Register to ask Dr. Bo a question, or comment on any question/answer.
Register!

one moment please...


Bo takes a critical thinking-, reason-, and science-based approach to issues that matter with the goal of educating and entertaining. You create the show by submitting your questions here. Bo has a PhD in social psychology, but covers a broad range of topics including: Science Education (scientific method, what is / is not science, etc.), Success, Entrepreneurship, Motivation, General Psychology, Social Psychology, Positive Psychology (well-being, flourishing, happiness, etc.), Cognitive Psychology (belief, cognitive biases, memory, our flawed brain, etc.), General Social Science, Critical Thinking, Logical Fallacies, Humanism / Secularism, and even some Philosophy. All (reasonable) questions will be answered here, and some will be the material for the Dr. Bo Show.

The first two years of shows have been compiled into the book, Reason: Book I. This book is available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook through Amazon and all major ebook retailers.

Q&A Home Contact Form



Send me a copy of this message
Send Message sending message...

Q&A Home Question

0

votes

image loading...
Dudley Dowell
psychology
religion
soul
Wed, Dec 31, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Is there a proper place for the study of soul or a theory of soul within psychology?


1 Answer

0

votes
Answer Accepted!

image loading...
Bo Bennett, PhD
Host, Doctor of Social Psychology

Moderator

image loading...

Bo Bennett, PhD

Host, Doctor of Social Psychology

Moderator

About Bo Bennett, PhD

I am the host of this show :) For my complete bio, please see http://www.bobennett.com.
PrintWed, Dec 31, 2014 - 12:00 AM
As a science, psychology uses methodological naturalism as its foundation. While this excludes the study of the *existence* of the "soul" (as well as gods, heaven, hell, miracles, ghosts, garden fairies, etc.) it does not exclude the study of *belief* in the soul. There is much in the literature about why people believe in the concept of souls. Psychologists, like other people, are raised with religious beliefs that make their way into the psychologist's understanding of psychology. Despite academic training and knowledge of the available research (the illusion of the "ghost in the machine" has been thoroughly debunked by modern science—see "The Self Illusion" by Dr. Bruce Hood for a good overview of the literature in this area), the belief in a soul is a difficult one to let go of—even for academics who should know better. It gives people the hope of immortality—the ultimate fuel for motivated reasoning. It's also a foundational belief for many religions. Psychology professionals who profess their belief in the existence of the soul are NOT representing the findings of psychology, but simply speculating in the areas of philosophy and religion.

So is there a proper place for the study of soul or a theory of soul within psychology? We can currently study the belief in the soul and we can consider the "soul hypothesis" as an alternative to the very good explanations we now have in cognitive, social, and neuro psychology. But until such evidence is found, any mention of the soul represents nothing more than a personal belief or a hypothetical construct with no theoretical or empirical support.
Bo Bennett, PhD
My Latest Book: https://www.uncomfortable-ideas.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedrboshow/
About Me: http://www.bobennett.com


Quick Comment On This Answer (no login required):
Your comment below will be anonymously sent to the answer owner, it will not be posted, and you will not get a response.

Send Comment sending comment...

Registered User Comments




 Copyright 2017, Archieboy Holdings, LLC.