From: Eugene Frison <cthulhu_calls.nul> Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2012 19:18:28 -0500 Archived: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 09:15:35 -0400 Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary >From: Cathy Reason <Cathym.nul> >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul> >Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2012 03:38:24 +0100 >Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary >>From: Eugene Frison <cthulhu_calls.nul> >>To: <post.nul> >>Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 10:45:04 -0500 >>Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary >>The research that is conducted in psychology is done according >>to the standards of the scientific method, using either >>qualitative or quantitative methods or both. It makes extensive >>use of induction, deduction, and abduction (the three modes of >>inference). It uses controlled experimentation in laboratories, >>observation in natural settings, computational modelling, and >>neuropsychological methods to name but a few. >Evidently your notion of the scientific method is something that >depends on a lot of complicated procedures and elaborate >constructions of logic. To me this involves a serious >misunderstanding about what science actually is - and unlike >you, I don't think all this is just a matter of opinion. Evidently you focused your attention on only a small portion of my list of methods used in psychological research. That must be how you read my remark above and concluded from it that I view the scientific method as depending on a lot of complicated procedures and elaborate constructions of logic. The above is simply a factual statement listing some of the various methods that psychological research uses. Several of these same methods are used in other sciences as well and are not exclusive to psychology. My remark is simply a short listing of methods used by science. Psychology uses them too, as it conforms to the standards of the scientific method. I don't think this is a matter of opinion. You can find out that it is fact - that psychology uses these methods during its approach if you realize there is more to psychology than Cognitivism. You can also find out that other fields of science use several of them too. This, without a whole lot of research on your part. Do you deny that science uses, let's say, induction or deduction at times in its approach? Do you deny that science ever uses controlled experimentation in the lab? Do you deny that science uses observation in natural settings at times? (Can you say Jane Goodall in her observations of gorillas?) Do you deny that psychology uses computational modelling, as do other sciences? Do you also deny that psychology uses neuropsychological methods? You seemed to be singing the praises of neuroscience toward the end of your previous post. Furthermore, psychology draws heavily on knowledge in other fields to explain problems in its own field that it is trying to understand. >The cornerstone of science is: You develop hypotheses and then >you test them. Without this, your elaborate methodological >rituals are no better than alchemy, and your reverence for logic >is just the modern equivalent of Medieval rationalism. That's what psychological researchers do too - develop hypotheses and test them. When other sciences use the above listed methods, it is science. Application of the scientific method! When psychology uses the same methods, it is "elaborate methodological ritual no better than alchemy" and the "modern equivalent of medieval rationalism." When neuropsychology uses techniques such as functional neuroimaging or transcranial magnetic stimulation to examine activity of the brain when a person is performing a task' or to change tiny parts of the brain to see what effect these areas have on mental activity, I guess it is not being empirical. The data accumulated should be tossed out because it is based on "elaborate constructions of logic." Not! >The sort of methodolatry which is prevalent in the social >sciences calls to mind the state of astronomy before the time of >Johannes Kepler. Astronomy was considered in the Middle Ages to >be one of the liberal arts - something which could be understood >entirely in terms of logic and esthetics. The modern notion of >astronomy as an empirical science would have been quite alien to >the medieval mind. It was originally alien to the mind of >Kepler, whose eventual abandonment of Medieval rationalism and >conversion to modern scientific empiricism can be regarded as >the beginning of astronomy as a true science. I think I spoke too soon when I said you displayed a deep understanding of how psychological researchers proceed. They also use empirical methods. You clearly can't get past your view that psychology is nothing but Cognitivism. Use of statistics is not infallible but used in science. Meta- analysis improves things. Being aware of 'publication bias' and of the "file drawer effect" - if taken into account - allows for falsification. (When the number of experiments producing negative results reaches such a degree as to seriously outnumber experiments producing positive results.) To say that this doesn't happen in psychology is indefensible. Operationalism is not the demon you make it out to be. It is used in other sciences, particularly in the medical and physical sciences. Here it is used to preserve the unambiguous empirical testibility of hypothesis and theory. It too is not infallible; it has its limitations which are understood. (Operational definitions, or functional definitions, cannot refer to a historical event or they are disqualified as being an operational definition because of the event not being repeatable.) Your remark that neuroscience has produced data during the past thirty years that invalidates the notion that human perception is inaccurate is just wrong. It may have invalidated some cognitive assumptions but certainly not this one. This one has so much backing it up that it's solid. Human vision is a grand illusion and, as Jay Ingram says in his book entitled Theatre of the Mind (in Chapter Six, The Grand Illusion), "If you want to keep believing in your visual prowess, then it's a grand _delusion_." You might also want to read that chapter and find out about some psychological experiments that certainly weren't of the "elaborate methodological ritual no better than alchemy" or the "modern equivalent of medieval rationalism" type. And, yes, these _empirical_ experiments were performed by psychologists. Imagine that! Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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