FUBU BOOK OF PSYCHOLOGY:
Ok, so what is psychology?
When I tell people that I teach psychology, or that I am a
psychologist, they usually assume that I study abnormal behavior, or that I have a “private
When people ask me if I have “a private practice”. I tell them, “No I don’t do that kind
I study memory”.
To which they reply, “Oh, my memory is terrible.
can help me with that.”
I don’t really help people.
This often leaves people very curious about what it is that I do.
Telling people that you
are a psychologist - but that you don’t do therapy - must seem like saying, “I’m a bird, but I don’t
fly or have feathers.”
In the case of the bird, one must wonder, “then what makes you a bird?”
In my case, when I tell people that I don’t do therapy, and I don’t study abnormal behavior, they
must wonder, although they are too polite to say it, “Then what makes you a psychologist?”
I study behavior.
But that doesn’t fully capture what a psychologist does.
Lots of people study behavior.
You study behavior.
You certainly spend a good deal of time studying other people, trying to
predict what they will do, and what makes somebody “tick.”
But that doesn’t make you a
If it did, we would all be psychologists.
So, you study behavior.
I study behavior.
We all study behavior.
But I’m a psychologist,
and you’re not.
Is it just that I have a PhD, and you don’t?
Not exactly, although that does have
something to do with it.
The main thing is that I apply a particular methodology to the study of
behavior – the
Ok, so perhaps psychology is the scientific study of behavior.
Ok, get out your
Psychology is the scientific study of behavior
Ok, so now that we’ve defined psychology as the scientific study of behavior, it seems that we
now have to define what we mean by
, and what we mean by
Bob Asks Sally for a Date
Bob called Sally and, after making a little small talk, got around to the main purpose of
So, Sally, I’ve got two tickets to see Infected Mushroom, and wondered if you
might want to go with me.
Sally was a little surprised by Bob’s invitation, but she said yes, and after she and Bob