Monday, 12 March 2012

About psychology as a science

A little holiday from blogging. Not that it's been a holiday for me, I've just had a very busy weekend and it ended today with finishing my last coursework assignment before Easter. I still have work to do, but they are personal deadlines for my group project, rather than a clock ticking on our "assignment submission" page at the school website.

So now I'm going to relax for another hour or so, do a little bit of work and then enjoy watching Homeland with Steve. It's like 24, but with a female (slightly crazy) Jack Bauer. Speaking of TV, we finally finished watching Terra Nova a few days ago. We watched almost an entire season and then forgot the last two episodes on our TiVo box. It's a decent show if you like sci-fi (or dinosaurs), although it's obviously very alike most of the stuff that Spielberg does. If you want original characters, don't come here.

I was also sent an interesting link by Steve's brother-in-law about the dangers of pinning pictures on Pinterest. Apparently, in the Pinterest contract it says that everything that I upload is a property of Pinterest to do what they want with. This is slightly frightening and reminds me a lot about the big "Facebook owns my pictures"-scandal a few years ago. Then again, to me it feels like this is the danger with every social networking site.

I was pondering on a subject (an inner argument, between myself and myself) earlier today regarding psychology as a science, because I just had a lecture on qualitative methods in psychology. Ever since I started psychology the importance of rigorous testing, on finding scientific laws or law-like relationships, and how statistics prove the "truth" in the world. And today in my lecture I was told that this is all well and good for a science such as physics, but this is not the way that psychology works. People do not behave according to laws. Everything that we do is subjective. To me this is very difficult to grasp, and perhaps above all, I do not want to grasp it. It may surprise you (or not) to hear that I have several times been told that psychology is very "wishy-washy" and that it's too abstract. These times I've enjoyed laying out the very foundations of any experiments that I do, and how I actually prove things. You know, like Einstein and those guys. (My homies.) So to hear that I really need to take a step back from looking at numbers makes me feel like learning how to walk all over again.

That may have been the most boring paragraph in history for many of you, but it was just a small piece of a much bigger reflection that has been going on in my head today. For anyone who wishes to hear about more trivial matters - I have lots of buns that Steve's mom gave us last night and I'm certain that they need my attention.

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