July 17th , 2024


Asante Kwabena

11 months ago


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Science is the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observations and experiment . Science has a lot of disciplines so far as the study is concerned. Psychology on the other hand is the scientific discipline that studies human behaviour and mental processes as defined by Nevid (2006). Psychology applies the knowledge of science to build upon its theory .

Science is about collecting data through observations or experimentation . Observational methods in psychological research entail the observation and description of a subject behaviour. Researchers utilizing the observational method can exert varying amounts of control over the experiment in which observation takes place . 

Therapist carry out observational assessment to evaluate how a patient uses movement during a task and how their mental , cognitive, communication and behavioural abilities affect task performance. Some of the famous experiments were the Little Albert Experiment in 1920 . Standard Prison experiment in 1971 and Miligram experiment in 1963 .

Scientific knowledge stands out as a fact and not truth  because certain theories stand the risk of being debunked or modified when a new proposed idea sets in .  Phrenology under psychology for instance was effectively debunked in the early mind 1800s by renowned French Physician Marie Jean Pierre ,who rejected that there was a correlation between bumps on the skul and the underlying shape of the brain . Equally liked to science is the idea of the world being flat debunked. Karl Popper says there cannot be no statements in science which cannot be tested and therefore one which cannot in principle be refuted by falsifying some of the conclusions which can be deduced from them . 

There are of course health professionals who are taught psychology  in a scientific way at school to equip them with skills to approach problems relating to human health. Health psychologists use knowledge of psychology and health to promote wellbeing and healthy behaviours, especially at population level.  They are specially trained to understand the psychological and emotional aspects of health and illnesses  identifying behaviours that may damage a person's health eg smoking, drug abuse, poor diet and how psychological theories and interventions can support prevention and health related behaviour change encouraging behaviours such as exercise, a healthy diet, oral hygiene, health checks/self-examination and attending preventative medical screenings.

Despite the differences in their interests, areas of study, and approaches, all psychologists have one thing in common: They rely on scientific methods. Research psychologists use scientific methods to create new knowledge about the causes of behavior, whereas psychologist-practitioners, such as clinical, counseling, industrial-organizational, and school psychologists, use existing research to enhance the everyday life of others. The science of psychology is important for both researchers and practitioners.

In a sense all humans are scientists. We all have an interest in asking and answering questions about our world. We want to know why things happen, when and if they are likely to happen again, and how to reproduce or change them. Such knowledge enables us to predict our own behavior and that of others. We may even collect data (i.e., any information collected through formal observation or measurement) to aid us in this undertaking. It has been argued that people are “everyday scientists” who conduct research projects to answer questions about behavior (Nisbett & Ross, 1980). When we perform poorly on an important test, we try to understand what caused our failure to remember or understand the material and what might help us do better the next time. 

All said and done , psychology applies the scientific method to the findings and is therefore a scientific discipline.

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Asante Kwabena

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