What Is Pyschology?


Since its first appearance in 2003, this article has become required reading in a number of college-level psychology courses. Because this article is directed toward educated nonspecialist readers considering psychological treatment, students of psychology are cautioned that terms such as "psychology," "clinical psychology" and "psychiatry" are used interchangeably, on the ground that they rely on the field of human psychology for validation, in the same way that astronomy and particle physics, though very different, rely on physics for validation.

The field of human psychology is a powerful force in modern society, and its influence is widespread – in language, law, the ...

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science. Which leads to our question: is human psychology steered by science?

What Is Science?

In order to consider whether psychology is a science, we must first define our terms. It is not overarching to say that science is what separates human beings from animals, and, as time goes by and we learn more about our animal neighbors here on Earth, it becomes increasingly clear that science is all that separates humans from animals. We are learning that animals have feelings, passions, and certain rights. What animals do not have is the ability to reason, to rise above feeling.

Science's goal is to create reasonable explanations (theories) to describe reality – theories that rely, not on feelings or passions, but on evidence. Science defines “evidence” in a special way that will seem rather strict to someone only familiar with the legal definition. To science, evidence is gathered and evaluated (and sometimes discarded) according to some rigid rules, rules meant to assure ...

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DNA testing – have proven the innocence of a fortunate few death-row inmates, and others who might have gone unpunished have been arrested.

The point here is that legal evidence is not remotely scientific evidence. Contrary to popular belief, science doesn't use sloppy evidentiary standards like “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and scientific theories never become facts. This is why the oft-heard expression “proven scientific fact” is never appropriate – it only reflects the scientific ignorance of the speaker. Scientific theories are always theories, they never become the final and only explanation for a given phenomenon.

As to the ever-popular expression “scientific law,” this is ...

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What Is Pyschology?. (2011, March 13). Retrieved March 20, 2019, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/What-Is-Pyschology/96003
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Added: 3/13/2011 11:47:23 PM
Submitted By: mrfox815
Category: Psychology
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 3877
Pages: 15

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