Essay on Is Psychology a Science?

Essay on Is Psychology a Science?

Length: 1124 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The British Psychological Society states that ‘Psychology is the scientific study of people, the mind and behaviour’ (BPS). In this essay I will be discussing what is actually meant by this and whether psychology fits into both the traditional views of a science, as well as more contemporary perspectives. It is widely suggested that Psychology is a “coalition of specialities” meaning it is multi-disciplinary (Hewstone, Fincham and Foster 2005, page 4). I will therefore examine whether it could be considered wrong to think that all parts of the discipline should neatly fit into one view of a scientific approach.
In order to be considered a science, Psychology must consequently adhere to using a scientific method. If this were, as usual, taken to mean the accumulation of knowledge through systematic observation or experimentation, Psychology would likely not have an issue in being recognised, however traditional views of a science mean most areas, with the exception of Behaviourism, would not be considered a science in their own right.
In terms of a traditional science, one key point is empiricism: a reliance on observations of behaviours instead of our logical reasoning, to further aid explanations of why humans act in certain ways (Valentine, 1992:5). In this way Psychology could be considered a science as psychologists are constantly monitoring behaviours some may perceive as common sense, for example Milgram’s study into obedience (1974). However, for an outcome of any observation to be correct, we must have faith in how it was measured. Two further questions arise from this in relation to Psychology as a scientific measure: whether Psychology doe’s mis-measure, and secondly whether, as some propose, Psychology is ordinari...


... middle of paper ...


...en Goldachre. (2011). The statistical error that just keeps on coming. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/. Last accessed 10/12/2011.

Hergenhahn, B.R. (2009). Social and Theoretical Psychology: Conceptual and Historical Issues 1. An introduction to the History of Psychology. 1 (1), p1-28.

Hewstone, M. Fincham, F. and Foster, J (2005). Psychology. Oxford: The British Psychological Society, and Blackwell Publishing. P3-23.

Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioural study of obedience. Journal of abnormal and social Psychology. 67 (4), p371-8.

Oppenheimer, R. (1956). Analogy in science. American Psychologist, 1 (11), p127-136.

The British Psychological Society. (2010). Promoting excellence in Psychology. Available: http://www.bps.org.uk/. Last accessed 10/12/2011.

Valenine, E.R. (1992). Psychology as a science. Conceptual issues in Psychology. 2nd (1), p1-7.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay Is Psychology A Science?

- Is psychology a Science. To answer this question we must first look at what psychology is. Gregory Feist and Erika Rosenberg (2012) defines psychology to be “the scientific study of thought and behavior.”(P. 5). Psychologists study why a person feels, thinks, and acts the way they do. Psychology is two fold. There is the well known clinical side, in which disorders are diagnosed and treated. The other side is the little known scientific psychological, which uses the scientific method to test psychological theories....   [tags: Psychology, Scientific method, Science, Theory]

Strong Essays
1033 words (3 pages)

Social Science And Social Psychology Essay

- Human society is involved to become more and more sophisticated every day. Along with that fast changing world, social science needs have grown to become a necessity. And social psychology is one of them. More specific than sociology, social psychology is defined as the study of how people react to each other behaviors, thoughts and opinions (Lilienfeld, Lynn, Namy, and Woolf, 2014). The reason that this social science field is vital is because we will have knowledge of how to improve or affect other people’s behaviors, whether it is good or bad to do something, or say certain things to certain types of people....   [tags: Psychology, Sociology, Social sciences, Science]

Strong Essays
1276 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Is Psychology a Science?

- The British Psychological Society states that ‘Psychology is the scientific study of people, the mind and behaviour’ (BPS). In this essay I will be discussing what is actually meant by this and whether psychology fits into both the traditional views of a science, as well as more contemporary perspectives. It is widely suggested that Psychology is a “coalition of specialities” meaning it is multi-disciplinary (Hewstone, Fincham and Foster 2005, page 4). I will therefore examine whether it could be considered wrong to think that all parts of the discipline should neatly fit into one view of a scientific approach....   [tags: Psychology ]

Strong Essays
1124 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Is Psychology a Science?

- Psychology is an integral part of our modern society, and its influence is quite widespread. Many important decisions, which are made in our society, can be based on psychology - decisions which affect the lives of many people. This is why it is important to determine whether or not psychology is a science. The answer to the question if psychology is a science is not a simple 'yes' or 'no' – it depends on the area of psychological study, on the theory used within an area, and often on the way the researcher chooses to study a phenomenon ( Makunda, 1997)....   [tags: Informative, Psychology]

Strong Essays
1981 words (5.7 pages)

Psychology Is The Science Of The Mind And Behavior Essay

- The pursuit of Psychology Psychology is the science of the mind and behavior (Dictionary.com). Becoming a psychologist can be a very difficult task that requires awareness and determination. It includes choosing a career from the many options that are available and meeting the educational requirements. People who aspire to become psychologists must also pay attention to factors such as the work environment, the salary, and the job outlook. Pursuing psychology is a journey that is rewarding if one has the passion for it....   [tags: Psychology, Clinical psychology]

Strong Essays
757 words (2.2 pages)

The Theory Of Psychology As A Science Essay

- To “behave is what organisms do ”. The theory of behaviourism is built on the promotion of psychology as a science, concerning itself specifically with the scientific study of the behaviour of individuals. It is the theory that statements that contain mental expressions have the same meaning as publically verifiable statements involving behaviour and dispositions . One form of behaviourism is logical/ analytical behaviourism, a position concerned with the meanings of semantics of mental terms or concepts, where we can specify what it means to be in a particular mental state in terms of behaviours and behavioural dispositions, based on observable events....   [tags: Mind, Psychology, Behaviorism, Behavior]

Strong Essays
1183 words (3.4 pages)

The Science of Psychology: The Science of our Minds Essay

- “A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother” (Unknown) The amazing thing with a Freudian slip is how the mind inserts a detail from your subconscious that was not intended to be there however the mouth said another. The depth of the human mind is truly limitless from conception till death the mind is interpreting data and responding to the outcomes of life’s experiences. The sums of these equations make up the details in our conscious and sub conscious minds. Studying the details of our mind and how we interact with the world around us resides Psychology....   [tags: psychology]

Strong Essays
1019 words (2.9 pages)

Psychology Is No Science And Its Impact On The Field Of Psychology Essay

- Yes. William James, who declared that “psychology is no science”, never even took a psych course, loathed conducting experiments, and rebuked being labeled as a psychologist; yet, he wrote a vast and authoritative Principle of Psychology (2 volume text book). So, how is it that James came to make such a significant impact on the field of psychology that he was accredited as “the most brilliant psychologist the world has ever known” (quoted in Leary, 2003, pp. 19-20). Maybe, he was praised for his style of writing (he conveyed his ideas clearly and effectively promoted them)....   [tags: Psychology, Clinical psychology, Scientific method]

Strong Essays
1179 words (3.4 pages)

Psychology Is Not A True Science Essay

- ... It was not until after this class that I realized what it meant. I thought it just meant that I was calm and reserved. However, this test actually told me that I put my feelings behind me to help other people before I help myself. It taught me that communication is challenging for me. I am a phenomenal listener, but when it comes to myself, I do not jump at the opportunity to talk. The personality unit led me to learn about defense mechanisms. Repression removes anxiety-causing ideas from conscious awareness by pushing them into the unconscious (Rathus, 2010, p....   [tags: Psychology, Mind, Memory, Personality psychology]

Strong Essays
1269 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Psychology is a Science

- Psychology is definitely not what I thought it was. It is not just a therapist wanting to take your money and not do anything for it. Psychology is an exact science that uses the scientific method to figure out problems. Things like astrology and graphology are not a real science, they do not use true science to deduct things and find a true answer. There are a lot of different ideas within the history of psychology. There was Structuralism, which focused on the structure of the mind. Fuctionalism believed in adapting to ones environment, Gesalt Psychology, focusing on the whole rather than the parts, Behaviorism, no studying of the mental processes, only behaviors, and Psychoanalysis, which...   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
503 words (1.4 pages)