I do believe that politics affect the science of psychology and very much does so. To begin with, in society today, political correctness in Britain has become absolutely ridiculous. When writing a research report, researchers today must make certain that they haven’t included any terminology in the report that could possibly offend anyone. It is politically incorrect today to differentiate different types of people from being what is classified as normal. This makes writing a psychology report extremely difficult at times, especially when a non-normal population is taken into consideration, for example when referring to people with special needs or people suffering from depression.
Secondly, it is not as straightforward today to conduct experiments or studies in order to analyse behaviour. For example, Milgram conducted a study in order to investigate the effects of obedience on behaviour. He did this by deceiving participants into believing that they were giving other participants a series of electric shocks, however in reality the participants that were receiving the electric shocks were actually confederates of the researcher. Although Milgram’s study demonstrated shocking behaviour and incredibly informative results, a study such as this one would in no way be given the ‘go ahead’ today due to ethical issues given by the the British Psychological Society and the law. Therefore, it is harder today due to politics to demonstrate enlightening results to suggest the effect of a stimulus on behaviour.
Therefore, politics has had an increasing effect on psychology as a science in recent years. Without politics, in some ways the field of psychology could be much more interesting and informative. However, without politics, ethical guidelines and the law, testing behaviour could become very dangerous. This was demonstrated in Zimbardo’s study where participants were recruited to the role of police officers and criminals in a prison-like study. A video tape was made of the whole study and the researchers discovered dreadfully malicious behaviour from the ‘prison officers’ towards the ‘criminals’ and the ‘criminals’ remained incredibly obedient to the ‘prison officers’ despite the roles being make-believe. When later asked about their experience in the prison-like study, the participants were still incredibly disturbed by the turmoil. Therefore, it is sometimes important that researchers are given some ethical guidelines to follow in order to protect the participants’ well-being. Thus, although politics can stand in the way of fascinating findings at times, it is also important to have politics in the science of psychology in order to protect participants from harm.