Essay about Is Psychology A Science?

Essay about Is Psychology A Science?

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Is Psychology a Science?
Psychology is commonly defined as 'scientific ' study of human behavior and cognitive processes. Broadly speaking the discussion focuses on the different branches of psychology, and if they are indeed scientific. However, it is integral in this to debate to understand exactly the major features of a science, in order to judge if psychology is in fact one. There must be a definable subject matter - this changed from conscious human thought to human and non-human behavior, then to cognitive processes within psychology 's first eighty years as a separate discipline. Also, a theory construction is important. This represents an attempt to explain observed phenomena, such as Watson 's attempt to account for human and non-human behaviour in terms of classical conditioning, and Skinner 's subsequent attempt to do the same with operant conditioning. Any science must have hypotheses, and indeed test them. This involves making specific predictions about behaviour under certain specified conditions, for example, predicting that by combining the sight of a rat with the sound of an iron bar banging behind his head, a small child will learn to fear the rat, as is the case of Little Albert (1923). Also, empirical methods are used in scientific fields to collect data, relevant to the hypothesis being tested, as is the case in many psychological experiments, such as the use of brain scanning in Dement and Kleitman 's 1957 study.

Science is meant to be objective and unbiased. It should be free of values and discover the truths about what it is studying. Positivism is the view that science is objective and a study of what is real. For example, schizophrenia, when diagnosed as being caused due to excess dopamine, is being ...


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...ase-studies and unstructured interviews. If a method in not scientific, it aims for good validity, in-depth material about someone or a small group, qualitative data and a richness of data that is not found by isolating variables, as in many psychological studies.

Psychology as a separate field of study grew out of several other disciplines, both scientific (such as physiology) and non-scientific (in particular philosophy). For much of its life as an independent discipline, and through what some call revolutions and paradigm shifts, it has taken the natural sciences as its model. Ultimately, whatever a particular science may claim to have discovered about the phenomena it studies, scientific activity remains just one aspect of human behavior. I feel that psychology should be viewed as a science, even if it does not concur with traditional scientific specifications.

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