chapter  7
36 Pages

Psychology and Physics: An Historical Perspective Lawrence E. Marks

Physics, like mathematics, is often hailed as a "Queen of the Sciences." For physics (including astronomy) is not only the oldest, but commonly estimated to be the most advanced. the most rigorous. and the most precise of human scientific endeavors. readily cast into rational quantitative form. After all, "Nature," Galileo said. "is written in mathematical language." And in many respects physics is the most successful of the sciences, both because of its power to make theoretical predictions and because of its applications in the technology that surrounds us. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, for many psychologists to view physics as the instantiation of the scientific method itself. and thus as a model for scientific psychology. A colleague once inquired of me whether, in my opinion, psychology would ever become a science like physics. Not "a science, like physics," but "a science like physics." Not a co-equal in a dominion of sciences, but perhaps at best a consort to Her Majesty.