Why Psychology Is Not A Science

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
—Voltaire

I was on Reddit earlier, and an exchange went like this (perfectly illustrating why psychology is not a science):

Bob: Psychology isn’t a science. (downvoted)

Alice: I’m a neuroscientist and while a lot of psychology isn’t very good, you’re just not looking at the right sort of psychology. The media doesn’t report on the right sort of psychology because it’s hard to understand. (upvotes)

Jack: What sort of studies are good studies in psychology?

Larry: One of my favorites is Baumeister’s work on ego depletion — willpower as a fixed resource. It’s a model of what psychology ought to look like. It’s applicable and replicable. (upvotes)

Except, you know, the much venerated model that is Baumeister’s work on ego depletion — nearing 2000 citations — has failed to replicate a bunch of times, makes little sense from a computational model of mind, and is probably false.

At least most published research isn’t false, right? I have some bad news.

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