Chapter Summary

Since the foundations of modern-day psychology in the late 19th century, the extent to which psychology should be conceptualized as (1) a natural science and (2) a social science has been much debated. Key to this debate are the following two questions:

(1) To what extent should psychology study the mind and our lived experiences of the world?

(2) To what extent should psychology focus on what is externally observable and measurable?

Over the past 150 years, psychology has developed a range of methods, approaches and measures to address these questions. While the debate is still very much ongoing, modern-day psychology presents a multifaceted discipline that often embraces both.