The Psychology Department Deserves a Lab

Psychology is a science, and besides being located in the Black Science building along with other sciences, it has the defining feature of trying to measure the reality of the mind. Now I understand that using the term “reality” is in many ways one of the fastest routes to subjectivity and out of science. The chemist and logician C.S. Peirce (life long friend of William James), defined reality as, “that which is indepentant of opinion” and thus psychology wishes to understand, independant of opinion, the mind. So how do the students of psychology, those who wish to understand the reality of the mind, engauge their field? With research. Now there are many ways in which research can be done, some of which are better than others. Unfortunately, much of the research done in our psychology department is survey based, which is one of the least useful forms of research. Even students who have not taken research methods but only intro or social psychology will quickly recall how unreilabile it is to base research on opinions, beliefs, attitudes, or any of the other words that are use (though not all that clearly definited) to discribe the behavior of the mind. If you’re like me, you read about the new science building in last month’s Spartan and while I understand that there are many sciences at Castleton who deserve new resourses, it would be incongruous not to set aside a portion for psychology. Having a psychology lab with equipment such an EEG machine would allow psychology students the ability run numorus studies what would provide much greater validity and reliabilty than even the best survey research could hope to provide. Such a lab would surely be a reason for students to choose Castleton, and would also provided a strong background for those wishing to enter graduate training. Remember psychology is a science, not a style of writing, and it should be given the nessasary tools to do so.

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