NUI Galway student society to host public lecture on pseudoscience in psychology

Students from the NUI Galway’s Psi Chi Honour Society in psychology will host a public lecture by Professor Brian Hughes on pseudoscience in psychology next week. The lecture, entitled ‘"Trust Me, I’m a Psychologist” (Said No One Ever ): Distinguishing Good Behavioural Science from Bad’, will take place on Thursday September 29 at 7pm.

The lecture will examine the extent to which imperfect science threatens the impact and credibility of psychology, and argues that society at large stands to gain when psychologists promote and defend scientific standards.

“It is often easy to forget that psychology is a scientific discipline, and that its core activity is the production of findings that help resolve debates about human behaviour and wellbeing," said Professor Brian Hughes, professor of psychology and dean of international affairs at NUI Galway. "It is so easy to forget this that sometimes psychologists themselves fail to remember it. Scientifically limited research — in other words, bad science — has become a significant problem in modern psychology.”

Professor Hughes’s research focuses on psychological stress and its impact on health, and on psychological and social moderators of stress. He also writes widely on the psychology of empiricism and of empirically disputable claims, especially as they pertain to science, health, and medicine. Professor Hughes’s recently published and critically-acclaimed book on the subject, Rethinking Psychology: Good Science, Bad Science, Pseudoscience, focuses on the philosophy of science within psychology, critiques controversial practices, and challenges the biases which threaten academic rigour within the field.

“The purpose of our society has been to promote excellence in the science and application of psychology, and this lecture will certainly contribute towards achieving that goal," said Hannah Durand, president of the NUI Galway Psi Chi Honour Society. "The topic of pseudoscience in psychology has wide appeal and important implications not only for aspiring psychologists, but also society at large. We look forward to seeing a diverse audience and to the fascinating discussion that is sure to follow Professor Hughes’s lecture.”

The free lecture will take place in the O’Flaherty Lecture Theatre on the Arts/Science Concourse at NUI Galway. For more information contact [email protected].



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