Is There Progress in Science, Especially in Psychology
This essay will discuss whether there is progress in science, with reference to historic breakthroughs. This will be linked to the field of psychology, seeing how it differs from mainstream sciences such as physics and chemistry. Main topics will be induction, deduction, falsification and theories by Kuhn and Lakatos.
First of all it is best to look at how research is conducted. Research is believed to be a circular process. First of all a scientist forms ideas, gathers information about their ideas, interpret results gained and then compare with original ideas. From this crude observation on how research is conducted it can be seen that research is everlasting, with new ideas building on old ideas.
There is a major problem in two of the steps in this view. One of the problems lie in the interpretation of results step, this is the bias that occurs when analysis and interpreting data. Simply put, this means allowing what you believe you will get from an experiment to distort your report on what actually happened. This is a major problem because if scientists are to believe that there is progress in science, we need to believe that we can trust or observations. Of course scientist’s beliefs have to effect their theories somewhat because it is their beliefs and curiosities that lead them to test a particular occurrence in the first place. In extreme cases however, a scientist’s personal beliefs may lead them to ignore or suppress unwanted results, or even fabricate findings.
The second problem is in the compare with original ideas step. This comes about when the researcher refuses to change his or her original ideas by even thought their evidence contradicts that idea. This in the majority is not a good practise, but sometimes major breakthroughs come under a lot of scrutiny at first but are later proven right with advances in technology. An example of this is that of Copernicus and his...