Pseudoscience is the various theories, methods or systems like astrology, Clairvoyance, or psychokinesis considered to have no scientific base. This just means that these theories, methods, and systems have been disproved scientifically (Martin, 2016). They cannot be tested and lack evidence that can support them.
For the more significant part of the history of humans, mental illness has always been considered to be a sign of the possession of an individuals body by evil spirits, malicious curses or the devil. The most common cure that is accepted and is available to treat the people who are possessed was prison, exorcism or if these individuals were lucky death was also considered a treatment.
The fact that this view of abnormality is still accepted by some people till date is very striking. These few people are bound to turn to pseudoscientific methods and theories like the exorcism in the attempt of curing the mentally ill patients. Pseudoscience, however, is not a real science. The methods and approaches of pseudoscience are considered empirical and are uncertain.
Psychopathology is a settled science which has adopted the scientific theories and methods in the attempt to describe, examine and treat psychological disorders. The driving force behind these two; pseudoscientific and psychopathology are similar (Martin, 2016). The innate curiosity that does one search and in the end find an answer to the question; what went wrong to certain people and why?
The strong desire of humans to uncover the secret that is behind mental illness has the capability of clouding the ability of a person to reason and therefore, make them vulnerable to several non-scientific beliefs. Psychopathology aims in encountering these beliefs through advances in the collection of evidence as well as research to develop a basis scientifically for the better comprehension of mental illness.
Whether avid followers or skeptics, the world needs to realize that psychopathology study is very challenging as well as necessary. The science concerned with the study of maladaptive and abnormal behaviors has the significant goal which is to find an actual improvement of human conditions. Just like all other sciences, psychopathology cannot give us all the answers we need and is also not at all times specific in its findings. However to the best of its ability, through utilization of the empirical methods psychopathology has provided people with an objective view of the psychological disorders.
There are general characteristics of pseudoscience that can help one recognize these theories and methods. The features include; pseudoscience is based on dogma as well as uncritical beliefs. Hostility in the fact of disagreement or counterevidence can be present for example creationism has been accepted by some individuals as a matter of faith and religion (Gardner, 2016). There are attempts to subject the tenets of this to a scientific scrutiny. To add on to this when these disagreements increase believers will show antagonism towards the individuals without having to deal with evidence.
Another general characteristic of pseudoscience is that there is no distortion of suppression of a selective use of data or unfavorable data. This includes looking only to be supportive of information. For instance, individuals who believe that physics can foretell the future will readily accept just any statement that somehow seems correct and outrightly ignore any errors in the predictions. So many ideas are not amenable to the scientific evolution, the opinions are always subjective and cannot be objectively tested.
Pseudoscience has terms which sound like scientific ideas, these words, however, are not defined. Most times these ideas violate the known scientific principles. For example, names like telekinesis sound very scientific while in reality, it happens to be a poorly defined notion and even undocumented.
Pseudoscientific phenomena are fragile or shy in a way that at most times they disappear or weaken noticeably when they are subjected to well-designed experiment especially when this is done with nonbelievers. The ability to identify stimuli which is not visible is at times striking when believers take part in a study. However, when independent scientists take part in the same study, the effect will be eliminated.
Gardner M (2016). Science Good, Bad and Bogus. Prometheus Books
Martin M (2016). Pseudoscientific, the paranormal, and science education. Science &Education. 3(4): 1573-901
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