The Importance of Empirical Evidence.
In the early 1800s, anatomist Franz Josef Gall proposed that anatomical differences in the form of the head were related to the development of the brain. He founded the science of phrenology (or cranioscopy), based on the idea that the morphology of the skull correlated with characteristics related to behavior, ability, intelligence, and emotional functioning (Kaitaro, 2001). Although Gall and his followers tended not to scrutinize phrenology scientifically, their theories went uncontested for approximately 10 years until proven wrong. Some years later, Paul Broca, another physician, also explored the functions of the brain in his theory that lesions in the cortex of the frontal lobe affect speech. Unlike Gall, however, Broca insisted on testing this hypothesis for support and confirmation (Benjamin, 2013). Why might some psychological theorists have failed to adequately test their hypotheses? In other words, what challenges might they have faced related to empirical research? In addition, what are the consequences of failing to conduct adequate research?
For this Discussion, review the Learning Resources. Consider the evolution of psychological disciplines grounded in theory as well as research. Select a contemporary example of a psychology discipline that appeared to have strong theoretical support but was found later lacking in empirical evidence due to lack of research or inadequate research.
By Day 3
Post by Day 3 a description of your selected example of a psychological discipline. Explain challenges the theorist might have faced related to conducting empirical research on psychological disciplines. Then explain the consequences to the public of implementing this discipline without conducting adequate research.