Sciences are defined by their use of the scientific method – or so they should be. This involves testing hypotheses based on theory, which is standard practice in psychological research. However, when judging the scientific credibility of a subject, evidence suggests that people perceive a subject’s content and the equipments used as additional indicators of its scientific status (Krull & Silvera, 2013). People therefore misunderstand the sole method-based criterion of science, which may contribute to public scepticism of the categorisation of psychology. In addition, lay people may resist ascribing the scientific label to psychology because of hindsight bias, lacking appreciation of basic (as opposed to applied) research and insufficient communication of the subject’s experimental methods (Lilienfeld, 2012). Equally it cannot be denied that factors from within psychology, such as lacking evidence-based practice in applied settings and media personalities, exacerbate the subject’s popular image. Together these variables may explain public reluctance to give psychology the scientific stamp of approval. Read more in the newest JEPS Bulletin post!

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