From the discussion of the steps in the scientific method as given in previous posts, it is clear that a science must
have the following essentials:
• Scientific Method: It goes without saying that no study can be called a science without having a
• Factuality: Science is factual. The scientist studies the facts with an objective attitude.
• Veracity: Scientific principles are veridical They are found true in all times and in all climes.
• Universality: Scientific principles are universal. They are subject to verification and are verified
through scientific methods.
• Discovery of cause-effect relationship: Science finds out cause- effect relationships in the
subject matter of its study and discovers universal principles.
• Predictability: On the basis of these cause-effect relationships, the scientist predicts the future
course in various phenomena and these predictions come true because they are based on universal
Psychology is a science
After elaborately discussing the nature of the science, the claim of psychology to be called a science can be
easily examined. It will be found in sequence that psychology has all the above mentioned essential
characteristics of a science. The main points in this connection are as follows:
• Psychology uses Scientific Method:
Almost all the methods of psychology are more or less scientific in their nature. Of these the
experimental method is the most exact.
• Psychology is Factual:
Psychology studies the facts of behaviour.
• The laws of psychology are universal:
The laws of psychology have been found to be correct in every time and place, under the same
conditions. The general principles of human psychology are universal, whatever differences there
may be in the psychology of different individuals.
• The Laws of Psychology are Veridical:
Thus by verification and reverification psychological principles have been found to be true
everywhere. They can be verified by any one.
• Psychology discovers the Cause effect Relationship in Human Behavior.
• Psychology predicts Human Behavior:
By discovering the cause- effect relationship, psychology also predicts human behavior and these
predictions are generally correct.
Limits of Exactness in Psychology
Psychology is an exact science. This, however, does not mean that its exactness is the same as that
of physical sciences. It is clear that a science which studies mind or behavior cannot be as exact as
the science studying the physical things, because behavior is a complex, changeable and dynamic
subject of study.