Subjective Modality Assessment
I work in manufacturing so I work with statistics. To make manufacturing engineering really easy essentially manufacturing engineers manage process variability. When trouble shooting a process you break it down until you find the most variable portion of the process and then you break that section of the process down even further until you can accurately predict and manage the results and the time it takes to achieve those results.
If you cannot accurately predict a specific variability at any point within a process your process is out of control.
Period. No ifs. No buts.
Psychology is the weirdest mix of subjective and objective assessment that I have ever had the misfortune of coming across.
Science is OBJECTIVE. Psychology is called a Pseudo-Science because it is primarily subjective.
Let me break it down.
Essentially a psychologist develops a characterization. Multiple Intelligences is a good example. We could use the traits of the P-E-N model of personality. In both cases a specific researcher subjectively developed characterization profiles based on their education and experience. These are both easy to read about on the web.
I used to work in a plating plant. We needed to do statistical process control. Management decided to measure and statistically control the temperature of various plating solutions. My question: Does temperature change the time or results? Answer, if the temperature is not maintained within a specific window, yes. My question: Will controlling the temperature more accurately influence the plating results? Answer, no or we would have installed better thermal controls.
In manufacturing engineering you seek out the process variability. Why does one part have a thicker or thinner coating than another. Voltage, amperage, connections between racks and bars, between bars and conductive bar rests, position on a rack, surface area of the bulk plating material? They measured temperature because it was easy and looked good and it did influence the results.
In psychology there is always argument about the categories that are developed. It isn't as easy to determine or define the various variabilities in human behavior. The fewer the categories the more generalized the outcome. The more specific the categories the less generalized and the more difficult the categorization is.
Psychologists use a combination of training, experience and subjective assessment to develop categories and determine the categorization of a specific individual.
People filter things through their own individual experiences and out look on life. You typically cannot change a person's core beliefs, even with a sledge hammer. It literally takes an act of God to change a person's core belief system. Even when presented with insurmountable evidence people will refuse to change their core beliefs.
Anyone who studies History will tell you that the Democratic political party in the United States provided the political support for the genocide of blacks in the United States.
Ask people if NAZIs are bad and they will tell you “yes”, ask them why and they will mention the history of genocide and suppression-segregation of minorities.
Ask people if Democrats are bad and they will typically say “no” or they will respond with “individuals may be”.
Both political parties supported the genocide and segregation of minorities.
Since people are just going to believe what they want to believe how can we expect psychologists not to filter their subjective analysis though this ridiculous core belief system that every person has.
Until psychology becomes totally objective, until psychology can observe remote events without participation and objectively define characterization modalities without a subjective and individual filtration it cannot be considered a science.
Does that make it useless?
No. Talking to people who listen is always useful.
Should we use it to identify kids who could go postal in our school system? NO.
We will though, because most people have a core belief that includes the idea that stereotypes are based in reality.
Some well adjusted son of a police detective shoots up a school without warning and the psychologists run and hide.
Some communist nut case shoots up a congress person because of a personal snub and psychologists demand funding for schools so they can help kids with obvious problems before they shoot people up. The media demands Sarah Palin apologize because she said “retreat and reload” and used camera style cross hairs on a map (not a scope reticle as is often cited).
Until psychology can become an objective science we can use it, but, we should not use it to harass people because the may fit a stereotype someone has developed.
We should talk to people and help them as much as we can.