Discussion Paper Week 1

Discussion Paper Week 1 - Discussion Paper from Ross Avilla...

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Discussion Paper from Ross Avilla Gergen (1973) brought up some great points about the weaknesses of social psychology (really all of psychology) as a science. The real problem with his arguments was that they did not actually discredit the scientific qualities of psychology, which was well pointed out by Schlenker(1974). However, I think Schlenker missed the big picture in all of this. It’s not so much a matter of whether psychology’s methods are scientifically inadequate or that psychological phenomenon is somehow less than deterministic and empirically understandable. The real problem lies in applicability; that’s where psychology, as a whole, falls far short of what Gergen called the “natural sciences”. I, of course, am not going to argue that psychological research isn’t applicable in the real world. I wouldn’t even be at UCD if I thought that. But it is easy to see that psychology, compared to the natural sciences, is remarkably incompetent when it comes to two very basic aspects of applicability—prediction and control. From the beginning of empirical observation and theory, science has proved itself to
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Discussion Paper Week 1 - Discussion Paper from Ross Avilla...

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