Seduction by Neuroscience

Posted on April 25, 2015

Photo: flickr

There is some sort of attraction between Psychology students and neuroscience. What is distinctly persuasive about neuroscience? There were studies from 2008 that showed how brain images are compelling, or that neuroscience information that explains psychological phenomena are more convincingly.

When asked to rate the quality of short explanations for psychological phenomena like “face recognition” and “emotional states”. Those explanations that had superfluous neuroscience information within, were rated highly by the students. The student’s religious beliefs does not affect the result.

However, it seems that additional presence of brain imagery does not add on to the appeal of explanations, which confirms the failure to replicate the above experiment of the allure of brain pictures.

The research suggest that neuroscience is important in explaining psychological phenomena because it is the most pertinent science for explaining the mind. These even appeals to students who see the mind as a separate from the brain (dualist beliefs).
What’s important is, infatuation or over-fixation on neuroscience as an explanation could impede our progress to find and accept other complete explanations out there.


Category(s):Adult psychological development

Source material from British Psychological Society


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