Psychology can be defined and the art and science of studying behavior and mind. From this definition, behavior refers to cognitive activities such as intelligence, thinking, reasoning, memory, imagination (Myers, 2004). Numerous psychologists and philosophers have widely studied the study of mind. The definition of psychology is clear today. It entails not only the study of mind but also the scientific study of the mind and human and animal behavior. The only thing that distinguishes psychology from other disciplines such as philosophy is its emphasis on science and the scientific methods it uses. Psychology has four primary goals: to describe, explain, predict, and prevent or change behaviors.
What Makes Psychology a Science?
From the definition of psychology, it is clear that it has elements of science. It is important to understand what science is before discussing why psychology is regarded as a science. Science is defined as the systematic process of organizing, and gaining knowledge. Science is determined by the methods used in the acquisition of knowledge. Such methods are usually objective, systematic, and verifiable (Myers, 2004). The process of acquiring knowledge follows six stages of scientific inquiry which include problem identification, formulation of a hypothesis, preparation of design, data analysis and collection, interpretation of findings, and development of a theory. One of the reasons why psychology is regarded as a science is because it follows systematic and objective methods in studying human behavior. For example, in neuropsychology, neuropsychologists use neuropsychological evaluation to determine the extent of the behavioral problems following a diagnosed or suspected brain injury in a patient. Besides, it uses scientific methods to explain behavior, feeling, and thoughts of individuals that are influenced by the imagined presence of other people.
Why Psychology is not a Commonsense
Common sense is something that is known by every person. People have had a misconception that psychology is common sense. However, Psychology cannot be regarded as common sense to people or something we have known all along because it follows scientific methods like experimental research in the collection and analysis of data (Myers, 2004). Psychology is beyond things that people see every day. The discipline tries to test common sense and nonsensical ideas of different individuals to come up with the truth. Psychologists try to explain the brain and mind of human beings in relation to the real-life setting, and this cannot be regarded as common sense (Kalat, 2016). . One belief that connects to common sense is that when an individual tries to remember something clearly and confidently. The memory is accurate and true. That is to mean that the person will not have false memories. Nevertheless, psychological research has proven the belief that psychology is common sense to be wrong.
Example of Overconfidence
Overconfidence is a term that is used in psychology. It refers to a tendency where an individual is sure of a particular fact but later finds out that the reality of the matter was different (Moore, & Healy, 2008). In simple terms, it is when an individual thinks that he or she can do things despite the little skills and knowledge to complete the task satisfactorily. I have once experienced overconfidence. As I was searching for a job, I remember how overconfidence faced me. As the human resource manager interviewed the people who had come for an interview, I believed that I was the only individual who could qualify for a position of sales officer. However, the outcomes were the opposite of what I did not expect. I failed the interview since I was overconfident
Kalat, J. (2016). Introduction to psychology. Nelson Education.
Moore, D. A., & Healy, P. J. (2008). The trouble with overconfidence.Psychological review, 115(2), 502.
Myers, D. G. (2004). Exploring psychology. Macmillan.
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