Academic journal article Canadian Psychology

Where's the Science? Introduction to a Special Issue of Canadian Psychology on Science in Psychology

Academic journal article Canadian Psychology

Where's the Science? Introduction to a Special Issue of Canadian Psychology on Science in Psychology

Article excerpt

The assertion that professional psychology is based on the science of psychology is embedded in the codes of ethics and standards for professional conduct of psychologists and in the accreditation criteria for professional training in psychology. However, this assertion has turned out to be far from straightforward, as indicated by the active debates in the field about the nature of psychological science, the scientific models and methods that should form the basis of psychology, the extent to which science should inform and has informed practice, and vice versa. In this introduction to a special issue of Canadian Psychology on science in psychology, we review some of these most recent debates and provide an overview of the contributions to the special issue that could serve as a springboard to developing options for ensuring the vitality of a science-based professional psychology.

Keywords: science, evidence-based practice, clinical guidelines, research practice networks, supervision

Résumé

L'affirmation selon laquelle la psychologie professionnelle est basée sur la science de la psychologie est ancrée dans les codes de déontologie et des normes de conduite professionnelle des psycho- logues ainsi que dans les critères d'agrément de programmes de formation professionnelle en psychologie. Or, cette affirmation est loin d'être simple, comme l'indiquent les débats animés dans le domaine concernant la nature de la science psychologique, les méthodes et modèles scientifiques qui devraient être à la base de la psychologie, la mesure dans laquelle la science devrait éclairer et a déjà éclairé la pratique, et vice versa. Dans cette introduction à un numéro spécial de la revue Canadian Psychology portant sur la la science de la psychologie, nous examinons certains de ces plus récents débats et offrons un aperçu des contributions à ce numéro spécial qui pourraient servir de tremplin pour élaborer des solu- tions permettant d'assurer la vitalité d'une psychologie professi- onnelle fondée sur la science.

Mots-clés : science, pratique fondée sur les preuves, directives cliniques, réseaux de recherche et de pratique, supervision.

Psychology was developed as a laboratory-based science, and professional psychology developed out of the science of psy- chology. The assertion that professional psychology is based on the science of psychology is embedded in our codes of ethics, standards for professional conduct, and professional training accreditation criteria (e.g., American Psychological Associa- tion, 2002, 2013; Association of State and Provincial Psychol- ogy Boards, 2005; Canadian Psychological Association, 2000, 2011; College of Psychologists of Ontario, 2009). In Canada and the United States, professional psychology was initially shaped by the nature of psychological knowledge and the psy- chological research enterprise (Dobson & Dobson, 1993; Routh, 1994). Landmark developments early in the history of professional psychology, including Alfred Binet's and David Wechsler's efforts to assess intellectual abilities, Mary Cover Jones' application of conditioning principles to treat phobic reactions, and Lightner Witmer's establishment of a clinic focused on the assessment and remediation of educational prob- lems, illustrate the manner in which science has informed the application of psychology.

However, the assertion about the relation between the profession of psychology and the science of psychology has turned out to be far from straightforward. Although psychologists are likely to agree that practice should be based on science (e.g., see Ogrodniczuk, Piper, Joyce, Lau, & Sochting, 2010), there has been active debate about (a) the nature of psychological science, (b) which scientific models and methods should form the basis of the discipline (as well as the professional side of the discipline), (c) the optimal extent to which science can or should inform practice, and (d) how professional psychology should inform and influence the direction of the science of psychology. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.