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The Psych deals with person as person: psychology entails understanding the underlying mechanisms in which produce human behavior, consciousness, perception, and sensation. The goal of psychology is to understand why humans respond to external or internal stimuli in a particular way. Many psychologists would agree that "research takes place within the context of Philosophy (Nemeroff & Craighead, 2004, p.750). There are various disciplines within the field of psychology including biological psychology, neuropsychology,social psychology, and physiological psychology that attempts to answer why humans behavior the way they do? It has less to do with the spiritual aspect of human behavior & nature. How can Psychology be considered a science when it deals also with that which is not scientific: i.e. behavior ? My understanding is that their are subdivisions of psychology that attempt to explain human phenomena and conscious aware that humans are innately are born inherited. It takes vigorous testing and experimentation in attempt to explain human behavior and our ability to consciously aware of ourselves(conscious X^2)(Carlson,2003). In addition to understanding the complexity of human behavior; psychology also attempts to understand abnormal behavior through observation,experimental, and bio-psychological psychology. Also, psychology seeks to find therapeutic interventions in which help ameliorate those that suffer from mental illness. Vigorous research and experimentation is conducted in order to find clinical interventions that enable individuals to successfully cope with their psychology/psychiatric disorder(s). It is worthy are psychology and psychiatry are intertwined; meaning that you most psychological illness are related to same physiological or neurochemical abnormalities (Craighead & Nemeroff,2004). Therefore, mental health treatments should include both psychiatric treatments in adjunct with psychological interventions. (. (I.e. I understand it to be scientific only in its relation to studying mental functions (the neurological, aspect, the brain etc.) while I would leave the study of behavior to a different paradigm) Thanks. Alan347 (talk) 19:19, 3 June 2010 (UTC) Please i'm not so sure of this.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:31, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

The scientific method can be used as long as you are able to measure/quantify what you're studying. Behaviour can be measured, meaning that the scientific method can be applied to it. Zorander22 (talk) 15:43, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

The scientific method is a tool often used while performing science. Use of the scientific method does not make something a science though. Let me give an example:

Ask a Question: Do the number of babies born with a particular astrological sign control gay rights during that year?


Babies born during 2003

      Aries    334,893   8.19%
     Taurus    347,647   8.50%
     Gemini    348,053   8.51%
     Cancer    342,726   8.38%
        Leo    381,064   9.32%
      Virgo    363,278   8.88%
      Libra    349,643   8.55%
    Scorpio    345,045   8.44%
Sagittarius    312,977   7.65%
  Capricorn    314,750   7.70%
   Aquarius    327,456   8.01%
     Pisces    322,418   7.88%

      Total  4,089,950 100.00%

Same sex ruling says that anti-same-sex marriage laws are unconstitutional in Massachusetts.

Hypothesis: From the data it appears that a higher birth rate of Leos causes better same-sex civil rights.

Report: I am reporting this to you.

Retest: You are free to retest my results with your own data.

^ This doesn't mean that astrology is a science, even though it uses the scientific method. I haven't seen anything that convinces me that psychology meets the definition of science. (talk) 18:06, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Although I attempted to explain why your example is horribly flawed and would never be considered scientific by either psychologists or any other scientist, the talk page of wikipedia articles is not for philosophical debates. Please keep comments related to the content of the article. -Nicktalk 21:21, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand; so every books are wrong when they says that is a science? ps: as soon as possible i will write the title of these manuals (if if it is not against the rules, but I don't think so) Psico pp (talk) 11:12, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Psychology is not an absolutely a science. Wikipedia's definition of a science is a systematic way of building and organizing knowledge in testable ways. If you have ever done psychological research you would know this is a valid definition. However, the third variable is a common confound in psychology and that is why most research is correlational not causation. However, the same can be said of many physical science paradigms such as the theory of electron orbitals or evolution. Those things can't be "proven" but are the fields that study them any less scientific? I say no and I say psychology is a science. * This is my first post ever so I hope I didn't step on any toes (noob :) ) Zzaffuto118 (talk) 20:29, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

There is a ton of experimental research in psychology. It's not the case that most of it is correlational. The difficulty of clean measurement in behavioral science has made it one of the most rigorous fields there are. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:25, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

I think it`s im important to note somewhere, best the beginning, that the question if psychology really is science is debated, could f.e. be used as a source. I disagree with the poster above saying things that cant be proven are still scientific, first of all, the examples are very questionable, e.g. i do no understand the problem with electron orbitals, since they are simply the solution to the Schrödingerequation and that they are is mathematically proveable. Also orbitals can be shown experimentally via effects concerning them. The evolution example also doesn`t work either, since it`s a scientific theory, that is based on fossil evidence but still is not considered the "whole truth", just think of the relativley new field of epigenetics, proving how classical evolution theory was wrong in some regards (there is an influence of the enviroment on genes of a human an this influence can be inherited. Well I´m not saying the article should say that it is not a science, though one can very well argue that, since beeing able to prove something is highly important and even some physic fields-like string theory- have to make a hard point arguing they are still science,smth may be proveable in a specific mathematical set up but it may very well never be proveable that this set up really discribes realtiy. Therefore I would say that the article shouldn`t call it science or not, but should mention the debate about it. I find this especially important since psychologist are described as "social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist" in the beginning. Can a homeopath also call himself a scientist? OK, there is a differnce in plausibility since homeopathy has none, though again debatable for some psychological ideas, but both share the common ground that physical evidence can not be given, though in psychologys case with advanced techniques and biological and physical knowhow it may very well be prooveable some day. One can argue that is the day it truely science. But this is not soemthing that should be included in an wikipedia, the existing debate about science or not is in my opinion. TP (talk) 15:47, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

This is a pretty poor argument. Lets start with the definition of Science from a dictionary (oxford dictionary).

"The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment:"

As you can see, branches of Psychology that do not study the physical world are not science at all. That leaves us with the parts of psychology that are quantitative, such as mice going through mazes (quantitative psychology) and neuro-psychology. In order to follow the scientific method, all observations must be objective. A confidence interval for statistical analysis must reasonably exceed chance (to the minimum requirement of 3 standard deviations) to be scientific (objective). Psychology fails here, with no observations over 95% CI (two standard deviations). So, psychology sits between gay conversion therapy (not science) and psycho-biological dysfunction (pseudoscience). As long as Psychology contains not-science at all, it's probably wrong to call the whole "science" anyway. A better choice is to call it simply a "social science where appropriate". Flyingducks (talk) 10:49, 21 August 2014 (UTC)


Shouldn't psychology be labelled a pseudoscience rather than a science? (talk) 16:32, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

I can't tell if you are trolling or being serious, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt here, but will keep it brief. The answer to your question is no. Psychology is a basic and applied behavioral science. It is a mainstream scientific discipline studied at most if not all of the major world universities. Psychologists are often some of the strongest critics of pseudo-scientific thinking. There were incorrect and even bizarre ideas claimed early in the discipline's history, but that is the case in the history of nearly all sciences. A scientific discipline can be recognized by whether or not incorrect ideas are retained or scrapped when they are challenged by evidence. Psychology has unequivocally sided with the latter. Osubuckeyeguy (talk) 22:32, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Psychology should be labeled as pseudo-science unless references to scientific confirmation of all its subtheories are provided. In particular, the article cites dream interpretation as part of the "science". Please provide a reference to falsifiable evidence supporting that theory. Adam Sikora (talk) 07:05, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
The article appears to mention no universally accepted psychological facts or laws and refers to six quite distinct "schools". This is quite different from the situation in most sciences where there is a consensus over the main body of facts and laws and disagreement only over details. Isn't this closer to the situation in astrology and alternative medicine than that in astronomy and biology? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:47, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
See psychophysics for examples of scaling laws. See string theory for counter-examples to your claims about scientific consensus. Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 15:12, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Schools of psychology were simply different ways of thinking about what the "mind" is (a topic too abstract for any science to achieve consensus). You'll notice they are a part of the History section. The actual scientific findings of psychology are too numerous to mention in one place, which is why there is a list of sub-fields of psychology. Within those articles are hundreds of examples of consistently and scientifically observed psychological principles and effects. Keep in mind that unlike biology, chemistry and physics, psychology's primary interests involve the thoughts feelings and behaviors of humans, which are wildly inconsistent.-Nicktalk 17:00, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
In fact, since the comparison was made between psychology and physics, I went and looked at that page. I don't see a list of universally accepted facts of physics there either. For those of that know at least some physics, I do see pointers towards, and mention of, accepted physical facts, such as E = mc2 (in the box at the top), lightning is an electric current, etc (actually, many of the best examples are in the figure captions). Similarly, when those who know at least some psychology look at the main text of the psychology article, they will see things like Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the stages of memory, etc. These are generally agreed upon principles within their domains of psychology. The complaint about domains is no more relevant here than it is in physics: In the same way that physics can be broken down into many sub-fields, with distinct areas of investigation and distinct methods, psychology can (and should) also be broken down into distinct sub-fields, with distinct areas of investigation and methods. In the case of psychology, these sub-fields are also generally tied to different historical antecedents, so Schwnj's comments above are correct. And, as in physics, the links between certain concepts within different subfields are still unclear. Certain phenomena like wave/particle duality (not to pretend for a second that *that's* completely settled!) within physics fit within quantum mechanics, but are also believed to be linked to cosmological phenomena at the largest levels. However, there is no grand unified theory (GUT) and so the findings are not entirely integrated. Similarly, questions of self-fulfillment and personality are appropriate to discuss within certain time-scales and certain frameworks of the individual's mental life. Other things, like how people remember and forget are appropriate within a cognitive framework. Psychologists believe in some way that the two are related (for example, cognitive dissonance, wherein someone's memory is retrospectively colored by the choices they've made), but we are similarly far from a single psychological GUT. In the Kuhn/Popper vein, the key thing is experimental methods that permit falsifiability, and cumulative knowledge base. In this respect, psychology is no less a science than other fields. This is one place where psychology has made great progress in the past 50 years; the quantification of behavior. However, the complexity of the phenomena in question makes it substantially more difficult to run a single experiment that will completely and utterly falsify a particular theory. Despite these challenges, psychology, through the use of repeated experimentation, replication and linkages with other domains (like neuroscience and genetics) has built a large body of agreed upon facts, a larger body of agreed upon phenomena with more controversial interpretations, and an even larger set of research questions. Given that Popper and Kuhn were writing more than 40 years ago, their opinions of psychology at the time do not necessarily reflect the current state of psychology today - bearing in mind that psychology has been around as a topic of investigation for about 120 years, maybe 150 years max, this means that a substantial proportion of the history of psychology has occurred after these classic philosophers of science wrote anything about psychology. Edhubbard (talk) 17:46, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
One of my lecturers (in history and philosophy of science: distinguishing science from pseudoscience) made the argument that psychology exhibits characteristics of pseudoscience. One the the examples he used was EMDR and cited Popper's and Bunge's criterion for distinguishing science from pseudoscience. Critically, EMDR adherents (typically psychologists) use ad hoc maneuvers to avoid refutation and continue to practice it despite its failure in empirical testing.[1] "From this Popperian [3] perspective, Herbert et al. (2000) have accused Francine Shapiro and other EMDR advocates of practicing pseudoscience. According to these critics, EMDR mavens do not behave like real scientists, who, according to Popperian dogma, derive bold conjectures from their theories and then relentlessly seek theoretical refutation by exposing these conjectures to risky empirical tests." According to McNally, EMDR (and many other what he calls "wacky therapies") continues to be advocated and used by those with Ph.Ds in clinical psychology despite lack of empirical validation. If EMDR remains popular with clinical psychologists (in clinical training and practice) and clinical psychology is a paradigmatic subfield of psychology. Then, some parts of psychology exhibits characteristics of pseudoscience. This is based on the premise the psychology is defined by what psychologists do. After setting up this argument the lecturer admitted that the term pseudoscience in clinical psychology is inflammatory and hotly debated (see Richard NcNally's article: [2]). Returning the to EMDR example, even if pseudoscience is often practiced in clinical psychology and promoted by those with Ph.Ds in clinical psychology it does not necessarily make psychology a pseudoscience. The term pseudoscience is thrown around in debate over sociobiology and evolutionary psychology to dismiss opponent theories. It really does not add much to the debate there except to raise emotions which is a logical fallacy by itself. Similarly, calling psychology or one of its subfields or theories pseudoscientific adds little to the debate. Its little more than emotive name-calling. NcNally argues that rather than dismissing a theory or practice as pseudoscience (or an individual theorist as pseudoscientist), we should ask its adherents, How do you know it works? What is the empirical evidence for it? ----Action potential talkcontribs 08:54, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
This seems more trolling/political than completely earnest. Most people label psychology a science or social science, so it would be uncharacteristically aggressive to label at pseudoscience. But I strongly believe the Criticisms section should make the case for psychology being a pseudoscience much stronger. The issue is not that hypothesis tests get misused, for example. Criticisms run much deeper than that and the article fails to reflect that. E.g. the use of hypothesis testing at all as taught to doctoral students is controversial to anyone who knows math or stat. (talk) 17:59, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

(undent) AP, your comments made me think of two books that I like quite a lot by Michael Shermer, The Borderlands of Science and Why People Believe Weird Things. In WPBWT he talks about the famous N ray example, and how people within physics believed that a new form of radiation had been identified for a period. He describes many of the things that made N rays somewhat questionable, what made smart people believe them, and how eventually they were shown to not exist. I think that the lesson here is not that a scientific enterprise never has a dead-end (even one believed by many people) but rather that there is a method for eventually replicating and verifying results from a field, and failing that, to purge them from the field. Physics has its stories like the N rays, or more recently, failed attempts at cold fusion, but nobody takes such false starts and says, "physics isn't a science!" because of them. Somehow, people seem much more willing to suggest that psychology isn't a science because of false starts like EMDR and the fact that a group of clinicians refuse to accept the evidence against it. Edhubbard (talk) 10:12, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

I think that many people are willing to suggest that psychology is not a science due to significant differences in the practice and practical tools that psychology has produced in comparison to sciences such as physics and chemistry. There is not a single profound or remarkably useful tool that psychology has produced, and those who identify as psychologists have fantastic disagreements as to basic definitions used in the discipline. The evidence for, and the practical uses of, modern psychological tools is not on the level of a nuclear reactor, photovoltaic cells, differential equations, or an internal combustion engine; it is on the level of herbal medicine: there may be significant effects, but those researching them do not possess the mathematical models or computational tools to provide proof as to the causation of any observed effects. (talk) 14:21, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm coming into this conversation a bit late, but I'm in the middle. I agree with the general consensus that calling psychology in blanket form a pseudo-science is too aggressive. But I think the criticisms section does a nice job of noting the weaknesses of psychology, even vis-a-vis other fields, and of course there has been some discussion of this now in the literature (e.g. Simmons et al., 2011) as well. I think though, the willingness of psychologists themselves to discuss weaknesses in their field sets it aside from pseudo-science. I think that's why we have the designation of "soft science" or "social science"...its distinct from the "hard sciences" but not blatantly pseudo-scientific either. Avalongod (talk) 16:17, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

All major orginizations consider psychology a science! Leavesteps789 (talk) 04:14, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

There has been some recently published research indicating psychology may in fact have some of the hallmarks of a pseudoscience, I would strongly consider adding to Category:Pseudoscience if this can be confirmed on a larger scale. 3AlarmLampscooter (talk) 06:32, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
That's a horrible misunderstanding and misapplication of an article that primarily focuses on (a) the relationships between p-value, effect size, and sample size especially in smaller studies and (b) publication bias favoring studies with larger (and perhaps overestimated) effect sizes. ElKevbo (talk) 08:33, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I can't argue there is anything close L. Ron Hubbard levels of pseudoscience occurring, but I think (a) and (b) taken together reflect poorly on the scientific integrity of the field. 3AlarmLampscooter (talk) 16:54, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

The American Psychological Association is the largest and oldest Psychology body, yet it refuses to discipline it's members who participate in torture, nor discipline psychology institutions engaged in torture. Psychiatry has also been accused of systemic torture by the UN. Psychology still supports gay conversion therapy, a concept legitimatized by certain religious groups. While one could argue the organizations themselves are corrupt, Psychology itself is not a member of the Natural Sciences, and yet all reputable dictionaries define Science as "the study of the natural world". If Psychology identifies itself as a "Hard Science" instead of a "Soft Science"; isn't that the difference between Economics and Creationism? Just a few thoughts. --Flyingducks (talk) 07:47, 18 October 2014 (UTC)


Craighead,W.E. & Nemeroff, C.B(2004) The concise corsini encyclopedia of psychology and behavioral science(3rd):NY.NY.John Wiley and Sons. Just to let you know I made some changes that I thought would be helpful in completing this assignment;

Possible copyright problem[edit]

This article has been revised as part of a large-scale clean-up project of multiple article copyright infringement. (See the investigation subpage) Earlier text must not be restored, unless it can be verified to be free of infringement. For legal reasons, Wikipedia cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or printed material; such additions must be deleted. Contributors may use sources as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously. Diannaa (talk) 02:03, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Replication Crisis[edit]

I wonder, perhaps in the section on criticism, if there ought not be some discussion of the replication crisis issue in psychology? See some of the recent furor over the special edition of the journal Social Psychology on replication studies (most of the furor appears to be regarding just one of those studies).

Do psychologist separate the psychopaths and the people who feel emotion in their studies?[edit]

Do psychologist separate the psychopaths and the people who feel emotion in their studies? Psychopaths would greatly skew most psychological studies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:33, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Psychopaths represent about 4% of men and 1% of women so it's unlikely they would have much impact on any given study. And, as they are part of the population, eliminating them would be MORE biasing rather than less, as this would result in a sample less representative of the population rather than more. StoneProphet11 (talk) 20:42, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Who is interested in improving this article to a good article?[edit]

Hi, everyone,

I've been watching this article for a while, and have brought one article about psychology, IQ classification, up to good article status (which seemed to give that article a big boost in page views along the way), so now I'm curious who would like to join in on an effort to improve this Psychology article to good article status (it is currently rated B class) by improving the sourcing and tightening up the editing? I see that this article was nominated as a featured article way back in 2007, but didn't meet the featured article criteria then. It has improved a lot meanwhile, but it seems this article has not been submitted for peer review or otherwise looked at as a whole for a long time. I'd be happy to work collaboratively with other editors to improve this article until it is designated a good article, and then beyond that to improve it more until it becomes a featured article. Who else is interested in fixing up this article? -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 14:52, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

I'll begin by working off-wiki to exhaustively gather all the inline article references to a list of named references and a bibliography arranged by main entry (usually author) with complete citation templates. That may take me the better of this month, but I'll try to make other changes along the way. Your suggestions of aspects of this article to improve are encouraged. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 19:37, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm happy to help with this but don't want to get in your way. Maybe I can jump in with some sources after you've gone through your major revisions. (One thing that stands out to me, is how quickly we're jumping from Aristotle and Hippocrates to Wilhelm Wundt in 1879.) Do you envision keeping the article's current structure? ☮ groupuscule (talk) 23:30, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for checking in. I think at first I will have no particular plan, and may not commit any edits to the article for a while except purely copy-edit kinds of minor changes in text and updating the article bibliography to gather all the sources together. That alone may take me all the rest of this month, so I don't expect radical changes to the article from my keyboard any time soon. But it's good to hear other editors are interested in this. Recently English language is benefiting from a big wave of changes by other editors who are quite knowledgeable about that topic, and if collecting sources here prompts the same thing to happen on this article, I'll be glad for someone else to get the credit for the article improvements. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 00:31, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Thoughts so far.
  • The history section is big, but then again I suppose in an a body of knowledge unfolding over time most of its contents fall under "history". That being said, would it be reasonable to consider some reorganization which moves some material from the history section to their own sections or subsections elsewhere? For example, the paragraphs about humanistic, existential (now grouped together as existential–humanistic, which is not unjustified based on the sources), and psychoanalytic psychology, could possibly lives elsewhere.
  • Which brings me to my next point, that the "Subfields" category is clunky and disjointed, and includes subsections that feel quite different in type. Is "Biological" really of the same type as "Educational and School"? Tentative proposal: create one category for major disciplinary divisions—say, biological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, social—and creating a new section called "Applications" which describes, more exhaustively, perhaps not in list form, uses of psychology: school, workplace, military, advertising, positive/self-help, etc. "Developmental" and "Clinical" are sort of borderline between the two, but I think it would be worth it for clarity and readability to make the division. ("Evolutionary" mostly folds into "Cognitive" and "Social".)
  • Final question: why is Psychology "not to be confused with" Psychiatry? Is not psychiatry an—if not the—essential application of psychology? (See Clinical_psychology#Comparison with other mental health professions#Psychiatry.) It's an honest question but either way this topic should be more carefully elaborated here.
salaam, groupuscule (talk) 21:53, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Groupuscule, for joining the discussion. I was just about to ask, noting your helpful edits to the article, if you and @Flyer22: are both interested in massively improving this article. (I've seen the work of both of you, as I recall, on other articles related to psychology topics.) Over on English language, I wanted to promote improvement of that article to good article status, and what eventually happened is that first one, then two, and now three editors are actively updating article content, while I mostly exhaustively check and verify all the references in the article. I have good dead-tree library access both through my local public library system (which has vast holdings and provides interlibrary loan service that reaches my whole state) and from my alma mater university library across town, and I have good access to online reference sources through Wikipedia Library subscriptions to databases. In other words, if other Wikipedians are happy with doing rewriting and discussion of article improvements collaboratively, I'm very happy to do cite-checking and fussy templating of references and the like. Does that sound good to you? This article gets plenty of page views and thus well deserves a top-to-bottom reading (which you have evidently given it) and rewriting that considers the topic of psychology as a whole. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 00:13, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
WeijiBaikeBianji, thanks for the invite. I thought about commenting in this discussion earlier today, but I decided not to because I'm not interested in devoting much time to this article. The article is of interest to me, which is why I have it WP:Watchlisted, but, for now, I'm more interested in helping out with smaller things regarding it (such as tweaking things and reverting vandalism or other unconstructive edits). Flyer22 (talk) 00:19, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Salut, Flyer. Appreciate your edits. W.B.B.: Though "massively" is a strong word, I think, with support, I could undertake a reorganization along the lines proposed above—maybe in a week or so. The question is how much can be taken apart and put back together in one go. Probably a lot, actually, due to the modular nature of the existing article. Regarding reference templating, I would actually caution against doing this, especially big articles such as this one, since number of templates used has a substantial effect on page load time. (There's a discussion of this phenomenon out there on the wiki somewhere but i.r.d.k. where it is right now.) Either of you, or anyone reading, might help in advance by recommending quality sources which provide a well reasoned taxonomy of the field of "Psychology". (Refer to Outline of psychology to see a more sophisticated schema than we currently have on this page.) "English language" looks great, by the way. It flows a lot better and is easier to read. But I'm still searching for that definitive explanation of why English beat out Esperanto as the world language ;-) groupuscule (talk) 17:26, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Groupuscule, first of all, thanks for the tip on what to add to the English language article. I think I already have some sources at hand that will help answer that question. Flyer22, I know you are busy with lots of articles, but watching definitely helps, and so I'm sure the rewriting here will be done with good oversight. I agree with the idea of identifying some sources that give the broad overview of psychology so that the article here represents the field as a whole. I'll mention here (have I mentioned it before?) my source list that began as a list of sources on human intelligence but which is now growing to be a general source list about psychology. I have books in my office that haven't been added to the source list yet, but you'll see there a citation of a massive multivolume handbook (or two, or three) about psychology in general that should be useful for updating this article. As the big push on updating English language finishes up by the end of March 2015, I should be able to find space in my office to cram in even more books about psychology than the dozens I already own. And I know some psychologists around the country from meetings at profesional conferences whom I could ask to give suggestions about what to improve in this article. Meanwhile, feel free to have at a first round of restructuring the article. I'll keep copying-and-pasting the current state of this article to an off-wiki draft was the edits proceed. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 21:37, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

psycho/dynamics/defence mechananisms/fight flight[edit]

stan m. so. ca ,usa,nentaly disabled 40 yrs,history of suicide attepts,have been delutional and hospitized ion medical ward ward ,neuroly ward ,not knowing exact ly what happent after bang head and being uncconcious,after taking mixing anxiety meds that i later found dont mix 5 meds neurontin, vistaril,buspar and atavan ,buspar didnt work before more then a few weeks taking it, benzodiazipine worked before, take clono pin now waiting to see new pychologist,spl,.feed back about zyprexa and clonopine in shizo and hypomania?forget ,educated phd,phych. md student case work subject ,feedback. 34 units comunity college phych 101, and pych 2 human sexuality 1977,otherwise lamen ,went to tech school for xratech after daughter was bornfor5weeks,did well ,relationship crisis daughters mother first daughter from hell 10 yr old i knnew for 4 yrs catastropy for lack of a better word gone home ,pych hosptal the rehab flyer daughter 19 yrs taught and followed her in az after five yrs,shes great a dear to me .ect,mother90 greaving lose of significant other he died last week or ten day ,?,.pos. relationships both difficult ,now. not tomorrow everything will be ok,theres good to have in my life and mine in therss.trying to cover all bases,withalot going on and disabilty.just me not pro thinkers,feedback i feel/know would help, feel raw so i'll end here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:57, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the post, Stan. Sounds like there are a lot of difficult things in your life, but you have perspective and the ability to communicate about them. Do you have any thoughts about how Wikipedia covers "Psychology" and related topics? Our discussion here mostly deals with how to improve these encyclopedia articles. peace & blessings, groupuscule (talk) 16:37, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Tentative outline for revisions[edit]

At Talk:Psychology/Outline, interested editors will find a tentative and incomplete outline, for a revised structure of the article. The most significant changes envisioned are:

  • Split Subfields into Major schools of thought and Applications.
  • Move material on 20th century schools of thought from History section into appropriate subsections (of the two sections described above); possibly replace with material on disciplinary growth in the 20th century. (Best article to reference, not History of psychology, weak after 1920, but Timeline of psychology#Twentieth century.)
  • Add sections: Disciplinary organization, Interdisciplinary connections, and maybe others.

Astute readers will notice that the outline contains many question marks, indicating that I have many questions about how things should be laid out. Feel free to edit the outline with additions of essential or possible material to include. Or to discuss here. aloha, groupuscule (talk) 02:24, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Thank you. That's a good framework for further discussion. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 02:45, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
no problem ;-) ~g

Okay rather than just tear up the mainspace page, I created a draft at Talk:Psychology/Draft. I think this will give us a little more freedom to really reconstruct the article. The story so far: "Schools of Thought" section created out of "History" section; relevant "Subdisciplines" merged; remaining "Subdisciplines" split between "Themes" (trans-disciplinary topics of interest) and "Applications"; all mostly conserving the existing text. The Criticism section has undergone the most changes, especially a deep cut of the "replication crisis" material, which moves to a page someone already created called replication crisis.

This is only the beginning. Maybe "Research" section can come down a bit, with material moving into Psychological research. Plenty of work to be done now in creating continuity, and emphasizing the most important information, in the new Franken-sections. And, as described in the Outline, there is important material that needs to come in. For now the article is still a good amount shorter than Cold War (52223 characters > 82113 characters). A lot of curatorial decisions will have to be made; i.m.o. the goal should be not only to provide an index of psychology concepts/articles (there's already at least two others for that) but also to provide readable overview-level ideas. (E.g., don't just list the subfields of behavioral and cognitive psychology, but explain how they relate to each other.) Please feel free to jump in on the draft page—or to instruct the groupuscule regarding what you think should happen. ψ groupuscule (talk) 08:47, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Watchlisted. Cool. ☺ I just picked up some new sources about psychology in general the other day--a psychology professor was cleaning out his office and I was able to bring home some of his reference books. This week will mostly be wrap-up of fixing English language, but now it looks like fixing Psychology (which, on the whole, started out in better shape) will be a good project to turn to. Keep up the good work. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 12:41, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

With the latest set of revisions, I think the draft version of the article could soon be committed to mainspace. There are heaps and heaps more work to be done but I think that major structural revisions have reached a good 'save point'. Some of the material, including some stuff just added, may still get carted off to the relevant sub-articles, especially Psychological research and Applied psychology. A lead rewrite is in order as well, but it's been in order for a long time, and doesn't have to be simultaneous with the structural changes.

WeijiBaikeBianji, Flyer22, your thoughts? DrSocPsych, Sundayclose, I would value your comments as well. I have started to define "biological psychology" a little more carefully but not done much yet with the psychoanalysis proper section. I did notice that one of the reasons psychoanalysis initially had a good reputation in the USSR (according to Alex Kozulin) was that it was considered a more physiological approach, as compared to bourgeois Americanist introspectionism.

Regarding the new material, I am trying hard to give international perspective. The biggest problem I'm facing is that to do so, one has to recount developments country by country, which quickly gets byte-consuming. Yet (as I was at first a bit surprised to find) this is how most of the relevant literature does it: country by country. The material in the "Institutions" section is an exception and for this reason it was much easier to write and organize. So right now the article is long on history, focusing on the biggest countries and those with, seemingly, the best-established disciplines. And it's still pretty US-centric, very especially under "Applications". Ideas, suggestions, or sources on this particular issue would be most appreciated. Happy Easter, groupuscule (talk) 16:42, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

This is all sounding very thoughtful. I'm putting in a push this evening to finish updating some sections of English language, then I can turn this week to giving this article the attention it deserves now that you are putting so much work into improving it. More comments to follow in a few days. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 22:09, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
Good job. A big part of my reading today will be looking carefully at both the outline and the draft for new revisions of this article. Thanks for getting both of those out of the starting blocks. While I read and digest, I'll mention here an online site, Noba Project, which has free articles about psychology topics written and recommended by actual professional psychology researchers. I think that site will be a good guide to us about what to emphasize in this article and how to keep things clear for readers new to the topic. Keep up the good work; more comments to follow. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 13:09, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you very much for all your positivity and encouragement. You might correctly infer from the section on mental testing that I dipped into your thorough and well-organized bibliographies. Though frankly the section is not well-balanced now. There's so much material I just had to cut it short where I was and anticipate revisions—maybe some of which will be done by you. Also it's pretty funny how the series of events which brought us to this situation are actually a perfect example of the (briefly mentioned in the article) phenomenon of goal contagion. ;-) groupuscule (talk) 13:33, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
I've been reading the draft, which I am treating as the definitive place to work on updates for this article. I've been gathering articles from the massive new Elsevier encyclopedia that includes psychology among its topics, and that will be a treasure trove of references, not to mention a fine example of encyclopedic treatment of all the major subtopics of psychology. More to follow in a day or so on the draft page. Keep up the good work. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 23:24, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Just to let you and onlookers know what I've been doing with your good ideas, groupuscule, I've been looking up a treasure trove of encyclopedic reference books I have access to either through the Wikipedia Library or through the dead-tree libraries in my town. Just typing out the bibliographic references, even with some automated help, will take a few days. I'll put those in the article draft you are already keeping. The huge second edition of the Elsevier multivolume encyclopedia of social science was just published online, so we will have access to lots of 2015 articles on all aspects of psychology. The Wikipedia article English language just went to good article status today, so now I can devote more time over here to help with doing the same for psychology. I look forward to collaborating with all interested editors in reaching the goal of improving this article to formally recognized good article status and then featured article status. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 20:45, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Aloha WeijiBaikeBianji. Unless you think major structural changes are needed, I'd like to commit this version to article space and proceed from there. It's presentable, at present, and I think it only improves on the status quo. We can move the many excellent sources you added from "Further Reading" to "Sources" as we use them—rather than committing to using all of them before we go live with the draft. Yes, there are still sections that could be added, but realistically I can't do them all right now, and they can be added discretely later on. (Also, I still feel we should avoid using too many templates, especially in such a huge article, because of their effect on article load time. But it's not an urgent issue.) Big congrats on your achievement at English language. groupuscule (talk) 16:02, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
That sounds fine by me. I'd hate to discourage initiative by someone doing a lot of work on improving an article. I'm still up to my neck in new sources to add to my bibliographies, and gradually to article text here and there on Wikipedia. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 17:02, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Righteous. I went ahead with that and neutralized the draft page. Not done working on this article by any means but it might be awhile before I make any more big revisions or additions. groupuscule (talk) 18:38, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Freud not a psychologist[edit]

Freud was not a psychologist. He was a neurologist, psychotherapist, and psychoanalyst. This article mentions Freud as a psychologist. PolisherofCobwebs refuted the claim that Freud was a psychologist on simple English wikipedia. He's been removed from the psychologist and psychiatrist categories on this wikipedia, the English one, and the Irish one. He should not be referred to as a psychologist. "As a qualified doctor working with subjects suffering psychological problems he was both a psychologist and psychiatrist." Sorry, but that's simply wrong. Working with people suffering from psychological problems doesn't make anyone a psychologist; it makes someone, if anything, a psychotherapist. Psychology and psychotherapy are not the same thing, and neither one of them is the same as psychiatry or psychoanalysis. If this article makes elementary confusions of that kind, then it is serving its readers very poorly. The fact that people may expect to see Freud categorized as a psychologist doesn't mean that he should be. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 07:04, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Interesting comment. Can you clarify further? By what definition of "psychologist" was Freud not one? Some sources may not call him a psychologist, but many do. groupuscule (talk) 19:53, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
This section was begun several years ago, but I'm glad someone has responded. It's quite obvious if you read Sigmund Freud's article that his training was in medicine. Although there is overlap between medical practitioners (today that would be psychiatrists) and psychological practitioners (psychologists), they are far from identical in both training and methods. Using today's nomenclature Freud would be considered a neurologist and a psychiatrist, but not a psychologist. Even in Freud's time he did not have the training that the field of psychology would have considered sufficient to call him a psychologist. Compare Freud's education and training with his contemporaries G. Stanley Hall, Edward Thorndike, and James McKeen Cattell, who in fact were psychologists. The article also identifies Josef Breuer and Alfred Adler, both physicians, as psychologists. The idea that anyone who studies psychology is a psychologist is absurd. Sundayclose (talk) 20:16, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I see your point. Maybe you would like to make some edits to the draft for the new version, linked above? I think "Psychoanalysis" itself is clearly an important part of "Psychology", but it probably would be appropriate to clarify the backgrounds of the early psychoanalysts. groupuscule (talk) 20:27, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
A good start would be to simply identify physicians as physicians instead of psychologists. I would go ahead and do that except I don't won't to jump the gun if differing opinions are expressed here. I'd say let's give it a week or two, although I would have no objections if someone wants to be bold and make the changes immediately. Sundayclose (talk) 20:41, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree, and have taken the first bold step. Feel free to argue for an alternative way to clarify this, or to argue for a different approach. DrSocPsych (talk) 21:56, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Because absolutely every English-language textbook about psychology published in my lifetime has mentioned Sigmund Freud, he will surely have to be mentioned in this article, and it seems to me that as we gather sources and read them thoroughly we will observe how those sources describe Freud, and thus resolve this issue amicably and collaboratively. Freud's work is part of the subject matter of psychology (or, at least, history of psychology) whether or not Freud would gain the job title "psychologist" today. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 20:50, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 July 2015[edit]

Jacob Levy Moreno also had been influenced for existencial ideas from authors such as Søren Kierkegaard and Henri Bergson on his work with psychodrama. Reference: Moreno, J. L. (1946) Psychodrama Volume 1. Beacon House. Tiago M. Peixoto (talk) 23:58, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

This article is a very general overview of the substantial field of psychology and doesn't delve into such specifics. You might discuss on the talk page for Psychodrama. Sundayclose (talk) 02:06, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Where is the criticism section?[edit]

As with any other major article I would expect to find a section on criticism, it is missing from this page yet appears to have been an element of the content on previous revisions. (talk) 17:50, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Criticism sections are strongly discouraged on Wikipedia because they attract excessive additions in violation of WP:WEIGHT; see WP:Criticism#Avoid sections and articles focusing on criticisms or controversies. The criticisms in the "previous revisions" to which you refer were not removed from the article. Instead they were integrated into other sections, which is much preferred to criticism sections. Sundayclose (talk) 02:00, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

The Internet and cats[edit]

Please swing by and help improve this new article! :D--Coin945 (talk) 03:30, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 7 December 2015[edit]

Area of edit: History, Beginning of Experimental Psychology, "Fechner's 1950 Elements of Psychophysics challenged Kant's stricture against quantitative study of the mind." Suggested Edit: Fechner's 1860 Elements of Psychophysicschallenged Kant's stricture against quantitative study of the mind. Rationale: Fechner published Elements of Psychophysics in 1860 not, as the article states, 1950. Citation: Rubyring17 (talk) 00:02, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks for pointing this out! Sundayclose (talk) 00:28, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

Should Male to Female Ratio Studying Psychology at UG or PG Level at University Not Be Listed?[edit]

In the past it was mostly men that studied psychology, however this has changed with one report citing a 3 females to 1 male studying psychology today worldwide and another report citing 75%-90% females and 10%-25% males studying psychology per university department. This resulted in an APA task force to evaluate the situation. Former APA president Dorothy Cantor argued that at the moment this was not a concern but added that in the future it may be, particularly as many studies by academic researchers often recruit students to participate in exchange for course credit. In this case the results may be argued as been skewed with not enough males participating and so the loss of one gender in psychology makes the discipline less diverse and less reliable. Follow the link to the APA articles titled "The changing gender composition of psychology: As times change, the field must stay diverse, say psychologists." by Amy Cynkar and "Men: A growing minority? Women earning doctoral degrees in psychology outnumber men three to one. What does this mean for the future of the field?" by Cassandra Willyard, and the Psychology today article "End of Men: The "Feminization" of Psychotherapy" by Stephen Diamond — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:36, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

This is interesting and relevant to anyone interested in psychology and as such, it should be added to the article to give a rounded understanding of what is going on in psychology

Semi-protected edit request on 27 February 2016[edit]

I would like to modify the paragraph on quasi-experimental design, which is currently this:

Quasi-experimental design refers especially to situations precluding random assignment to different conditions. Researchers can use common sense to consider how much the nonrandom assignment threatens the study's validity.[1] For example, in research on the best way to affect reading achievement in the first three grades of school, school administrators may not permit educational psychologists to randomly assign children to phonics and whole language classrooms, in which case the psychologists must work with preexisting classroom assignments. Psychologists will compare the achievement of children attending phonics and whole language classes.

I would like to change it to this:

Quasi-experimental design refers to research designs that take advantage of naturally occurring events that mimic true experimental random assignment[2]. A significant difficulty is in determining how much the nonrandom assignment threatens the study's validity.[3] For example, in research on the best way to affect reading achievement in the first three grades of school, school administrators may not permit educational psychologists to randomly assign children to phonics and whole language classrooms, in which case the psychologists must work with preexisting classroom assignments. Psychologists will compare the achievement of children attending phonics and whole language classes. behavioral genetic research takes great advantage of quasi-experimental designs including the use of twin studies, adoption studies, and other study designs to test for heritability. One example of a behavioral genetic quasi-experimental design is Mendelian randomization. Another example is the use of identical twins discordant for an environmental exposure[4]. In a study of how drug use affects brain development in humans for example, purely observational or correlational studies are confounded by the possibility that brain changes and drug use are both caused by a third variable. Identical twins are matched for genetic influences and rearing environment, so comparing brain function between two twins, one of whom has used a drug and the other who has not, effectively controls for all unmeasured genetic and shared environmental confounds.


  1. ^ Melvin M. Mark, "Program Evaluation" in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 2: Research Methods in Psychology.
  2. ^ {}
  3. ^ Melvin M. Mark, "Program Evaluation" in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 2: Research Methods in Psychology.
  4. ^ {}

Vrie0006 (talk) 04:45, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template.  B E C K Y S A Y L E 05:31, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

New matter; genes and the enviornment[edit]

Vrie0006 in this dif you added a big chunk of content, all isolated from the rest of the article. The thing is much of that matter is already in the article, in other sections. It is not useful to the article as a whole, to drop in a section like that, not integrated with the existing content.(by the way, people taking classes and working on a class assignment often edit this way - is that your situation?) Also, there is a whole bunch of content in WP about genes and environment, like

and god knows what else, that touches on this stuff.

What i am trying to say is that while contributions are very welcome it is unlikely you are going to find raging gaps, and the real work is really knitting, integrating, tweaking, trimming, and some plugging, yes, for sure. Jytdog (talk) 04:43, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

jytdog Hi, thanks for your comments. The stuff I wrote is not contained anywhere in the psychology page, whether in one chunk or dispersed throughout. The psychology page never mentions the basic fact that behavioral traits and disorders have a genetic basis. I was indeed trying to fill a raging gap on the psychology page. Some of that content may be present elsewhere on wikipedia but from the psychology page you would never know that a major component of etiological research in psychology is disentangling genes and environment. Genes and environment, nature nurture, all those pages you mention are relevant, but again they are not included on the psychology page. Nature versus nurture is not there. Gene-environment interaction is not there. Gene-environment correlation is not there. Genetics, gene, DNA, are not there. The only reference to genes is in discussion of eugenics, which is an historical issue from the early 20th century. The word "genetic" is used twice, once in reference to genetic background in chimps and once in the history of psychology in the soviet union. In reading the psychology page you would have no idea of the importance of these concepts in understanding and studying behavior. The inclusion of this new section is essential to the page to serve as a place where these ideas can be expanded. You asked about my situation. I'm a psychology professor. Please reconsider your removal of that text. Vrie0006 (talk) 04:54, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks so much for talking and for letting me know you are not a student (far from it!) . The Psychology#Biological subsection in the Schools section does talk about this, but I see what you mean about this being absent from the Themes section and I agree that this should be there. thanks! (and welcome, btw!) This is just what experts are the most useful for in Wikipedia, seeing places where there are gaps or something is given too much WP:WEIGHT Jytdog (talk) 05:06, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
jytdogI very much appreciate your flexibility on this. Hopefully the section can become an improvement to the page over time! I'm slowly learning how to navigate all these issues on wikipedia so I certainly appreciate your help and advice on my talk page. Vrie0006 (talk) 05:30, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
Happy. Jytdog (talk) 05:33, 3 March 2016 (UTC)


the fundamental function is not good too seeing. U can`t understand what they do! Sorry is important for this entry — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:50, 3 May 2016 (UTC)