What is psychology? Essay

  1. What is scientific discipline?

The wordscientific disciplinecomes from the Latin wordscientia or scientwhich is the present participial for “scire” which means “know” or “discern. ” It pertains to the survey of the physical universe and all the phenomena that occur in it utilizing systematic observation and experimentation. It besides refers to a peculiar subdivision or country of survey of the natural. physical universe. Another definition of scientific discipline is that it is a “systematic organized organic structure of cognition on a specific subject” and involves methodical manner of executing or analyzing things ( Encarta Dictionary. 2006 ) . Science employs scientific processs and these are characterized by 1 ) explicit processs. 2 ) objectiveness. 3 ) and entering ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ) .

  1. Is psychological science a scientific discipline?

It is a given that psychological science is accepted as a scientific subject. By this virtuousness. it is a immature scientific discipline. The term “psychology” made its first recorded visual aspect in the English linguistic communication in the lexicon of physiological footings published in 1693. The scientific discipline of Psychology has its roots in several subjects. among which are doctrine. medical specialty. biological science and fauna. Like in about all other scientific disciplines. nevertheless. much of psychological science developed from doctrine ( Atkinson. 1993 ) .

Psychology developed from the attempts of great work forces and adult females. This is decently understood in the different schools of idea. From Aristotle in the 4th century to Descartes in the 1600s. psychological science grew to spread out with the intermingling of doctrine and the scientific disciplines. With the coming of scientific methodological analysiss on the 19th century. psychological science began to accomplish the position of an independent scientific discipline.

A group of German philosophers. led by Wilhelm Wundt. started to use scientific methodological analysis in their psychological surveies. At about the beginning of the 20th century. a figure of American psychologists became interested in the development of psychological science in Germany and went at that place to acquire their preparation. Upon their return. they helped set up the scientific discipline of psychological science in the United States ( Bernstein et Al. . 1991 ) .

Four of the better known psychologists among this batch were William James ( 1842-1910 ) . considered as the “Dean of the American Psychologists. ” G. Stanley Hall. James Cattell. and Edward Titchener. The first formal research lab was set up at the John Hopkins University in 1883. Other experimental research labs were established at major universities throughout the state. Between 1910 and 1950. a figure of psychological schools or systems of theories were developed. and opposing point of views on the nature and map of psychological science continued among psychologists. After 1950. nevertheless. there was a tendency towards a meeting of the different point of views with a inclination towards eclectism among the psychologists ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ) .

Sigmund Freud offered a psychoanalytic point of view on the diagnosing and apprehension of a person’s mental wellness. Other positions. the behaviouristic paradigm offers to see this in a different visible radiation. The psychoanalytic position emphasizes childhood experiences and the function of the unconscious head in finding future behaviour and in explicating and understanding current based on past behaviour.

Establishing on his personality concepts of the Id. Ego and the Superego. Freud sees a mentally healthy individual as possessing what he callsEgo strength. On the other manus. the behavior healer sees a individual as a “learner” in his environment. with the encephalon as his primary organ of endurance and vehicle for geting his societal operation. With this paradigm. mental wellness is a consequence of the environment’s impact on the individual ; he learns to fear or to be happy and therein lies the of import key in understanding a person’s mental province ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ) .

Because Psychology has its roots in varied subjects. it is non surprising that it has developed a figure of different ways of sing the same subject. There are normally considered to be five different positions: the psychodynamics. the cognitive. the behavioural. the humanistic. and the biological. Sometimes the cognitive and behavioural are combined. Each position focuses on different facets of operation and on different causes of working and on different causes of human enterprise ( Wilkinson and Campbell. 1997 ) .

Why is it considered a scientific discipline?Harmonizing to some scientists. psychological science can be considered a scientific discipline because it has been revolutionized in such a manner that every bit much as possible. it employs scientific methods when it makes its survey. Psychology is a scientific discipline because it utilizes scientific methodological analysiss ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ) . As pointed out earlier. it complies with the features of scientific processs such as:

  1. a ) Objectivity – which means freedom from prejudice and biass. The findings or consequences gathered by the research worker are non influenced by his subjective thoughts.
  2. B ) Explicit Procedures – Procedures of the research worker are clear and therefore can be verified. tested. and duplicated by future research workers.
  3. degree Celsiuss ) Recording – Worthy research-works are frequently published in scientific literature for future research workers to measure. verify. disseminate. and even to rebut findings ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ) .

Psychology belongs to the behavioural scientific disciplines that seek to detect general truths about human societal behaviour. No 1 today can afford non to cognize psychological science as it touches virtually every facet of our life. It is gleaned that psychological science is straight and indirectly related to anthropology. sociology. economic sciences. political relations. and history ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ) .

  1. What is psychological science? Is it the survey of behaviour or the survey of head?

Psychology is the scientific of human behaviour and mental procedures ; a survey which is of considerable involvement to about all people. In the chase of this survey is the of import characteristic of understanding the ends or aims. To depict. explain and predict behaviour and if possible control or modify it. are the chief aims of this scientific subject.

These aims confine every bit good as broaden student’s attack towards a deeper position of the field in the sense that he/she will hold a appreciation on the assortment of capable affairs that psychology provides. the progresss or discoveries it has attained. its insufficiencies and defects. every bit good as forthcoming challenges the subject faces. Since human persons are complex and altering. the survey is intriguing yet possesses a certain grade of trouble. Intriguing because it explores all the aspects of being human and possessing a certain grade of trouble because of its many-sided sub-disciplines ( Bootzin. 1991 ) .

Psychology comes from two Grecian words “psyche” and “logos” which meanpsyche and survey. severally.The antediluvian Greeks considered psychological science merely as survey of the psyche. Modern psychological science is the survey of the behaviour of an being. and the manner it adjusts. socially and biologically. to the universe around it. Thus psychological science can purely be defined as the scientific survey of homo and animate being behaviours. It is fundamentally focused on existent human behaviour. Indeed. psychological science may be defined as the scientific discipline of single human behaviour. It is different from common-sense intuitions because it is systematic in its observations. It makes conjectures. or hypothesis about behaviour. so by experimentation checks out the hypotheses ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ; Morgan. 1977 ) .

Behavior means activities that can be observed activities that can be observed straight. such as the reactions of the musculuss and the secretory organs. every bit good as the organized forms of responses as a whole. It besides includes internal procedures such as thought. feeling. and other reactions that can non be straight observed but can be inferred from external behaviour. In other words. any related action or reaction people do under specified circumstance is called a behaviour ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ; Bootzin. 1991 ) .

Psychology is a comparatively immature scientific discipline. Peoples from the earlier periods of history attempted to happen the grounds why work forces behaved the manner they did. In the 19th century. two theories of the head competed for support. One known as module psychological science was a philosophy of familial mental powers.

Harmonizing to this theory. the head has a few distinct and independent “faculties. ” or mental bureaus – such as thought. feeling. and willing – that history for its activities. These modules were farther broken into subfaculties: people remember through the subfaculty of memory. imaging through the subfaculty of imaginativeness. and so on. Faculty psychological science encouraged early nineteenth-century craniologists. such as Gall. to seek to place particular modules in different parts of the encephalon ( Atkinson. 1993 ; Morgan. 1977 ) .

Theassociationpsychologists held an opposing position: they denied congenital modules of the head ; alternatively they limited the mind’s content to thoughts that enter by manner of the senses and so go associated through such rules as similarity. contrast. and adjacency. They explained all mental activity through the association of thoughts – a construct chiefly developed by British philosophers. Both module and association psychological science have contemporary opposite numbers. The hunt for mental abilities as factors in psychological trials is related to faculty psychological science ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ) .

The inquiry remains whether it is the survey of behaviour or the survey of the head. The most appropriate reply is that by mentioning to the most preferable definition today of psychological science which is the scientific survey of human behaviour and mental procedures. This helps clarify the enquirer as to the rightness of the reply and so. because the developments of the research on psychological science has established that behaviour is the groundss of the workings of the head so psychological science is both the survey of behaviour and the head.

Man is complex- he/she maps otherwise than any of other earth’s animals and this has made the geographic expedition of the head and behaviour more hard. Today. mental procedures are recognized as portion of human behaviour merely that they are intrinsic and at most times their effects are merely seen either much later in the individual’s activities or in the effects of his/her picks. Nevertheless. mental procedures include such things as ideas. decision-making. imagining. judgment. memory. planning. motivations and the similar ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ; Bernstein. 1991 ; Morgan. 1977 ) .

  1. Can a psychologist survey the head and still be a scientist?

A psychologist can analyze the head and still be a scientist. Yes. with the discoveries of scientific engineerings which enable researches to dig into the encephalon and assorted neurological procedures which serve as place of human behaviour and his/her activities. Psychology today has forty specialisations or content countries which include experimental and physiological psychological science that investigate basic behavioural and nervous system processes. Under these two are their subspecialties includingExperimental psychological sciencewhich investigates basic behavioural procedures ;Physiological psychological science and physiological psychologywhich explore the connexion between the nervous and endocrinal systems and behaviour ;

Neurosciencewhich is another subspecialty investigates the manner the encephalon works ; andpsychopharmacologysurveies the relationship between drugs and behaviour. Merely by sing these subspecialties. the enquirer understands the long manner that psychological science has trekked in footings of its chase in understanding behaviour and the human head. These are grounds indicating to the scientific achievements to be able to hold a physiological account of the behaviour and head of adult male ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ) .

  1. Is the head reducible to either behaviour or neurophysiology?

The head is reducible to behavior in many cases and besides to neurophysiology but both can non stand entirely ; hence. the necessity of the working cognition of both. The physiological footing of behaviour reveals to the enquirer that the head can be understood in scientific nomenclature as reduced to the neurophysiological degree. Although there are certain restrictions here such that. inspite of the cogent evidence that the head works depending on such physical or neurological affairs as thenerve cell. the neurotransmitters. the hormone system.for case. no scientist can really “pinpoint” where theheadisprecisely in the encephalon. Likewise. it is besides hard to cut down the head merely to behavior since it widely accepted that behavior’s definition. range and nature is really limited as good ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ) .

  1. Can an nonsubjective psychological science of head exist?

Probably. there will be remain to be a grade of subjectiveness in the psychological science of the head ; it will be hard to accomplish a pure nonsubjective psychological science. Humans will so be reduced about to robots when that happens. The most that scientists can achieve is that they are able to set up and detect the frontiers of the human head to a big extent but no more beyond that ( Atkinson et al. . 1993 ; Bootzin. 1991 ) . That is the ground thatCreationists andothers in the spiritual circles have taken advantage of: because the human head remains elusive.


Atkinson. R. L. . R. C. Atkinson. E. E. Smith. D. J. Bem. and S. Nolen-Hoeksema. 1993.Introduction to Psychology.13Thursdayed. New York: Harcourt College Publishers.

Bernstein. D. A. . E. J. Roy. T. K. Srull. and C. D. Wickens. 1991.Psychology.New Jersey: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Bootzin. R. R. 1991.Psychology.New York: Gilford Press.

_______ Encarta Dictionary. Microsoft® Encarta® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Morgan. Clifford T. 1977.A Brief Introduction to Psychology.2neodymiumed. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Wilkinson. J. D. and E. A. Campbell. 1997.Psychology in guidance and curative pattern.New York: John Wiley and Sons.

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