Q:

What makes psychology a science?

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Quick Answer

Psychology as a discipline is a science because it involves empirically testing concepts and observations, according to Simply Psychology and California State University, Fresno. Psychology employs the scientific method to determine the accuracy and reliability of key theories and practices.

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Within academia, psychology is a social science, meaning that those in the discipline study human behavior. It studies natural occurrences after observations. Researchers make hypotheses regarding a specific behavior, such as the reaction of people to traumatic images. Those in the field only scientifically test concrete concepts based on previous research or assumptions. Psychology does not include the study of psychic abilities or other fringe concepts.

After creating hypotheses, the researchers conduct an experiment or utilize another scientific methodology to empirically test their hypotheses. Researchers include controls and variables to manipulate or test. Objectivity throughout the experiment helps protect against bias within the study. Psychology researchers then either reject or support the hypotheses. Other researchers also retest the hypotheses to increase the validity of the study. This empirical manner researchers uphold makes psychology a science.

In a clinical setting, psychologists use the research from others in the discipline to correctly diagnose and treat patients. This allows for practical application of scientific findings.

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