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Is Psychology applied Philosophy? Should we study closer at the underlying philosophical foundations of many Psichology theories/research?

I'm very curious about Psychology and Philosophy, mostly self learned, not an academic or even a remote practitioner (my work is around business). So I'd really like some help with this idea.

The more I read about the different branches of Psychology the more I can see a simile to other sciences. Like in physics there is theoretical and experimental, in mathematics theory and application are very distinguishable branches, but yet in philosophy how do you experiment with the concepts? how to discard an idea as superior than other from practical experimentation?

Then I turn to psychological research trying to understand the mind, our behavior, our intrinsic motivation and the relationship with our communities. isn't it an attempt to validate scientifically not only the psychological theory but also the underlying philosophy guiding the experiment/observation?

Thanks for your help and comments


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    Sep 4 2012: MY opinion:
    Given what we know today, and the technology that is now available to us, it is impossible to establish a philosophy that does not take recent scientific knowledge into consideration. Philosophy is nothing more than a way to fill in the gaps of knowledge as logically as possible according to the definition of logic of the philosopher.

    What types of study is being done today?

    Dr Bern (Prof. Emeritus of Psychology@ Cornell) wanted to know if people are psychic, so he came up with a study. He changed the order of events in a simple test. 1) show random words on computer 2) test how many remembered. 3) practice (putting practice AFTER the test). He found that those who call themselves "risk takers" did statistically improbably better than non-risk-takers at remembering words practiced AFTER the test.

    Another study (by several researcheres) show random pictures on monitor while volunteers are hooked up to EEGs. Result: People's brainwaves change BEFORE the horrible/sexy/jarring photos are randomly selected by the computer.

    Research into "mind" (w/ its exciting discoveries, came to us because of amazing discoveries in quantum physics. It forced physicists to re-think their philosophies (which are nothing more than belief systems) to accommodate the new knowledge.

    So if I had to put together a study, I'd start with a questionnaire about beliefs. I would ask volunteers to list as many beliefs as possible (using prompts to help them). I would interview the same people. I would compare their lives with their beliefs. Follow up w/ taking half the volunteers and explaining the new science causing beliefs to change. Then ask them to write down what they want to happen within the next 365 days. At end of year, bring both groups together and repeat the questionnaire & interview - asking the question - what was your primary goal one year ago. Compare both the control w/ goal-writers to see if 1 more effective than another.

    Did I answer your ?
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      Sep 4 2012: Your argument that now with technology many beliefs that would only be based in logic, and that in the past were approached naturally and only through Philosophy, and that now can be transitioned to be empirically validated in the realms of Psychology, is precisely the core of my question.

      More to your argument, since so many new things are being researched and discovered in the Psychology sphere, why is that the fundamental construct and discarding process of Philosophy have not been altered to adjust to this fact yet? In many ways Psychology is providing the elements for beliefs that culture is transforming into a Philosophy of life for many people, naturally, where ancient Philosophy takes much longer to embrace.

      On the other hand, assuming that everything would be determined and scientifically proven is not completely acceptable either. Where then, Philosophy would always have a place as a discipline of approximation to issues that are difficult to be determined empirically, but yet the connection to Psychology needs to be drawn closer, so what cannot tested today might be the research of tomorrow?

      Thanks for you answer
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        Sep 5 2012: You said, "why is that the fundamental construct and discarding process of Philosophy have not been altered to adjust to this fact yet?"

        People are simply not aware of the astounding discoveries that have been made in the last 20 years. This information, that governments around the world know, are being supressed. (3 years ago, I could have given you a government link to a study about the ability of group meditation to bring reduction in crime, violence, and war-related injuries, damages, and expenses, but that link has since been taken down. I can't even find the abstract any more)

        This information redefines who and WHAT humans are. Many are discovering this on their own as scientists, no longer trying to influence governments, are publishing independently - both in book form and through YouTube. It's not that people are relying on psychology or philosophy as much as people are now daring to question their own beliefs, and they are arriving at the same point - which is rather astounding, dont you think?

        When Dr. Bern did his research, he noted that it's a rare psychologist who believes in what he talks about (I can't remember the number, but it was something like 80% or more). Psychology was the only field of scientific study that openly rejected his work before he did his research. (Let's face it, people who find the common philosopohy that so many are finding independently are realizing that depression and fear have faded away from their lives. Who needs a psychologist under these circumstances.

        MOST American religions (I speak as an American) are AFRAID of this new worldview that is so gentle and empowering. The xtian right call it New Age evil.

        Conclusion: Yes, psychology needs to be drawn in. But as these are not the ones doing research that would make their careers obsolete, I don't see it happening any too soon. They seem to prefer the comfort of the past.

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