Experimental Psychology


Is psychology a science?

It's obvious. There is no copyright on the word, so:

Some areas of knowledge to which the word "psychology" is attached, definitely belong to what is properly called "science"

Other areas to which the word "psychology" is attached, definitely do not.

Got that?


Is it a coherent discipline?

Ah, a much more interesting question because experimental psychology covers a very wide area.

One end shades off into neurobiology, the other into sociology or even social anthropology.

For the biological psychologist, the individual dissolves into a system of complicated molecules. For the social psychologist, our actions and feelings are understood as the result of our roles as cells in the social organism.


William James - brother of the more famous Henry

Some definitions

Experimental Psychology refers to the academic discipline that does experiments and attempts to be a science.

Clinical psychology is the evidence-based medical discipline that tries to alleviate mental distress. (I have little interest in this).

Psychiatrists are a type of medical doctor and can therefore prescribe drugs. A clinical psychologist is not and cannot.



Brief links

BPS digest British Psychological Society research digest.

Mindhacks useful blog

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