No, It’s Not a Science

Anna Tzou, Graphics & Design and Writer

When I took AP Psychology last year, I never considered Psychology as a part of science – regardless of what the Myers textbook said. From the very first page of the textbook, it is stated that Psychology is specifically a study of behavior. Because of this, many mistakenly consider Psychology as an objective study – but the truth is, there is actually no correlation between the study of behavior and actual science.

For a field to be scientifically valid, it has to meet the five basic requirements of science, which are clearly defined as: terminology, quantifiability, highly controlled experimental conditions, reproducibility, and predictability & testability. Psychology might meet some of the criteria, but can never meet the third criterion, which is the condition of highly controlled experimental conditions. It is impossible for psychological experiments to have a definite conclusion as they are more subjective, causing psychology to fall short of qualifying as real science. “Science is a body of knowledge that explains a phenomenon. So in a way, it has to be 100% correct. But psychology can’t be 100% correct because how a person thinks can’t be proven,” exclaimed Ms. Lualhati. It seems safe to say that psychology could be considered as pseudoscience.

Quantitative & numerical data is the essence to any science or math subject. Since quantitative data is numerical, it can be analyzed in such a way to answer the hypothesis. Even in AP Psychology, students are taught that correlation is not causation, which further proves that Psychological facts only stop at observational studies, which does not answer the hypothesis directly. Moreover, given the conditions of conducting a study, it is hard to collect numerical data from Psychological investigations because it is a field of behavior, which indicates that Psychology will never yield a clear outcome. 

“Psychology may use some scientific processing in its experiments, but they are usually proven only by qualitative datas,” claimed former AP Psychology student Lisa. Most experiments from this field are concluded as ‘participants behaved in these ways…’ not ‘how many times participants behaved in certain ways’. This displays that Psychology fails to yield true scientific conclusions. 

Most psychological experiments may reproduce the feeling of being empirical, when they’re not in reality. As Ms. Lualhati has claimed, psychology is far from being qualified in the subject of science.