To cover the ground I would like this argument will require two posts. Hopefully there will be those willing to take the time to see things from my
side of the fence, and with luck what you see will be of benefit to you.
First off, if we're going to be arguing over whether psychology is a science or not, let's define science. The way I see science is explained very
well in Ken Wilber's "The Marriage of Sense and Soul", a very informative read on the integration of science and religion. To stay on topic I will
briefly define science from this point of view. (Broad) science (separate from narrow science, which discredits all apart from the material realm)
should be conducted following the "three strands of all valid knowing" (from the novel);
1. Instrumental injunction. This is an actual practice, an exemplar, a paradigm, an experiment, an ordinance. It is always of the form
"If you want to know this, do this."
2. Direct apprehension. This is an immediate experience of the domain brought forth by the injunction, that is, a direct experience or
apprehension of data (even if the data is apprehended). William James pointed out that one of the meanings of "data" is direct and immediate
experience, and science anchors all of its concrete assertions in such data.
3. Communal confirmation (or rejection). This is a checking of the results - the data, the evidence - with others who have adequately
completed the injunctive and apprehensive strands.
So it is obvious that once broad science is differentiated from narrow science that many doors are opened. What lies behind those doors is soon to be
discovered. Now, for my argument to hit home it is essential to have a small understanding of Ken Wilber's idea of the "four quadrants", so for
those of you are or ignorant on the subject I will redirect you to
for a brief summary. Obvious as it sounds, there is an interior to the universe (and it's consistuents) as is there is an exterior. Exteriors can
in the natural world, ex. I can see you frown. Interiors however, can only be interpreted
, from interaction, ex. I ask you
how you are feeling, you tell me you are sad.
Now, obviously how am I to know you are telling me the truth? Perception of body language, the context of your statement, and other factors
surrounding the situation are all tools in this problem. Can we ever be certain? No. Are we ever certain, with any
thing? No. We merely
make observations of our world, and if enough people agree with us, then it becomes "fact".
Obviously, I must disagree with anyone who thinks psychology is not a science. Although, it matters not to me what anyone thinks psychology is or
isn't. I must disagree even more with anyone who thinks psychology does no good for us. We know more about our world than we do about ourselves.
If only we focused on both aspects of the universe, interiors and exteriors, yin and yang, it is my belief we would have a much more holistic approach
to life in general, and accompanied with that, a wider array of knowledge. If I knew how my thought processes worked I would tweak them to work more
efficiently, effectively re-programming my brain circuitry. Instead, the vast majority of us tend to accept the way our brains work as they are,
oblivious to the dormant power inside every human brain.