Psychologys Formal Beginings Essay

This essay has a total of 1492 words and 6 pages.

Psychologys Formal Beginings

The Nature of Psychology
Psychology is the scientific study and practical application of observable behavior and
mental processes of organisms. Psychology differs from other social sciences such as:
Sociology, History, or Economics, because psychology specifically deals with the study of
an individual. The other social sciences will study groups, or history. Psychology is less
a science of reported findings, it attempts asks and answers questions using observable
behavior and what can be determined as mental processes of the subject. The symbol for
psychology is the Greek letter "psi" (O). The subject matter of psychology is, affect,
behavior, and cognition. The affect for psychology is the actual mental processes that
make up: moods, feeling, and emotional state. An example for affect would be feeling sad
about something happening. Behavior includes the actually actions and responses of
organisms. Behavior can include the way we act in any given situation, for example when we
get up in the morning. The order in the way we prepare ourselves for going out into public
can be categorized as our behavior. Cognition is the actual mental events and the
processes that result from them. Memories of an event are a great example of an organism's
cognition. The components and corresponding faces of psychology include the body of
knowledge which is considered the teaching face, set of investigative methods or research
face, and array of techniques the therapy face. The goals of psychology are: to explain
behaviors, to describe behaviors, to predict behavior, and to modify inappropriate
behaviors. Explaining behaviors would be a question similar to "Why does this happen?",
and example of how describing behavior could be accomplished would be asking "What causes
this behavior, where does it come from?". Predictions can be elaborated on by asking "When
will the behavior occur?". An example of a behavioral modification question is "What can
be changed in the environment to alter this behavior?". A specialized subfield of
psychology that most interests me is, Forensic Psychology, because it would be appealing
to me to understand a potential criminal mind and to make the determination if the
criminal was sane at the time the crime was committed or if he/she was operating with full
judgment. In studying the 9/11 attack on America, a Forensic Psychologist would be used to
determine if the terrorist operating the plane that hit the twin towers was mentally sane,
and if they would be able to stand trial for there crimes. The
Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic perspective deals with the unconscious, a possible
explanation for obesity would be that the individual has an unconscious notion to eat when
they are upset. Behavioral perspective or "learning perspective" focuses on how people
learn to behave a certain way, a behavioral psychologist would explain obesity by
suggesting that consuming too much food was learned and that's why the individual is
obese. The cognitive perspective deals with information processing or how it is stored and
retrieved; obesity would be explained by looking at the judgment to eat more food.
Biological perspective focuses on the body's events and the effect on behaviors, thoughts,
and feelings, genetic pre-disposition would be considered when looking at obesity, "Does
it run in the family?". The humanistic emphasizes on individual potential, and assumes
that all people are essentially good, obesity would be considered from a self-esteem
perspective, and does the individual have such low self-esteem that food is consumed at
rapid and abnormal rates.

Importance of Psychology
Psychology is important because it is relevant in our daily lives and it has practical
applications in the real world. Psychology could be used to explain why an individual is
sleep deprived, and it also would be able to explain what effects that sleep deprivation
would have on the individual. Drug abuse could be understood better, and what effects the
drug abuse has on the body. Intuition is immediate information without an objective
medium. Intuition will not help to give information on behavior because it is a biased
opinion formed from a person's overconfidence of their "gut feeling". Common sense is
sound rational thinking in our barely perceptible mode of consciousness. Common sense is a
behavior usually used to help us avoid negative maneuvers; it cannot be used to aid
determining behavior because it is an assumed quality and not a concrete fact or set of
rule. Overconfidence is a human behavior that lends us to be self-predicting on what will
be done. In actuality this overconfidence is only correct about 30% of the time when used
for a specific behavior, which makes it a poor judge or aid in behavior study. Believing
one would have seen an outcome after it has already happened is hindsight bias. Hindsight
bias would only help determine behavior that has already happened in the past, even though
we cannot predict what would have taken place. Pseudopsychologies are phenomena that don't
have any real basis in fact, ESP or telekinesis is a type of parapsychology which falls
under pseudopsychology. Pseudopsychologies do not help explain or describe behavior,
without turning to more unconventional and not widely accepted methods and explanations.

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