posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 08:08 PM
One of the problems that I see with psychology is the vast number of variables in any human situation. Even if many of the variables are known, there
will be many that cannot, or are not known, in any given situation. In chemistry, an experiment can be conducted, with all of the pertinent variables
controlled, that is, the elements involved, the temperature, the pressure, etc. Given the same values for each variable that contributes to a chemical
reaction, the same results can be predicted over and over again.
What many posters have related, are cases where different psychologists have come up with conflicting diagnoses for the "same" person or problem.
Those diagnoses are given without possibly knowing every variable value. The more that is known, the greater the chance that the diagnoses are
pertinent. To be completely honest, psychologists should inform the patient that their diagnosis is a best "guess".
I don't believe that psychology is useless, but it IS still in the Dark Ages, compared to other disciplines. There certainly are cases, where
psychologists have been able to help patients, but there are other cases, where they have a long way to go, in developing a complete and effective
treatment. An example is Borderline Personality Disorder. Although those with BPD are quickly identified, by common characteristics, a fully
effective treatment has not been found. There are treatments that seem to lessen the traits of BPD; however, in many cases, such treatments are
totally ineffective. There are currently longitudinal studies to track various treatments and correlated subsequent behavior. Such studies hopefully
will advance the science (yes, science) of psychology.
I know that does not help those that are suffering, but again, psychology has a long way to go. We have seen fantastic advances in the physical
sciences in the last century, and try to compare that with the lack of equivalent advances in the human sciences, and thus, feel short-changed. Again,
the human mind, and human behavior have so many variables, that such advances are slow and complex.
I am not defending psychology, but rather trying to explain why so many people rightly feel short-changed.
This is my view of psychology, a view from a physical scientist.