What Is Psychology? Essay Example

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Essay

Simply put, psychology is the study of human behavior.  Some, however, say that it is not just the study of human behavior, but of human and animal behavior since animals are used in experiments and studies that can not be done with humans. The keyword in this definition, however, is behavior since it can be observed and studied.  In his mind, a young student may know that two and two make four; however, until he writes that down or says it, nobody else can be aware of his knowledge.  It is not observable until then.

Many years ago,  it was not uncommon to see books entitled, “Psychology of the brain.’  However, although the brain is involved in human behavior it is not observable except in those rare occasions when surgery on the brain is performed and notes are kept when a patient responds in some manner to the probing of certain areas.  Today it seems that more articles and books exist that bear a title something like, “Psychology:  The study of the mind and behavior.”

It is important to note that psychology is a social science and not a physical science; and, therefore,  is not always as accurate as the latter because , for instance, people do not always react the same way to the same situations.  However, by using the scientific method—instead of common sense—a body of systematized knowledge on a broad range of topics is built up through rigorous experiments and observations that are analyzed (usually statistically) and critiqued by fellow researchers, students, and readers of the works that are published.

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