Program

Principles for Psychology as a Natural Science

[Speaker] Nussbaum, David:1
1:University of Toronto Scarborough (Canada)

Psychology is challenged by the recent non-replications of 61% of published landmark studies (Baker, Nature, 31/04/2015.) Despite technical difficulties endemic to empirical replications, the core issue remains Watson's (1908) descriptive, non-reductionist definition of behavior that conceptually severed psychology from neurobiology. A second issue is the scarcity of true interval and ratio scales in psychology following from an absence of true zero points on typical norm-based scales. Remedying these epistemological and measurement issues, behavior is redefined as "Expressed Information." Utilizing Russel and Whitehead's (1924) concept of a "One-to-One Correspondence" as the basis of logic, defines "Information" as a "Reduction in Uncertainty." Behavioral Scales can then be constructed within limits of random responding (0% reduction in uncertainty) to perfect responding (100 % reduction in uncertainty.) These are translated into correspondences between neuropsychological processes such as attention, information encoding and learning, decision-making and observed behaviors. Psychobiological modeling and scaling will be illustrated.
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