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Rethinking Psychology: Good Science, Bad Science, Pseudoscience Paperback – 18 Mar 2016
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About the Author
Brian Hughes is Professor of Psychology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has held visiting academic appointments at the Universities of Missouri, Leiden, and Birmingham, and at King's College London. His research focuses on psychological stress and its impact on health, and on psychosocial moderators of stress processes. He also writes widely on the psychology of empiricism and of empirically disputable claims, especially as they pertain to science, health, and medicine. He holds Ph.D. and B.A. degrees from the National University of Ireland, and an Ed.M. degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
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Hughes is clear; "psychology is not a pseudo science", yet he is not afraid to point out "some very prominent areas of psychology have drifted disturbingly close to the demarcation boundary" and "There are certainly very many psychologists whose scientific literacy is sorely lacking and who take approaches that for all intents and purposes are pseudoscientific."
Hughes explains why pseudoscience is so popular; "it is more in tune with how people think in everyday life", and outlines the differences between science and pseudoscience in a very clear manner which leaves the reader well equipped to identify both.
"In science, famous figures who get things wrong are likely to be caught out eventually. With Pseudoscience....the views of guru figures are held to be meritorious even in the face of the most extreme criticism and counterevidence."
He de-constructs the arguments used against psychology being a science, in a methodical manner, without ignoring psychology's "slipperiness of research designs and analytical approaches that arise in a world where replication is frowned upon rather than encouraged."
Ultimately, why should we care ? Because "Pseudoscience doesn't just coexist with science, it serves to undermine it"
Psychology is in a crises. It needs a lot more people like Brian Hughes, willing to speak out against the pseudoscientists who have invaded the scientific field of psychology.
Wellcome book prize, take note : Rethinking Psychology is a worthy winner