The Essay questions the reliability of Psychology as a science. By understanding its history, one will appreciate how the study of the mind, has evolved from Philosophical to Scientific. This is similar to people’s beliefs that Psychology is merely concepts, but anyone who has an interest and is willing to spend quality time with it, will end up with the same conclusion that Psychology is indeed a science. Thus, I propose that Psychology is a science, but only to those who have prior knowledge of it.
The definition of Psychology is “the science of behaviour and mental processes”. It is a science because it relies on the scientific method. Sciences are “scientific” because they share a common method, and not because they share a common subject matter. Physics, chemistry, biology and psychology differ in what they study, yet each uses the scientific method. What is the “scientific method”?
It involves the use of 3 skills. Firstly, being skeptical. Always questioning supposed facts. Suggesting ideas for hypothesis and what evidence can be collected as part of the study. Next, Science requires one to be objective. Thus the need for scientists to conduct research studies (Pittenger, 2003). It is easy to misinterpret what we see and hear, especially since our personal judgements are not credible. Lastly, science involves thinking critically. By doing so, we can separate Fact from Fiction. Any scientist who posses these 3 attitudes, prove to us that Psychology uses basic tools of scientific theory and objective observation. This reduces the likelihood that information will be based on unreliable personal beliefs, opinions or emotions.
According to Psychology’s history, it was never a science. The ancient thinkers such as the Greek philosophers, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle never put their speculation to the test, and thus the human understanding of behaviour and mental processes remained a combination of opinion and folklore. When the Roman Catholic Church...