The Science of Psychology Essay

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The Science of Psychology

“Psychology is the scientific study of mind, brain and behaviour. Some of what you do learn may seem like ‘common sense’, or at least familiar to you because you are learning about topics in which you can relate to. However some things you may believe is true, but is incorrect. The way we know this is through the application of scientific methods.”

Mark Leary suggests that the subject matter of psychology is much more familiar to most people than is the subject matter of physics or biology; we see behaviour all around us. Psychology would be an odd science of thought and behaviour if it only considered thoughts and behaviours completely foreign to people’s
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An example of this is; one of the simplest rules of behaviour is that if you reward someone for doing something, they are more likely to do it again (the principle of reinforcement. How many people out there actually verbalise this rule and use it consistently? Certainly not the mother who rewards her child’s tired tantrum in the street by buying them a toy or a magazine, nor the person who showers their partner with attention and affection when they are having a jealous sulk at a party.

If you take Milgram’s study of obedience, you can see that, the teacher obeyed the person with authority. If you met a policeman in the street and he asks you where you were the following night, because an incident happened and you may have been around the area or the time it happened, you would do as the policeman asks as he has more authority, so it may seem like common sense, as it is something you would see happening in everyday life. But Milgram’s study was a scientific experiment to see whether people would go as far as killing a person by authority.

Also if you look at the surroundings and at how the experiment was set up it was all very scientific, based in a make-believe laboratory. With scientific equipment, so a lot of it actually was more scientific than common sense, which is explained above that scientific methods usually way up more than common sense.

Zimbardo’s study

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