A college textbook of physics by Kimball A.I.

By Kimball A.I.

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Even tough, “brass-instrument” experimental psychologists CHAPTER 1 EXPLANATION IN SCIENTIFIC PSYCHOLOGY 19 concur that the domain of science is limited. We cannot establish or refute the existence of God by scientific means any more than we could test gravity by theological methods. Science operates where its tools are appropriate (see Chapter 14). This does not imply that knowledge cannot be gained wherever science fears to tread—that is, by nonscientific means. Many important fields of human endeavor have yet to benefit from extensive scientific analysis—ethics, morals, and law, to name but a few.

However, since empirical observations are not final and can change, something other than verification may be essential for acceptance or rejection of a theory. Popper CHAPTER 1 EXPLANATION IN SCIENTIFIC PSYCHOLOGY 11 (1961), a philosopher of science, has suggested that good theories must be fallible; that is, the empirical predictions must be capable of tests that could show them to be false. This suggestion of Popper’s has been called the falsifiability view. According to the falsifiability view, the temporary nature of induction makes negative evidence more important than positive support.

Theory knitting is a worthy goal if it can be accomplished. However, the present divided system arose because earlier integrated theories were unable to span all the sub-fields of psychology. Will the new hedgehogs knit better than the old hedgehogs? ▼ THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY Some students find it difficult to think of psychology as a science in the same sense that physics and chemistry are sciences. They believe that there are aspects of human experience, such as the arts, literature, and religion, that defy scientific analysis.

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