Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Jesse » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:26 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Jesse wrote:Psychology works with intangibles; experiences, emotions, thoughts, and habits, and that is exactly why it is considered a soft science.

Just my 2c.
Well, you can just take your 2c back buddy. You are describing psychotherapy, not psychology. I am a qualified psychologist. In order (back in my day) to qualify as a psychologist you had to be a behavioural scientist. I have spent more time gathering and analysing statistics, learning correct data evaluation techniques, learning and applying experimental models, etc... then most of my "hard science" engineer friends.


http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/und ... e-argument

IV. Psychology isn't falsifiable

This criticism comes from within our own field as well as from the outside: Psychologists too often publish positive findings--that is findings that support rather than contradict hypotheses. Publication of primarily positive findings suggests that psychologists are more interested in supporting their own beliefs about human experience than in finding truth about that experience. It is because of this trend that one of my colleagues suggested that our field contains more lawyers than scientists (here).

This criticism is actually a fair one in my book--psychologists are often likely to bury data that does not support their theories about the world (even famous psychologists like Stanley Milgram are guilty of this). This practice strikes me as unscientific because it renders hypotheses more difficult to falsify. However, the good news is that efforts are underway to pay more attention to negative findings (see here).


I find it surprising that people within your own field disagree.

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/purity.png
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:05 pm

Name ONE field in which consensus reigns..
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Jikan » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:21 pm

Simon E. wrote:Name ONE field in which consensus reigns..


Here are two that are relevant to ongoing discussions of science here at DW.


Climate science:

http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus


Public health:

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2 ... ine-claims


That said, Simon's overall point is correct (if I understand it correctly): science is, by nature, agonistic. Reasonable people come to different conclusions from the same evidence, and different kinds of evidence lead to different kinds of conclusions. This is why scientists publish their findings and read each other's work...
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Simon E. » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:42 pm

Good points Jikan. But even within those disciplines which have a high degree of consensus on the over- arching issues there is debate, quite frequently a heated debate about the precise mechanisms and details.
In the examples you gave there is a spectrum of opinion regarding the precise mechanics of climate change for example, and debate continues about the most effective vaccine and vaccine programmes ..
When it comes to the hard science ( and it is hard ) of experimental psychology there is a degree of consensus..but in the methodology and outcomes of psychotherapy...not so much.
Having said that there is a growing appreciation of the fact that CBT is yielding measurable and repeatable results with a range of conditions.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby porpoise » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:35 pm

Nemo wrote:Could psychotherapy be the modern day astrology of it's time?


I think you could look at it like that. I suspect that if one doesn't have faith in psychotherapy - or the therapist - then it's very unlikely to be effective.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Nemo » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:16 am

I am reading an old book on astrology from 100 years ago.
"Naturally, therefore, the science of Astrology is as infallible as Astronomy, the former standing in relation to the latter what psychology is to exact physiology."
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby greentara » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:20 am

nemo "I have received excellent medical treatment from witch doctors. One even refused payment and directed me to Western medical treatments. Practicing a broken paradigm does not exclude the ability to heal, especially if you are not in it to get paid. I did not need to believe in it either. Some practitioners transcend technique"
I like it, great comment!
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Simon E. » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:10 pm

You won't for a number of reasons fimd me quoting Ram Dass ( Alpert ) too often, but he said something pertinent imo.
" The efficacy of any therapy is dependant on the degree of awareness of the therapist "..

Having said that some therapies give measurable and repeatable results that other therapies seem not to.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby porpoise » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:48 pm

Simon E. wrote:" The efficacy of any therapy is dependant on the degree of awareness of the therapist "..


Maybe, but how does one measure "degree of awareness"?
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