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Ch 1 Def psyc King - Chapter One Science of Psychology What...

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Chapter One Science of Psychology What is Psychology? -To understand Psychology, it is essential to understand the origin of the word PSYCHOLOGY. -The term Psychology derives from 2 root words PSYCHE + LOGOS The word Psyche means Mind and the word Logos means word. -In the early phase of the history of Psychology, prior to 1900, Psychologists believed in study of mind and mental processes. By 1920, the trend changed. The psychologists started to emphasize that mental processes cannot be directly observed therefore scientific research cannot be conducted on mental processes. The Psychologists began to focus on Observable behavior as the subject of study in Psychology. The empirical evidence – which is possible to obtain through direct observation of behavior. Using systematic scientific methods the measurement of behavior is possible and numeric data can be obtained. Therefore the emphasis shifted on behavior as the subject matter of Psychology. -Psychology has undergone several changes in 100 years and focus of study also has changed, revised by different Psychologists. -Finally, going through process of revisions and changes the formal definition of Psychology is as follows: It is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes -This definition contains 3 important words: 1. Science 2. Behavior 3. Mental process * Science : Scientific method differs from common sense because through scientific study, information is obtained through direct observation and measurement using scientific methods. The conclusion about any fact is drawn based upon directly observed data. The scientific methods involve critical thinking, objective evaluation, analysis and synthesis of information. The scientists try to be objective. This means that they draw conclusions, based upon empirical evidences, using logical reasoning. The conclusions are not based upon any kind of guess work. * Behavior : This means any unit of activity, which can be directly observed. For example, talking, walking, and whispering, sitting, standing. 1
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* Mental process : This means private internal experiences, which cannot be directly observed. For example, thinking, dreams, memories, feelings. -This definition of Psychology clarifies the difference between scientific Psychology and Pseudo psychologies. ("False Psychology"). The Pseudo Psychology pretends to discover psychological information through nonscientific methods. -In Pseudo Psychology, people mistakenly believe information, accept popular beliefs – failing to critically examine the validity of facts. The beliefs are accepted without any empirical, observed evidences or measured evidences. -The examples of pseudo Psychology are Psychics. Psychics claim that they can tell what is happening in someone's life. Another example could be Palmistry. Palmists claim that people's character could be determined by reading marking on the palm... Astrology could be another example of pseudo Psychology who claim that the positions of the stars and planets influence people's personalities and affairs.
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