[ExI] In defense of psych; was Re: aeon article - you have no memory
William Flynn Wallace
foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat May 21 20:13:54 UTC 2016
Well, I have to agree with all of that, but the Kahneman and Tversky
(trained as psychologists) was psychology even though the award was for
economics since there is no prize for psych. I mean, what they did WAS
psych, as is a lot of other things like market research. Actually, a lot
of medical research is psych as well.
I suppose that trying to claim that any research done with human behavior
is psych seems pretentious, but if the shoe fits........ some departmental
No contest: the hard sciences are galloping along and psych is inching,
but a lot of the basic stuff was done prior to 1950, esp. in learning. You
don't see references to Pavlov or Skinner anymore but their results are
still valid and are back of what cognitive research is finding.
Psychologists are very poor at giving credit to earlier research compared
to, say, biology, where Darwin is still all over the place.
Good experiments with people is hard work and very creative work and I
wasn't very good at it. Cut out to be a teacher. Test yourself: try to
come up with a creative way to test for jealousy other than to give people
questionnaires. Just try to define it.
PR for psych is not good because of all the wannabes doing bad research and
the lack of any publicity for basic research. (And the lack of really good
treatments for the mentally ill, and that affects psychiatry as well.
Biology, that is, drugs, have taken over that field, mostly.)
On Sat, May 21, 2016 at 12:37 PM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, May 21, 2016 at 12:44 PM, William Flynn Wallace <
> foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Psychologists are everywhere: designing dashboards for NASA (as well as
>> being intimately involved in training astronauts), doing great cognitive
>> work like Kahneman and TVersky (and winning a Nobel Prize for it),
> OK maybe I was a little too hard on psychology, but only a little; and
> they won the Nobel Prize in 2002 for work that was done decades before
> that, and it was for economics not psychology.
>> Our brains are the most complicated thing in the known universe.
> I certainly agree with that.
>> Read Stephen Pinker if you want some really up to date good science. He
>> may be our best.
> I've read
> The Language Instinct
> The Better Angels of Our Nature
> " and liked them both, and I've already bought "How The Mind Works" and
> put it into my book queue and should read it in a month or two, but Pinker
> likes interesting stuff like linguistics neurology and AI, and yes
> evolutionary psychology and I admit that can be interesting too.
> > Most people, like you, are just not aware of what psychology has
>> evolved to.
> It's just that when you look at what psychology has discovered in the last
> 50 years and compare it with what physics or biology or computer science
> has found it's day and night, hell astronomers discovered that all the
> planets and stars and galaxies that they thought was all there was turned
> out to be only 4% of what there was.
> John K Clark
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
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