Different faces of psychology

We can distinguish between different aspects of psychology. I think one important distinction is between psychology as the empirical study of the mind, and the medical field that identifies and treats diseases of the mind. Call the former "empirical psychology" and the latter "medical psychology" (it might perhaps be better called "normative psychology").

An empirical psychologist can for example study the many behaviors that have been identified by medical psychologists as symptoms of ADHD, without ever needing to agree with the medical psychologist that those behaviors are abnormal or unhealthy. One can equally well observe and record those behaviors in individuals regardless of whether one considers them to be abnormal or unhealthy.

A classic case in which medical psychology changed radically but non-empirically is the de-classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder. While this may have been accompanied by empirical discoveries made by empirical psychologists, nevertheless as far as I have been able to determine, the question of whether to classify homosexuality as a mental disorder did not hinge on any empirical data. It was not an empirical discovery but rather a decision about how to consider homosexuality.

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Dr. Helen Smith, the forensic psychologist, makes posts similar to yours every now and then.