Good science, bad science [from Mary]

[From Bruce Abbott (951109.1515 EST)]

Mary Powers (951109)]

to Bruce Abbott:

This wrangle about whether psychologists are good scientists or
psychology a good science is not really the issue (to me). Yes
to the first and no to the second.

Mary, I understand and appreciate your viewpoint. PCT has not been given a
fair hearing in psychology, and probably for the reasons you presented. I
personally find that response deplorable. But why do you state that whether
psychology is or is not a good science, is not really the issue, and then
render your opinion on that issue? Dag Forssell asserted that psychological
science is "mush," I disagreed, and Dag literally _insisted_ that I defend
my position. That is what I have been trying to do, although Rick, Tom,
Bill, and now you keep telling me that that is not the issue. It must not
be, because all the responses I have read thus far have been misdirected
toward some other issue.

In fact, I'm pretty tired of the whole thing. In trying to promote what I
view as a _reasoned_ position on this issue, I've managed to give the false
impression that I do not see anything wrong with psychological science as it
is currently being conducted. Believe it or not, it is possible to take a
position somewhere between "it's all mush" and "it's everything anyone could
hope for in a science." I am only attempting to pursuade that a more
moderate view between those extremes is closer to the truth.

The reason I have even bothered to make this effort is my belief, not only
that such an extreme view is wrong, but that holding and expressing such an
extreme view is ultimately damaging to our common effort to get PCT a fair
hearing. I have seen too damn much good science in psychology to believe
that all of it is irrelevant to our understanding of brain and behavior, as
has so often been claimed in this forum; for the major players in this group
to keep insisting that this is so, against hard evidence, is beyond my
comprehension and, I am sure, the comprehension of those who have done the
research. If you fail the credibility test here, who will listen further?

At any rate, I think that I am now being confused with the "opposition,"
whoever THEY are, and I don't like it one bit.



<[Bill Leach 951109.23:38 U.S. Eastern Time Zone]

[Bruce Abbott (951109.1515 EST)]

Yes Bruce, I think it is important to state that at least a portion of
psychology is science. It is conducted as science. Some of the current
work may even be useful as fundamental scientific information (though I
remain largely unconvinced).

I think that there are really two issues here that comprise major
disturbances to PCTers (besides flat rejection in general):

The first is the PCT based belief that the fundamental basis for current
psychological research is fatally flawed.

The second may be even more important and that is the flat denial by most
schools of psychology that they are S-R based. It may well be this that
is the most aggravating, that it is not realized that by sticking with
the lineal cause-effect model, no matter what they might decide to call
it, they are still S-R based.

Note also that CSG-L posting (when the arrive at all) are sporatic and
often very badly ordered (much worse than usual when not using "digest").