The Death of Psychology? Not So Fast

A recent NPR story used this widely shared satirical article from The Onion as a touchstone to talk about something that rarely comes up in the media: is psychology science? Leave aside the overwhelming body of affirmative evidence amassed by social psychologists over many generations, and the empirical results netted by researchers who have confirmed the benefits of talk therapy. The bigger question is whether we can adequately describe the nuanced dynamics of our own minds, and whether there is any advantage to exploring the mind as something separate from the brain.

Since the mind makes its own patterns, evinces its own behaviors and finds its own predilections, is there any value to studying these on their own merits, as narratives and not numbers? The NPR piece takes a detailed look at various biases against the “hardness” of psychology of a science, before circling back to a familiar viewpoint:

Psychology is, in most ways, like any other science: It tackles easier and harder problems, and it faces empirical and conceptual challenges. It's hard but it's also important. Let's double our efforts, not doubt them.