Psychology is defined to students as the scientific study of human behaviour. However, when the American Psychological Association surveyed 1,000 adult members of the public, 70% did not agree with the statement, ‘psychology attempts to understand the way people behave through scientific research’ (Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, 2008, p. 29). Lay people deny, what is to those within psychology, an undeniable fact: that psychology aims to test theory-grounded hypotheses in an objective, replicable and empirical manner – and is therefore scientific. Recently, psychologists have investigated the reasons for such a divide between expert and novice views of the field. In doing so, they have uncovered how lay people evaluate whether a subject deserves the scientific stamp of approval. Continue reading
It has become increasingly clear that academia is rife with a condition known as the ‘impostor phenomenon’. The term was coined in 1978 by psychologists Clance and Imes in describing a sample of high-achieving women who were not able to internalise their many successes. Like many others today, these women felt that they had gotten to their place in life only by a series of flukes. The so-called syndrome can be debilitating; those with it feel like frauds and, worst of all, that at any moment they could be found out and exposed (Gravois, 2007). Recently, more and more people in academia have ‘admitted’ to having the impostor syndrome.
Imagine a task that is simple for a human and difficult for a computer. For example, recognizing if a photograph contains a cat or a dog is a straightforward task even for a few months old child (Quinn & Eimas, 1996), but extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a computer (Shotton et al., 2006) because the two are quite similar in terms of shape. In order to capitalize on human’s superiority over computers in some kind of tasks, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) came up with a platform called Amazon Mechanical Turk (https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome), where it is possible to ask human workers to complete HITs – Human Intelligence Tasks.
Ethics are a vast, key topic in psychological research. What is necessarily taken into consideration in regards to ethics before conducting research is studied and then read again and again in guidelines and codes of conduct. But what lies beyond the legislations in ethics? Where should a researcher’s moral compass be pointing to? Here are the outlines proposed by the APA and some general discussion relating to them.
Academia and industry are are often defined as two conflicting worlds. However, these two worlds can complement and learn from one another. In this article, I will present my experience working on the edge of academia and industry and enjoying both equally.
In addition, I will focus on the social sciences and the career prospective of the young bachelor or master graduates while taking into account the broad international context.
The overarching point of this article will be to convey that behavioural psychology may be out-of-fashion, but still has many things to contribute to modern psychology.
All science is ultimately born of philosophy (see Pepper, 1942) and therefore there is no reason why this science should play second fiddle to any other. However, in the rat race to make strides in the science of behaviour, principles of science are often discarded in favour of convenience. The dominant school of thought in psychology at present is cognitivism. This school adopts a predominantly top-down approach to psychology. This involves simplifying phenomena into their perceived component parts, in order to study them. This phenomenon may constitute a set back for the way research is conducted and human behavior ultimately conceptualized. Allow me to illustrate why this is a problem.