The Science of Psychology

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The Science of Psychology

“Psychology is the scientific study of mind, brain and behaviour. Some

of what you do learn may seem like ‘common sense’, or at least

familiar to you because you are learning about topics in which you can

relate to. However some things you may believe is true, but is

incorrect. The way we know this is through the application of

scientific methods.”

Mark Leary suggests that the subject matter of psychology is much more

familiar to most people than is the subject matter of physics or

biology; we see behaviour all around us. Psychology would be an odd

science of thought and behaviour if it only considered thoughts and

behaviours completely foreign to people’s experiences, or if its

finding always can counter to most people’s beliefs. Many people

believed whole-heartedly in flat Earths and cheese moons only to find

their common sense views dismantled in the face of scientific

evidence. This is the same with psychology. Although most people would

like to believe that large rewards produce greater liking for a boring

task, that the behaviour of men and women is determined by their

biology or that absence makes the heart grow fonder. In short, the

popularity of a common sense belief may not always support the weight

of scientific evidence.

Psychologists are primarily engaged in the task of explaining

behaviour, rather than merely cataloguing it. The difference between

theory and description – “why” versus “what” – echoes the difference

between science and common sense. Common sense certainly helps

describe what takes place in behaviour, but doesn’t compel us to

understand why it takes place. The develo...

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...e, as most of the behaviour towards different situations is

used in everyday life, but the fact that the measurements and the

results that were found in each study I have explained, helps in

finalising the decisions between different matters and opinions,

whether people really do this or that.

In 1974, Joyson, wrote an article, saying that every person is there

own psychologist, after all who knows best an outsider or yourself? He

also said that if psychologists did not exist would we need to invent


We all have to use a bit of psychology to negotiate our lives,

regardless of whether or not we have studied it.


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