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 ...

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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 ...

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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
exist.

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
experimentation but with much use of computer modeling.

The evolutionary perspective believes ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/17/2004 03:45:04 AM
Category: Social Issues
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1661
Pages: 7

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