Chapter 9 Psychological Technology

Many scientific disciplines have direct benefits through their application in technology. For example, physics has direct benefits because knowledge of physics makes it possible to design strong bridges; knowledge of medicine allows development of effective medication; and knowledge of chemistry allows synthesis of that medication. Most people do not deal with science directly, but rather, with the technologies that are ultimately applications of science.

These technologies are what lends science a certain tangibility. In fact, cultural expressions of ‘doing science’ usually concern the clever use or development of technology: applying science, rather than doing science. To most people, science itself is hardly useful - and therefore, interesting. Technology, on the other hand, is very interesting, as it, by definition, allows one to achieve things that were previously impossible or harder.

Succesful development of technology is not only very useful, it also affords some tangibility, and therefore, legitimacy, to a scientific discipline. Therefore, applying scientific knowledge into technology is a desirable goal for many institutions and researchers. However, this requires knowledge to be expressed with a high degree of accuracy (and of course to be sufficiently correct). Vague or inaccurate desriptions cannot enable sufficiently reliable application to achieve the equivalent of building a bridge.

In psychological science, a number of applied fields exist, such as clinical psychology, organisational and work psychology, and health psychology.

pragmatism; knowing how to measure, knowing how to change