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The Science of Psychiatric Research

            The aim of this essay is to investigate whether psychological research is scientific or not. It can be argued that psychological research is scientific, if psychology is considered to be a science too. So, analyzing the definitions of psychology can reflect on whether its research has a scientific value.The answer to the question "What is psychology?" is not so easy to give, as it first seems. This simplicity is just apparent because it's very difficult to explain what is meant by psychological phenomenon. Not accidentally, the literature consists on several definitions. Some authors prefer the metaphoric definitions. For example, Eric Pettifor said that psychology is 'an art which presents itself as a science'. However, most authors have defined psychology based on the Latin etymology of the word: 'psyche' meaning soul and 'logy' meaning study. .
             Therefore, the psychological research may refer to the methods that psychologists use when investigating a psychological phenomena. Hence, taking the etymological definition of psychology into consideration the psychological research to a significant extent cannot be considered scientific. As psychology is regarded as the study of soul and the human soul is very complex, it can be suggested that it is difficult to be tested in an objective manner. Firstly, a research to be scientific has to use objective measures. The humanistic and psychodynamic approaches use subjective methods to test the human behavior because they involve gathering data directly from the participants or their relatives. Consequently, subjectivity is considered a form of bias. The psychodynamic research is made up of case studies which can be highly subjective. For example, Freud's interpretations of Little Hans' phobia are subjective because not everyone might interpret his dreams with such a sexual tempt (Freud, 1909). Bowlby (1973) went against Freud's interpretation and suggested that the cause of his phobia is a lack of a strong attachment with his mother.

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