For one to distinguish between psychology and science and the relationship between the two disciplines, the definition of the terms is important. Psychology is an academic as well as an applied discipline that entails the scientific study of the mental functions and behaviors. In other words, it is the study of mind and behavior. Its main objective is to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and carrying out research on the given areas. Psychologists have the sole purpose of attempting to understand and explain the mental functions in individuals or groups and the related social behavior. They also aim at exploring the physiological and the neurobiological processes underlying the cognitive functions and behaviors. The study will also enable them explain the difference in human behaviors and other aspects of life. In fact, human beings do differ in various aspects. The discipline also focuses on the aspects of human experience from the brain functioning and the development from childhood to adulthood. The concepts of perception, cognition, attention, personality, brain functioning and interpersonal relationships (Griffing, 1986).
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There are arguments that psychology is a form of philosophy since little proof is available to authenticate the facts involved. Psychology has undergone a lot of struggle for its acceptance as a science. Scientists have found it hard to believe that psychology could ever be a science. Most scientists argue that psychology cannot fit as a science. They said that the study of the mind and soul was not related to the nature by which the correspondence of human beings. Psychological is a hub science composed psychological results that link to the different research and perspectives. These results are from the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities (Rickman, 2009). The psychological knowledge is usually to assess and treat the mental health problems and helps to understand and solve the problems in different spheres of human life. Many psychologists carry out scientific research on various topics that relate to the mental processes and behavior.
There are arguments that psychology is a form of philosophy, since little proof is available to authenticate the facts involved. Psychology has undergone a lot of struggle for its acceptance as a science. Researchers have found it hard to believe that psychology could ever be a science. Most of them argue that psychology cannot fit as a science. They said that the study of the mind and soul was not related to the nature, by which the correspondence of human beings was analyzed (Rickman, 2009)
Herbert Spencer brought out the relations of psychology to other sciences. He said that the scientific knowledge was part of the evolution laws. He said that human sciences have undergone a lot of differentiation as much as psychology. He says that, “nowhere has the differentiation of the sciences been shown more clearly than in psycho-physical.” He supports his ideas by saying that the physicists and the psychologists initiated the works currently going on in the psychological laboratories. During the foundation of the laboratory at Leipzig, a ground was broken to separate the psychological problems from those entirely physical and psychological.
Following this, Wundt came up with a new name for science. He said that science is “physiological psychology”. In his first works, he did a lot of research to answer the physiological questions. At the start, there was an unwelcome appendage to psychology and physics. However, however, the current psychology has asserted her freedom to the recognition as a science that is totally separate and distinct from other the other types of science. This thus proves that psychology qualifies to be a science due to the similarity in both common disciplines.
Methatheories can also explain how science and psychology are related. A metatheory is a super theory over the branches of sciences. “It embraces a large family of theories that use the similar approach”. Methatheories were also playing a major role in explaining the term psychology as a science. To start with, they emphasized on the quantitative development. This is an area of science (Griffing, 1986). It deals with the changes in number. The emphasis here is the number of details that the old people can remember quantitatively decreases. It also deals with the qualitative development. It analysis the change in things that adult human beings are can do. This has three models namely, mechanistic, organismic and the contextual (Lilienfeld, 2010). Shaman analysis the organismic perspective and argues that the American professor as be quantitative. It considers the scientific research to prove that human beings remember fewer details as times goes on. This is psychological proved by Descartes who says that the body and the mind work in harmony. Thus there is direct relationship between the mind can store and the age of a person. This is thus a proof that psychology qualifies to be a science. Weber was able to achieve a major breakthrough by showing haw to carry out the investigation between the body and the mind. He said that, just like chemistry, psychology involves analysis and discovering the basic elements of the conscious thought. It also concerns itself with the elements and laws governing the above connections.
Scientific methods study the mind-body relations. The cognitive psychologists use concepts such as subliminal processing and implicit memory in studying the operations of the mind. This helps to explain the contingency-shaped behaviors. “The elements of both behaviorism and cognitive psychology were synthesized to create the important basis for the cognitive behavioral therapy that employs important scientific research methods”. These techniques were employed by the American psychologist (Albert Ellis) assisted by American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. This subsumed other disciplines such as philosophy of mind, neuroscience and computer science (Griffing, 1986).
Psychology entails a lot of biology study. It has the branch of biological psychology also called behavioral neuroscience, which is the discipline that studies the biological substrates of behavior and the mental processes. Different scientific methods are used in explaining this. The psychological psychologists uses the animal models to carry out their study on the neural, genetic and the cellular mechanisms that are behind certain behaviors such as learning, memory and the fear responses. These are important biological areas of human beings. The cognitive neuroscientists carry out extensive investigation on how neural correlates of the psychological processes in human beings. This uses the neural imaging tools. The neuropsychologists carry psychological assessments to determine the important specific aspects and the extent of cognitive deficit that is directly caused by the brain damage (Lilienfeld, 2010). The biologists who analyses the causes of mind problems support this. Thus, psychology is also a science owing to this relationship.
The criteria applied, when deciding whether something is a science or philosophy, are not that necessary as to whether one can prove anything. In some areas of philosophy, proof is possible, while in some areas of science proof is impossible. The same applies to psychology, since there are some areas, where people’s knowledge becomes rigorous and proven, while in some areas this is not possible. The question of whether psychology is a science requires one to have a clear conception of what science is. This is easy to neither the scientists nor the philosophers (Kendler, 1981).
Psychology as a science has faced a lot of criticism. Scientists disagree with psychologists, when deciding on whether psychology is among the sciences. They come up with theories that support their ideas. Currently, many relationships exist between the science and psychology. This creates a proof that psychology is also a science on its own. Psychology will, thus, concentrate with the human behavior, while the sciences will clarify and expound on the response of human behavior in terms of internal body structures. Thus, psychology is also a science (Kendler, 1981).