> Nick suggested that the difference might be that in Psychology you can't
> prove that your answers are true, so I asked him what "proof" was. It
> turned out that proof is something formal: Something is proved to be
> true if it can be shown that if it weren't true, that would lead to a
> contradiction. That is (roughly) how proof in mathematics works.
EMPIRICAL AND RATIONAL STUDY
> Other fields,
> especially sciences, such as physics, chemistry and biology, don't PROVE
> that the answers they give you are true, they just give you a lot of
> evidence that makes it very LIKELY that it's true.
A VALID POINT THAT I HAD NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT
> The trick is to show why you are better off basing your conclusions on
> evidence rather than just tossing a coin. Well, you are tempted to say
> that it's because the evidence has worked before: It makes sense for me
> to expect that it's going to HAPPEN AGAIN .
PREDICTABILITY AND THE BASIS OF LEARNING (CLASSICAL AND OPERANT CONDITIONING)
> it's a good idea to base my
> predictions on past evidence. What do you give me as a reason for
> thinking it's a good idea? That in the past it has worked! So you
> are using induction to justify induction! But if what I'm worried about
> is whether it's a good idea to trust past evidence, your telling me that
> I shouldn't worry because in the past it has worked isn't exactly
> helpful, is it?
WITHOUT BASIS ON PAST EVIDENCE THERE WOULD BE NO NEED FOR MEMORY
AND WE WOULD ALL WALK AROUND IN A DAZE
> Never mind. We can settle for the fact that only proof brings certainty;
> and predictions based on the past SEEM to work, so if it ain't broke,
> don't fix it: If induction ever starts to fail us, that's the time to
> start worrying.
SEEMS KIND OF SILLY TO QUESTION THIS, THOUGH I'M NOT SAYING THAT
THIS IS BAD
> Well, the first question is whether this is true only of people (and
> animals): The weather is only predictable up to a point; there's
> unpredictability there too. And there are some things, like turbulence
> and chaos and certain things in quantum physics, that are COMPLETELY
> unpredictable, much moreso than we are.
COMPARISON OF BIOLOGICAL TO NON-BIOLOGICAL
> So unpredictability can't be what makes psychological phenomena
NO BUT IT MAKES IT INTERESTING
> You can't predict perfectly what I'm going to do, because, after all,
> I'm the one who decides whether or not to do it! And I could always change
> my mind if I feel like it.
SOMETIMES CANNOT EVEN PREDICT YOUR OWN ACTIONS ie " WHY DID I DO THAT "
> There have been experiments to see how the mind might fit into this
> world of matter: These experiments have been done by
SO IF MATTER IS CONTINUALY CHANGING ,BUT NEVER DESTROYED, WHERE
DOES THE PSYCHOKINETIC ENERGY GO AFTER IT HAS MOVED THE BALL?
> So you pick the left one. And suppose I try to tell you that you HAD to
> pick that one, because of complicated events that started with the "Big
> Bang" that started our universe, and continued through the birth of
> galaxies and stars, and then the sun and our solar system, the earth,
> the oceans, life on earth, the evolution of our species, the advent of
> the 20th century, through to the birth of your parents, and of
> yourself, and the genes you inherited plus the history you went through
> -- all of which conspired to MAKE you pick the left one...
NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT IN THAT DIMENSION BEFORE
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Feb 13 2001 - 16:24:13 GMT