Fact a Day: November 7th - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Fact a Day: November 7th

(Harvest House, 1995), p. 11

 

Is Psychotherapy Based on Science or Subjectivism? (Con’t)

 

Do psychology and psychotherapy constitute coherent sciences? In order to address this important issue, the American Psychological Association appointed Sigmund Koch to direct a study to be subsidized by the National Science Foundation.

This study involved eighty eminent scholars in assessing the facts, theories and methods of psychology. The results of this extensive endeavor were then published in a seven volume series entitled Psychology: A Study of a Science. After examining the results, Koch concludes, “I think it is by this time utterly and finally clear that psychology cannot be a coherent science.”*

The large majority of psychotherapeutic theories have never been and never can be empirically tested or verified, and thus “psychology rarely deals with established facts or truths but with subjective opinions and interpretations of uncontrolled observations.”* Not surprisingly, Koch himself noted, “Throughout psychology’s history as ‘science,’ the hard knowledge it has deposited has been uniformly negative.”* In essence, psychology cannot be a coherent science because it does not deal in the realm of the observable, testable, and predictable, but rather in the realm of complex human behavior and motivation and in subjective perceptions and evaluation.

Obviously, if psychology cannot be legitimately considered a hard science, neither can the multitudes of psychotherapies that rest upon it. After all, how much do psychologists really know about human behavior?

*For full documentation please see The Facts on Self-Esteem, Psychology and the Recovery Movement.

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