think it is any prudence to get into a link war just to prove who is better at reading papers. Thus this is irrelevant to this debate. By all means, if you would like to create another thread that deals with the subject of how to read a paper properly I would be more than happy to discuss that there with you. In fact, I propose this to you as you tend to talk about reading papers a lot and often portray yourself as being an expert at this. And there are several issues I would like to address if you do this. I mean you have already created several red flags for yourself with just this wild claim alone:
    Fair enough; however, in this case we can only talk about generalities. Since my criticism of psychology as an allegedly scientific field is based precisely on the quality of contents of the published works, without discussing those works in detail we are just having a fun time talking about nonsense with drinks. Which is not at all a bad thing, mind you.

    ZeusAres42 said:

    For instance, you have come to the sole conclusion alone that because you have read more scientific papers than the average person (that is if you are telling the truth) this means that others are unlikely to understand what they read. That is just one issue among many with this claim such as you also assuming a lot about yourself here in comparison to others on this site. And again, that is if you are telling the truth. However, even if you were being honest constantly citing yourself as an authority on any and every scientific subject and your "alleged" expertise regarding any and every scientific paper is nothing more than just proof by assertion; it literally means nothing! Not to mention this is also ludicrous behavior.
    Where did you find anything of this kind in the quoted passage? I have read a lot of scientific papers, it is true - but there are many people who have read more, and there are people who have red fewer, but more thoroughly, and those who read fewer, but in different fields than me. I actually consider myself a pretty terrible paper reader (and a master procrastinator when it comes to this), and I am not an authority on anything. Which, again, is why I proposed picking apart an actual paper live, if you will - it may very well be that you are much better at reading and understanding papers in psychology than me.

    ZeusAres42 said:

    Oh yeah, while you didn't say it here I have seen elsewhere you say you were a Statistician, Biologist, Physicist, and Computer Scientist among many others. And I gotta say I am very impressed with how you manage to juggle several professional careers at the same time. What are you; a Biologist by day, and a Physicist by night? I guess amongst your peers you're known as the "super scientist" right?
    I have done research in all of these fields, indeed, and have accreditations in some - but I am not sure if I would use these nouns to describe myself. If I were to pick a single term that describes my general area of expertise, it would be "data science" - and everything else are just helpful tools and fields of application. I am not sure what is so impressive about this: you can find people at any mediocre university who have worked in far more fields than me, and, probably, more successfully. I have never been very good at any particular field (hence all the hopping around), but I take pride in my ability to quickly learn the ropes of a new field and do something that is of use to someone there. I also think that everyone can learn that: most people just get too comfortable in their careers and try to excel at a very narrow line of work. That is not my approach, for better or worse.

    I fail to see what discussing it here has to do with anything. I do not brag about my accomplishments; they are my private business. Whenever I bring something up from my personal history and experience, it is solely to illustrate a point. The qualitative judgement of my claims is your doing, not mine.

    ZeusAres42 said:

    If you're going to come here all guns blazing then at least be consitant and end in the same way as you arrogantly started instead of grandiosely playing the humble card in conclusion. And lastly, what I will say is that you have given me a lot of advice here in terms of concreteness and substance and yet you did do any of this yourself with your argument about psychology being pseudoscience. And as I said to maxx you shouldn't hold another person to a standard if you are unwilling to uphold that standard yourself; perhaps you should take your own advice.  In any case, all that stuff is irrelevant since this was/is a casual debate about a generalized description of what psychology is and what it isn't, and how it is often perceived by some people; it had no relevance to specific scientific studies in a specific scientific paper. And nor does one have to go through tons of journals just to confirm that this is an accredited field; I have never heard such nonsense. Oh yeah, and what I found amusing regarding your claim about psychology being more of a pseudoscience nowadays is the implication that it was studied better in its infancy which doesn't follow (non-sequitur).
    As I pointed above, the "arrogance" is your interpretation; it was never a part of my comment. For concreteness, for the third time, I proposed a very particular activity that we could do together - which you decided not to partake in. Which is fine.

    I have never said or implied that psychology was studied better in its infancy. I am not familiar with how it was studied in the past; I am only familiar (somewhat) with the modern state of the field, which is why I narrowed the scope of my claim.
  • @MayCaesar

    I want to apologize for last night. I had been drinking a lot, got angry and said a lot of things to you that were out of order. 

    I felt like you came at me all guns blazing but I guess i deserve that considering I was being an a-hole to you in the first place with my laughs and comments of derision. 

    I could actually addressed a debate with you in a much more amicable way but failed to do so. That was not good behaviour on my on my part and I don't like  the person I am when I do this. So I guess I will be having a break from here for a while until I have clearer head. I also hope we can move past this. :)
    MayCaesar



  • Hi guys, this is a heads-up. I have decided to redo a debate regarding psychology being an exact science. After reflection and review, I feel while not inaccurate this debate wasn't done in a good way and was also somewhat non-transparent.

    I still feel however that this site is currently lacking in spectator size. Hence why I have been hesitant to debate much on here lately. After all, the debate is and always has been a spectator sport. And I also argue much better with a much larger audience base. Nontheless, I will post it anyway. And I guess there are other sites with a larger audience where I can engage in more fruitful discussions if the debate degenerates.



  • DeeDee 4846 Pts   -  
    @ZeusAres42

     And I guess there are other sites with a larger audience where I can engage in more fruitful discussions if the debate degenerates. 

    Other sites are a better option debate rarely happens here , if I want debate I go to Reddit where mods stamp out nonsense quickly 
    ZeusAres42
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