SI Psy a Science Essay

This essay has a total of 1779 words and 13 pages.

SI Psy a Science

The Ultimate Online Student Resource
Currently 8972 Essays Online
Mon Dec 11 2000 - 08:47:34 CST

Print Essay
Email Essay
Search Essays
Browse Essays
Request Essay
Submit An Essay
Custom Writing


The Paper Store

Become A Partner

Is Psychology a Science?

In order to answer this question it is important to understand the
definitions of both psychology and science. The word 'psychology' comes
from the Greek 'psyche' (or soul) and 'logos' (or study), which came to be
known as the 'study of the soul'. The American Heritage Dictionary
defines psychology as:

1. the science dealing with the mind and with mental and
emotional processes 2. the science of human and animal behavior.

In its pure definition the dictionary has provided us with a clue to the
answer, it describes science as:

1. systematized knowledge derived from observation, study, etc. 2. a
branch of knowledge, esp. one that systematizes facts,
principles, and methods 3. skill or technique

In order to prove this claim we have to look at whether or not psychology
can fill this definition above.

Scientific study is a valid way of coming to an understanding of life, and
can be very useful in every area of life. Science develops theories based
on what is observed. It examines each theory with rigorous and scrupulous
tests to see if it describes reality. The scientific method works well in
observing and recording physical data and in reaching conclusions which
either confirm or nullify a theory.

During the mid-19th century, scholars (although at that time probably
termed philosophers) wanted to study human nature with the aim of applying
the scientific method to observe, record, and treat human behavior that
was deemed as unnatural. They believed that if people could be studied in
a scientific manner, there would be a greater accuracy in understanding
present behavior, in predicting future behavior, and, most controversially,
in altering behavior through scientific intervention.

There are many areas of psychology, each attempting to explain behavior
from slightly different perspectives;

Social psychology is concerned with the effects of social situations on
human behavior. Personality theorists study individual behavior.
Comparative psychologists study animal behaviors across the range of
species Physiological psychologists are concerned with the biological
basis of behavior. Developmental psychologists study principles and
processes responsible for change throughout life. Cognitive psychologists
investigate memory, thought, problem solving, and the psychological
aspects of learning. Analysis of behavior studies the conditions under
which a behavior can be learned and the situations that cause that
behavior to occur. Learning is an area of psychology exploring how new
behaviors are learned and maintained. Clinical psychologists study ways to
help individuals and groups of individuals change their behavior.
Industrial and organizational psychologists are concerned with the
physical and social aspects of people's work environments as they affect
work output. Community psychologists use scientific methods to study and
solve social problems.

As Western describes, the psychological paradigm is a collection of
assumptions used to make sense of a subject area or experience, this can
be applied to psychology itself. Psychology lacks one unified paradigm
but has four perspectives that search for its understanding;

The pyschodynamic perspective believes that behavior is a result of
unconscious processes, personal motivation and early childhood experiences.
It's most famous advocate was Sigmund Freud. Its method of data
collection rely heavily on interpreting discussion, dreams and fantasies,
actions, case studies and a limited amount of experimentation.

The behaviorist perspective believes that behavior is learned and selected
by environmental consequences. Its method of data collection relies
heavily on experimentation conducted in the scientific laboratory where
the factors studied can be controlled; or it may take place in a real
life setting where more natural behavior is studied and far more variables

The cognitive perspective believes that behavior is a result of
information processing, storage in the brain, transformation and the
retrieval of information. The methods of data collection used are again
Continues for 7 more pages >>

  • Study on Rana Pipiens
    Study on Rana Pipiens Leopard Frog - Rana Pipiens Distribution: Found throughout Ontario but more abundant in southern and central Americas. Range: Adults maintain small home ranges (up to 500 m2) in fields or open forest during the summer. Where terrestrial habitats are quite dry, home ranges include some shoreline. A minimum of 4 ha of terrestrial habitat is recommended for the vicinity of breeding sites, however, individual adults may move several kilometres away. Most recently metamorphosed
  • Human Behaviour in Business
    Human Behaviour in Business Human Behaviour in Business Managers studying skills and techniques of determining human resources can apply them to individuals in business. By learning human behaviour, managers can acquire the skills and techniques necessary to properly allocate human resources. As a manager, first of all you must learn about how people learn personality dimensions. Then you can determine people\'s behaviour types, and apply them to different employee positions. Crucial to the gran
  • Models for Predicting Corporate Financial Distress
    Models for Predicting Corporate Financial Distress INTRODUCTION 2 MEASURING FINANCIAL HEALTH 2 FINANCIAL DISTRESS 2 FACTORS AFFECTING FINANCIAL HEALTH 3 Capital Structure and Capital Adequacy 3 Operating Cash Flows and Cost Structure 4 Earnings Capacity 4 Liquidity 4 Asset Conversions – “Growing Broke” 5 Asset Utilisation Efficiency/Turnover 5 Strategic Position 5 PREDICTING FINANCIAL DISTRESS 6 FAILURE PREDICTION MODELS 7 Altman’s Z Score 8 Logit Analysis: The Model 9 Other Statistical Failure
  • Are humans rational
    Are humans rational Are humans rational? The human species has well developed cognitive abilities compared to animals. These can be remarkable like language and many other communication systems. Our visual system provides us with excellent vital information for the environment. Besides, through thinking and problem solving, we have adapted the environment to suit us and developed science and technology. Surely, these are evidence of an advanced intelligence humans possess. On the other hand, tho
  • Developing managers
    Developing managers Developing Managers: The Functional, the Symbolic, the Sacred and the Profane [*]. Author/s: Ken Kamoche Abstract This paper offers a new perspective on international management by examining the role of culture and management development in creating international expertise, a sense of identity and realizing organizational control. A critical analysis of the culture transmission and management development philosophy and practice of a UK-based transnational reveals how the tra
  • Self development
    self development Terms Of Reference The purpose of this report is to deliver a professional critique of the HRM Management function and self-development, highlighting the importance of the organization and how companies link the HRM Function to their strategic planning. The author will also try and discuss the concept of organizational structure and the role of continuous professional development and how organizations profit from developing their entire operations population. The report is for
  • Speciation and origin of particulate copper in run
    Speciation and origin of particulate copper in runoff water from a Mediterranean vineyard catchment Speciation and origin o particulate copper in runoff water rom a Mediterranean vineyard catchment Fungicide treatments have led to large copper contents of the topsoils of most vineyards. This paper examines the contamination of surface waters by copper in a Mediterranean wine-growing catchment. Its aims were to characterise the forms of copper associated with suspended matter during a heavy autu
  • BRAVE NEW WORLD - a defence of paradise-engineerin
    BRAVE NEW WORLD - a defence of paradise-engineering BRAVE NEW WORLD ? A Defence Of Paradise-Engineering Brave New World (1932) is one of the most bewitching and insidious works of literature ever written. An exaggeration? Tragically, no. Brave New World has come to serve as the false symbol for any regime of universal happiness. For sure, Huxley was writing a satirical piece of fiction, not scientific prophecy. Hence to treat his masterpiece as ill-conceived futurology rather than a work of grea
  • History of psychology
    history of psychology Explain the reasons for the development of psychology as an academic discipline in the 19th and 20th centuries, making explicit the important turning points and breakthroughs. In this essay I am looking at where Psychology as a discipline has come from and what affects these early ideas have had on psychology today, Psychology as a whole has stemmed from a number of different areas of study from Physics to Biology, But the first Psychological foundations are rooted in philo
  • Critically discuss conflict resolution in groups
    Critically discuss conflict resolution in groups Critically discuss conflict resolution in groups Conflict resolution has been researched, analysed and discussed for many years; however, it is only until recently that psychologists have gotten involved on a wider scale. Up until then the study of relations has more or less been the preserve of political scientists, historians and professionals such as lawyers and diplomats. Much of the social science research has therefore been based on the prev
  • Critical review of a research article
    critical review of a research article Manchester University MEd Educational Psychology Student Registration Number: 440880 MD699 Research Issues in Psychology Critical Review of a Research Article Pupils who exhibit gifted characteristics along with another disability are referred to as ‘twice-exceptional students\' (Morrison, 2001; Nielsen 2002). This term is used in the article that I have chosen to review, which analyses the responses and perceptions through interview, of one particular ind
  • New Developments Or Research In Genetic Cloning: S
    New Developments Or Research In Genetic Cloning: Summary New Developments or Research in Genetic Cloning: Summary Since genetic cloning is a very wide topic, the focus of my paper lies mainly on the new discoveries which might be beneficial to human beings. The focus of the first section of the paper is on the various cloning techniques geneticists use nowadays. They techniques included range from the simplest and suitable for all situations, to complicated and suitable for certain areas. The se
  • Describe the processes by which genes and environm
    Describe the processes by which genes and environment operate together to influence development. Discuss the significance of these processes for our understanding of child development. CHILD DEVELOPMENT ED209 BOOK 1 : The Foundations of Child Development T M A 02 Essay Option 2 Describe the processes by which genes and environment operate together to influence development. Discuss the significance of these processes for our understanding of child development. This essay will look firstly at the
  • Personnel management - The renewed emphasis on the
    HRM Personnel management - The renewed emphasis on the importance of human resources in the 1980s and 90s drew attention to the way in which people management was organized. Specifically, this meant a critical review of the functions of personnel management. Personnel management has been a recognized function in the USA since NCR opened a personnel office in the 1890s. In other countries the function arrived more slowly and came through a variety of routes. This excerpt from Human Resource Manag
  • Theories of philosophy
    theories of philosophy When we view the philosophy of mind we encounter many problems, the main being that although there are many theories on this topic it is impossible to prove any of them and thus this problem is still unresolved. How is it that we can understand more about the universe and science than ever before but do not understand what it is that enables us to understand, that is the mind? To answer this rather complicated problem there are many solutions, or theories, each with their
  • The learnin org
  • Performance Appraisals
    Performance Appraisals The Performance Of Performance Appraisal Sanjeev Kumar Saxena - Jodhpur Today, most of organisations attempt to develop the outlook and performance of its employees by using multiple and complex training and educational programmes. In comparison to this, several academician\'s, researches and professionals hold that the personality of employees is generally developed when they learn several dimensions of job while working. Similarly, it is also believed that proper develop
  • Is The Purpose Of Advertising To Create Cognitive
    Is The Purpose Of Advertising To Create Cognitive Dissonance Advertising deals with people\'s feelings and emotions. It includes understanding of the psychology of the buyer, his motives, attitudes, as well as the influences on him such as his family and reference groups, social class and culture. In order to increase the advertisements persuasiveness, advertisers use many types of extensions of behavioural sciences to marketing and buying behaviour. One such extension is the theory of cognitive