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The Intellectual Half-Life of Psychology


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I'm no psychologist, I can't even spell half of the words with the prefix psych-, however I do know that psychology is a relatively unstable field. Canadian Psychologist Donald Olding Hebb once stated that the Half-Life of Knowledge, or the time it takes for half a field's knowledge to be outgrown, is only 5 years. With that, does anyone who knows a lot about psychology agree, disagree, or have anything to share regarding the almost inevitable demise of a lot of psychologies new knowledge, or why it is so?

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I wouldn't say that psychology is an unstable field. I'd say the subject matter of psychology is the human mind, and human minds are unstable, dynamic, and ever-changing and evolving according to genetics and the surrounding environment. It's incredibly complex. Unlike calculating forces on 2 or 3 billiard balls, psychology deals with billions of nerve cells across billions of people across billions of seconds. Psychologists must also look for trends and seek those that apply globally (not just in the US or just in China or just in Germany, for example). This is why the biological aspect of psychology is becoming so much more commonplace, as is the study of neuroscience.

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I may be wrong, but I would think that it refers to the fact that the advancement of knowledge is so fast that within few years much has to be revised. It is not too different in many areas of molecular biology. If you want to stay on top of things you will have to constantly update your knowledge. A part is due to the fact that strong theoretical frameworks are still missing in those areas and many aspects are based on empirical data that. Resulting hypotheses have to be constantly revised as new experiments are being conducted.

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Psychology should not be treated like pseudoscience, since psychology follows the scientific method. Pseudoscience is something that is claimed to be scientific, but it does not use the scientific method. Therefore, psychology is not pseudoscience, but things like psychokinesis are.

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Shouldn't psychology be treated in the same manner as pseudosciences? As it is fundamentally non scientific.

What do YOU mean when you say "psychology?" Perhaps you think it's something different than it is, hence comments such as the above.
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