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1484
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30.0%
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Topic

Psychology is Pseudoscience

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Participant that receives the most points from the voters is declared a winner.

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Science
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Psychiatry, Psychology, and all the numerous "sciences" whose label possesses the "psych-" suffix are all pseudosciences masquerading as real science. Therapy is nothing more than a lucrative scam. Psychologists and psychiatrists are self-deluded con-artists preying on the gullibility and scientific naïvité of the public. The best proof I'm right is how I used some fancy symbols in a very pretentious word that you don't know how to type without searching Google for "how to type special symbols", and then copy-pasting them into your pathetic excuse of a counter-argument that just screams of being yet another failed abortion of your incoherent thought processes.

Resolved:

Psychology, Psychiatry, etc. are pseudoscience.

Round 1
Pro
You seem to be using your brain when typing this statement. Now use it a bit more and think about others who actually know how to deal with it.
My condolences go out to my opponent, who is evidently off to a rough start.  With this comment they've revealed a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of psychology, so we can't expect them to put up any serious challenge.

Psychology is the so-called science of the mind, not the “brain” — that would be neuroscience.  Unlike neuroscience, the subject of psychology is not something that exists in the physical world.  The mind cannot be observed or measured.   It's a metaphysical effect of the brain, not a cause of behavior, making it an inappropriate target for scientific study.   Therefore, mind-science is an oxymoron just as much as creation-science.  Psychology is a sham.

And not a harmless one.  Behold the fruits of Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT):

Beth Rutherford said she never knew she had a tormented childhood until she went to a church therapist for counseling.

But under the counselor’s guidance, she recalled how her minister father repeatedly raped her, got her pregnant and then performed a painful coat-hanger abortion.

In truth, Rutherford was still a virgin and her father had had a vasectomy many years before.
RMT was not discredited by any psychologist seeking to falsify the predictions of any foundational or over-arching theory of psychology, because as a pseudoscience, psychology has no such theories (it's just a mish-mash of contradictory conjectures).  RMT was abandoned because of public backlash.  Innocent people were accused of heinous crimes, and entire families were ripped apart, by these modern-day horoscope-readers.

Neuroscience is still in its early stages, so we are still at a loss as how to treat many apparent brain dysfunctions.   But psychology is a full-fledged pseudoscience that isn't waiting for neuroscience to catch up.  It has an entire army of witch-doctors backed by the authority of the law who, despite all being equally certain that they are qualified for treating your mind-disease, cannot agree on which treatment to prescribe you, or even which mind-disease you have.

On that latter point, we can almost forgive them.  There is no scientific test capable of diagnosing any of the 157 alleged mental disorders in the latest DSM, because the mind is not a physical thing.  You can't measure the mind to see what's wrong with it, unlike in the real science of medicine, where one can precisely sample someone's blood to diagnose diabetes.

Physics is a real scientific field because of the Standard Model, whose explanations of observations make falsifiable predictions.  These predictions can be tested objectively and unambigously by physical instruments.  The predicted existence of the Higgs Boson, for instance, was confirmed with an impressive degree of certainty in 2012, decades after it was first theorized.

The same applies to Medicine with its Germ Theory, which explains why washing your hands reduces the likelihood of getting sick.  Using microscopes, we can confirm the predictions of Germ Theory with our own eyes.

These two fields of legit science produce objective evidence of their theories.  We're pretty confident diabetes is a real condition because we can quantify its causes.  Psychology, in contrast, votes mental-illnesses into being by secret votes.  Without the slightest shred of scientific evidence, members of the American Psychiatric Association determine whether a mental condition exists based on how many “yes” or “no” votes they cast. 

Unsurprisingly, this unscientific process produces absurdities like “Body Dysmorphic Disorder With Muscle Dysmorphia”.  Let's imagine a hypothetical person suffering from a “Body Dysmorphic” disorder, as painted by the DSM-V:

the individual is preoccupied with the idea that his or her body build is too small or insufficiently muscular

“I look ugly”

Common behaviors are comparing one's appearance with that of other individuals; repeatedly checking perceived defects in mirrors or other reflecting surfaces or examining them directly

excessively exercising or weight lifting

occurring almost exclusively in males, consists of preoccupation with the idea that one's body is too small or insufficiently lean or muscular. Individuals with this form of the disorder actually have a normal-looking body or are even very muscular

Some use potentially dangerous anabolic-androgenic steroids and other substances to try to make their body bigger and more muscular

A majority (but not all) diet, exercise, and/or lift weights excessively, sometimes causing bodily damage

the most common age at onset is 12-13 years
Holy weasle-words, Batman!  This diagnosis is an accurate biography of every guy I knew in high school.

Delusional Disorder (Erotomanic Type)” is when you wrongly think someone is in love with you for over a month.  This flimsy definition is ridiculous for two reasons.  First, all these people really are in love with me.  Second, it applies to every relationship where one party loses their romantic interest in the other for over four weeks, but keeps this boredom secret for any reason, like for the sake of the offspring, or hope of rekindling the flame.

One may object that this is not the intent of the authors of the mental illness, and that people in stable marriages are excluded from the definition on the grounds of common sense.  But such an objection acknowledges that an ambiguity exists, which forces one to resort to unscientific mind-reading of 3 parties in order to label someone as “Erotomanic”:  Whoever wrote such a careless definition, the patient, and the target of their affection.

I say “mind-reading” because there is no way to subject anyone's mind to the scientific method in order to determine with any degree of certainty who they are in love with.  And this is not because we don't yet have the technology, but because the mind doesn't exist in the natural world.  Like the supernatural god of creation-science, it belongs to another plane of existence.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk!  My arguments were inspired by Paul Lutus's public writings on the subject.

Con
Definition makes Truism
 
I really wish that this will not be the only argument in this round, but let us face it, a fancy swordfight wastes more energy than a precise shot through the nape.
 
For example, Wikipedia defines it as so.
Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feelings and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scope.[1]
 
Merriam-Webster defines it as so.
Definition of psychology
1the science of mind and behavior
2athe mental or behavioral characteristics of an individual or group
bthe study of mind and behavior in relation to a particular field of knowledge or activity[2]
 
Dictionary.com defines it as so.
the scientific study of the way the human mind works and how it influences behaviour, or the influence of a particular person's character on their behaviour[3]
 
Cambridge Dictionary defines it as so.
noun, plural psy·chol·o·gies.
the science of the mind or of mental states and processes.
the science of human and animal behavior.[4]
 
With the abundant evidence that all kinds of sources define Psychology as a science, and we know that pseudoscience is not science, thus according to the definitions, the topic statement is false.
 
Considering the essence of words, the very words that we are using to discuss other, more important words, are just definitions to make the word mean something[5], the most authentic source ofexplaining the idea of Psychology is what gives it an authentic definition.
 
And the definitions declare Psychology as a science and not a pseudoscience.
 
Judging by how the term is defined[5], Pro’s notion is impossible to justify unless Pro has the ability of changing the definitions of a word that has been used for centuries. If Pro’s statement is “Psychology should not be considered as a science”, Pro might have an edge of winning. However, judging by the very essence of the term “Psychology”, being considered authentic by the people(The opinions of the people is obviously more authentic than a single person on the internet, especially since “the people” has many scholars to define the terms and Pro is at most a single scholar, and this makes the opinions of the people, all concentrated on a single, or a few sentences that we call “definition” more authentic than a single person of knowledge expressing his/her/their idea on a not-so-authentic website for discussions, and not definitions.), it is simply incorrect to say that Psychology is not a science, the equivalent to saying that French Guiana is a country(It is not, it is a part of France). In some cases, whether a nation should be considered a country or not is debatable on even DArt, however, in the end, it is really the definition that matters, and the UN council gets to define whether this piece of land or this construct is a nation or not.
 
It is simple. Authentic definitions ensure that anything that could be considered pseudoscience NOT psychology. No matter what vagueness or mistakes(assuming that there is even any to begin with) there are with psychology, it is still defined as a science and not pseudoscience, with the term “is” implying present tense, which, if you search the terms up right as you are reading it, no source will say that Psychology is a pseudoscience. Go.
 
 
Does Pro’s argument stand?
 
Nope. Let us look at Pro’s argument and see.
 
Firstly, Pro talks about that the mind does not actually exist(Pro used 0 academic sources). However, society has progressed towards one point where many neurobiologists are concluding that the mind, so far, does not exist beyond the brains, instead of that the mind does not exist at all[6].
 
In a near-death experience, blind people can see what is going on in the place the person died. Obviously, the eyes are blinded before death, but the fact this happened means that consciousness can exist without hardware, and that the mind exists[7].
 
In fact, what even is the mind? [8]The definition linked below. We can sense things, smell things, eat, and argue about whether the mind itself exists or not. This would mean that empirical senses exist, and that is what the mind is. It exists. We remember things, we sense things, and we can sense other people sensing things. See? The mind exists.Behavior[9] can also be sensed as we can see other people engage in activity and can think about them. In the end, psychology still deals with things that exist.
 
Then, Pro talks about RMT and its inaccurate results. Somehow, Pro thinks just due to some inaccurate results, Psychology cannot be considered a science. Now, it is time to look at Newton and his falling apple.
 
[10] Newton concluded that Gravity is an existing force.
[11] Einstein and related scientists have concluded that Gravity is resulted by curved spacetime and is not a force.
 
At least one of them must be incorrect, right? But which one do we call not of the field of Physics? None of them. Just because of a failed procedure does not mean the entire subject dies. It means there is yet to be more accurate methods: [12]A new article has published a more accurate calibration method for microscopes, does that mean that older models of microscopes are not scientific?
 
We have essentially cleared that Psychology deals with real things. Now, Pro is talking about that Psychology does not use the scientific model. The strange thing is: it does. The thing is that psychology is based on empirical evidence/our senses, which, by the way, exists objectively(unless you believe in solipsism, in which then the entire debate would be useless for you), and the statement about votes don’t count is utter irony considering: The votes are data, and Pro is just not seeing it.
 
For 2 persons of depression, their mental history might be different: One might be depressed because he had spent all the money he had, and the other might be depressed because both of her parents died in a plane accident. We might not be able to tell which brain cells made them sad, but we absolutely know that they are persistently sad. That is Psychology. We can absolutely sense what the depressed persons are doing, even if we do not know what string of brain cells are causing them to be depressed. We can study their behaviors and how they react to things, and that is what psychologists do.
 
Studying their behaviors is, in of itself, an experiment/experiments. It does follow the scientific model. Let us visualize one possible procedure.
1. Purpose: How do depressed people view about their past?
2. Research: Their pasts have often been filled with trauma, etc.
3. Hypothesis: They would glorify their past as “good”, etc.
4. Experiment: Survey many different people who suffer from depression, record the answers
5. Analysis: Most people in the survey have a generally bleak outlook of their past[13, this is real]
6. Conclusion: The result does not match the hypothesis
 
This is just one simple application. In reality, many experiments have been done over the field of psychology[14], with some experiments so determined to uncover the truths of our minds, have been considered unethical[15].
 
Finally, we arrive at disorders that “do not sound like disorders.”.
 
Looking carefully, Pro has a misunderstanding on DSM-V. The disease is characterized by obsessive thinking of body shape, that the sufferer cannot stop thinking about it[16]. If Pro’s high school is filled with such people, then I generally feel sorry for Pro. However, if pro is using this statement as a justification for the Pro side of the resolution, this is similarly to claiming that one has OCD for having a clean presentation and can keep their house clean every day, or claiming one has ADHD for playing games at worktime about once a week. Surely, these things are like their respective disorders and many boys want to be fit, but none of the examples above have been severe enough to be considered as illnesses and disorders.
 
Then, Delusion Disorder is also based on obsession, such as wanting to stalk down someone who maybe does not even love him back[17]. The definition is not vague. However, the definitions that Pro uses is easily to be misunderstood and has no academic sources backing it up. In short, even if there are misunderstandings upon looking at Pro’s definitions, it is Pro’s own fault, not psychology’s. Then again, we could just make definitions more accurate like the microscope method or Einstein to Newton.
 
Sure, we cannot just use brain-scans to find out who they really are in love with, however, the people themselves are already a source. You think all people are liars? The people themselves constitute what they are thinking and who they love, and we know the world well enough to know which two are loving couples, and which two are just with Delusion Disorder.
Conclusions
1. Psychology is defined as a science, and not a pseudoscience
2. Psychology concerns with the mind that exists and the behavior which also exists
3. Inaccuracy does not make a field a non-science
4. Psychology could well follow the scientific method and conduct experiments
5. Pro’s example of vague disorders are vague due to Pro’s misunderstandings, and not Psychology itself, and psychology can make more accurate definitions over time, definitely.
6. In the end, Pro’s arguments are refuted, Psychology is a science and not a pseudoscience. Vote Con.
 
Sources

Round 2
Pro
I'm not sure which was the bigger mistake — allowing absolutely anyone to accept my debate, or the username of the person who did.

Appealing to dictionary definitions is pointless, because they only record how most people use a word.  They are descriptive.  That's why we have dictionaries recording two completely contradictory definitions for the word “literally”.  Colloquial definitions are often careless and imprecise.

Encyclopedias, on the other hand, are prescriptive.  They determine the precise meaning of technical terms, to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it really matters.  Unfortunately, Wikipedia contradicts itself by defining psychology as science, because it already defines science as “a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

These “testable explanations” are called scientific theories.  Because psychology has none of these, it cannot be science.  Case closed.

However, judging by the very essence of the term “Psychology”, being considered authentic by the people(The opinions of the people is obviously more authentic than a single person on the internet, especially since “the people” has many scholars to define the terms and Pro is at most a single scholar, and this makes the opinions of the people, all concentrated on a single, or a few sentences that we call “definition” more authentic than a single person of knowledge expressing his/her/their idea on a not-so-authentic website for discussions, and not definitions.), it is simply incorrect to say that Psychology is not a science, the equivalent to saying that French Guiana is a country(It is not, it is a part of France).
The spirit of science is skepticism, not appeals to authority, contrary to what the above word-salad would have us believe.

Pro talks about that the mind does not actually exist
I said the mind doesn't exist in the physical world”.  A subtle, yet important distinction your own mind is apparently incapable of grasping.

In a near-death experience, blind people can see

consciousness can exist without hardware
My opponent has resorted to unironically citing near-death experiences as proof their position is scientific.

we sense things, and we can sense other people sensing things.
This is the sort of platitude one might overhear from lovers during a tantra yoga session, and feels very out of place in a science debate.

Somehow, Pro thinks just due to some inaccurate results, Psychology cannot be considered a science.
It's not just the inaccurate results, it's the complete lack of any scientific theory.

Newton concluded that Gravity is an existing force.
Not a theory and not relevant.  From WikipediaNewton’s Law of Gravity is a mathematical equation [...] but it is not a theory.

At least one of them must be incorrect, right? But which one do we call not of the field of Physics? None of them. Just because of a failed procedure does not mean the entire subject dies.
If Newton's equations were a science or a theory, this mumbo-jumbo might be relevant.  But it's not, so it isn't.

The votes are data, and Pro is just not seeing it.
The secret votes are data in what sense?  I am confident that were these same members of the APA to get together tomorrow and vote you mentally insane, you would not defend their data.

We might not be able to tell which brain cells made them sad, but we absolutely know that they are persistently sad. That is Psychology.
Psychology, yes.  Science, no.

many experiments have been done over the field of psychology
You could perform a billion experiments and it would not take psychology any closer to being a science, because it would still be lacking a theory to explain the results.

the definitions that Pro uses is easily to be misunderstood and has no academic sources backing it up
They're straight from the latest edition of the DSM.

In short, even if there are misunderstandings upon looking at Pro’s definitions, it is Pro’s own fault, not psychology’s.
Again, they are not my definitions, they are copy-pasted from the DSM.

Looking carefully, Pro has a misunderstanding on DSM-V. The disease is characterized by obsessive thinking of body shape, that the sufferer cannot stop thinking about it[16].
You are citing some random website when I gave you a perfectly authoritative definition straight from the DSM, and then accusing me of misunderstanding the DSM.  At this point I have to ask you:  What year is it, and who is the President of the United States?

Con
DSM-V and Disorders
It appears like that I was wrong and this was an authentic source. However, that doesn’t mean Pro’s interpretation and understanding is definitely correct. Rather, Pro’s interpretation about at least 1 topic about said disorder is wrong even if the source, the “definition”, the description copied from the authentic website is correct, and matches more than the source I have posted in the last round, instead of what Pro thinks about the disorder.
 
Body Dysmorphic Disorder is one of the most common disorders[1], which means that even if BDD is said to match an abundance of people in Pro’s high school, it would still be somewhat plausible.
 
Just because a disorder is common doesn’t mean it isn’t one. The description itself states that in order to reach the level of disorder, one must constantly be preoccupied with the idea that one’s body is not fit, even if one’s body is actually fit. A lean person knowing how weak he is and just wanting to get strong is not suffering from BDD. A person who constantly thinks about how weak he is, especially when he isn’t even weak, that is BDD. Surely, most people with BDD would think they are ugly, but a person who looks at a mirror and thinks he is ugly, but is still able to socialize with companions normally like any normal healthy human being and joke about his ugliness, instead of letting the idea of him being unfit and ugly talking over his mind(especially when he isn’t even unfit of ugly at all!), making him insane, that person is not suffering from BDD. This is the same thing as just wanting to clean up one’s home not making that person suffering from OCD, or just playing video games at works not making that person suffering from ADHD. It is entirely plausible that most, if not all, people with BDD thinks they are ugly(even when they are not) however, just because one thinks oneself is ugly, does not necessarily hint BDD absolutely. Normal people with a sense of humor and beauty will probably “glow internally” if they become much more handsome and beautiful; but people with BDD? They would still think they are ugly and have no confidence in themselves even if they look like supermodels. Yeah, that is the difference.
 
Pro accuses me of accusing Pro for misunderstanding the DSM-V. However, she just did. Pro ruled a disorder as absurd because it is common and doesn’t sound serious, even though it is serious and it can turn people delusional and self-obsessed, and have no confidence in themselves because they are thinking in an uncommon manner, harmful to themselves. Common cold is common, do you expect yourselves to not provide any medications because you think it is not a big deal; and do you expect society to expect you to do so?
 
The Delusional Disorder part is the same issue. This time, I do not see any authentic evidence from Pro, genuinely. Pro did not mention that it is from the DSM-V or anything at all. I, however, have an authentic sources that specifies the scope of the disorder, which includes, you know, obsession. People with Delusion Disorder actually have illusions that causes impairment in their lives[Linked last round]. In other words, even though most people with the specified condition(erotomantic type) would falsely think someone is in love with them, that is not enough to declare someone with delusional disorder. What is more vital for identifying people with delusion disorder vs not is if they actually see illusions, such as ones that would display their loved ones right before their eyes, even if they do not exist to other people. Illusions are what is important, not who they love.
 
Here is another source that supports my case[2], here is another[3].
 
In the end, it was Pro who misinterpreted the descriptions from an authentic source, and then fabricated inaccurate definitions, blaming it on the field of research.
 
 
The mind and the soul
 
Pro opens up by stating that near-death experiences are not authentic evidence, even though neurosurgeons have recorded them themselves, and blind people can see in this state. The only logical conclusion would mean that the mind can, in fact, exist beyond the hardware called the body, otherwise there would, logically and scientifically, be no explanations. This is on top of that Pro does not have any authentic sources to prove that near-death experiences are not authentic evidence: A logical fallacy. If you are proving me wrong, at least give some evidence instead of resorting to absurdity.
 
Then, Pro listed another statement not as wrong, but as absurd. What is exactly absurd about being able to sense things? We reason, we see things, we touch things, and we have emotions. All normal people can do so and all people can sense other people doing the things. It is a truism if you have lived your life, and at this point I am 50% sure that Puachu is a bot, not understanding how people even feel.
 
Think about the statements. Take a walk away from your computer. You will understand that it is true. Then, at the very least, Pro doesn’t even state why the mind isn’t real, let alone provide any source for it.
 
In the end, the mind subjectively exists to anything that can think. This is on top of that[4] Behavior projects consciousness and the mind, which makes studying psychology still something based on the real world.
 
 
Scientific Method & Testable Theories
 
First off, Pro dismisses the theory of gravity as not a theory at all, because it apparently is a law also. Well, if the evidence isn’t convincing enough, here is more[5][6]. Newton just theorizing that there is a gravitational force is of zero equations and is just a theory.
 
Then, Pro states that Psychology has no scientific theories. That is generally untrue.
 
[4][7]There are many fields of psychology, each one conducting their researches and creating their theories, using the scientific method. Of these, there is a field called “Quantitative psychology” which is mainly about how to measure qualities in human consciousness. [8] It is also untrue that Psychology has no theories, and this point is unsupported by Pro with any evidence at all. The whole reason this point exists is because Pro states that the mind does not exist. And? There is no evidence of the mind not existing. There is also no evidence of the mind not connecting with behaviors(in fact, I have given counterevidence). All that is left for Pro is an actual failure of the field not representative of the entire field, plus two or so misinterpretations of existing disorders.
 
As for disorders, people aren’t voted to be mentally ill or not[9], a misconception. What the “votes” actually contribute to are another classification, another state of mind. They decide whether that state of mind is ill, not whether it exists[10]. People are like that even if the psychological researchers don’t give an eye at it and classify it as nothing. The psychologists are discovering the states of mind, not creating them and shoving them up broken people.
 
Psychology concerns behavior and feelings of people, that should be a truism. And, it does exactly what it is meant to do: making connections between behavior and the mind. The theories do that too[8]. The behaviorist theory and many more can be experimented on, some given in R1. 
 
There are much more to “data” than votes, thanks to Quantitative psychology. Surveys about mental states could also serve as data: You hand those out to a group of people, and then make conclusions about people who answers “yes” on which question, etc. Psychology does that and since it is just a science dealing with people’s thinking, this would count as evidence.
 
If Pro is saying that Psychology is unable to explain the results, neither can any field do so except the ones dealing with the most fundamental knowledge. Biology is able to explain why a plant cell is rigid and not invincible, but it is unable to explain why the atoms making it up is composed of electrons, protons and neutrons, etc. You got to leave that to the particle physicists. Computer Scientists can program DART and all kinds of things, but cannot explain why binary or base-10 exists or works, you got to leave that to the mathematicians. Physicists are able to explain how the universe works, but cannot explain why it is designed this way. Do we also call biology, computer science, and physics pseudoscience?
 
The same way is Psychology. We can explain what people did to become insane and mentally impaired, even though using it we cannot explain what brain cells partook in the process. You got to leave that to the neuroscientists. Even then, Psychology is connected to the rest of the scientific body through the likes of neuroscience, whereas religion and astrology are not. 
 
Psychology is able to explain why people think like one way and process another way through social interactions and behaviors, and experiments can be done on them with data outputting; and neuroscience got its back, connecting it to the rest of science. It has all the qualities making it science, and Pro has little backing on why it can’t explain anything, especially since there are articles for the contrary. In the end, Psychology would be more of a science and less of a pseudoscience. 
 
Defintions
 
In the present, authentic evidence and even encyclopedias define the term like this, and you are not more authentic than a group of language masters to be trusted to make definitions. If you are, prove to me.
 
As of now, the definitions are defining the term like this whether you like it or not, so we are technically just discussing a misinterpretation of the word. Remember the definitions still haven’t been changed yet, so if the term means something else to you, maybe it is not the right word for you. Psychology is defined as a science and it is a science. If it is not a science, it is not psychology. If it is Psychology, it is not a pseudoscience. Definitions are all the word means, and I see no definitions stating that psychology is a pseudoscience. So, all in all, psychology is a science.
 
 
Conclusions
● Pro misinterpreted some disorders, and those disorders are still real.
● The behavior is a projection of the mind, and psychology is still about existing things
● Psychology uses the scientific methods and has theories and there is Quantitative psychology measuring human behavior and mind, making data exist.
● Psychology is able to explain things that it is meant to explain, and you cannot explain why a cupcake adds salt with nuclear science. Psychology is connected with the rest of science unlike pseudoscience. Psychology can explain the connections between behaviors and states of human mind.
● The definitions are all that a word means and Psychology is defined as a science, thus it is a science.
● In the end, psychology is a science and not a pseudoscience.
● The topic statement is not sufficiently proven. Please vote Con.
 
 
Sources
 
Thank you for reading this essay that I have written in a few hours. Please vote Con if you find my arguments convincing. Please vote fairly. That is all.