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Is Psychology a Science In order to answer this question it is important to understand the definitions of both psychology and science The word psychology comes from the Greek psyche or soul and logos or study which came to be known as the study of the soul The American Heritage Dictionary defines psychology as 1 the science dealing with the mind and with mental and emotional processes 2 the science of human and animal behavior In its pure definition the dictionary has provided us with a clue to the answer it describes science as 1 systematized knowledge derived from observation study etc 2 a branch of knowledge esp one that systematizes facts principles and methods 3 skill or technique In order to prove this claim we have to look at whether or not psychology can fill this definition above During the mid-19th century scholars although at that time probably termed philosophers wanted to study human nature with the aim of applying the scientific method to observe record and treat human behavior that was seen as unnatural They believed that if people could be studied in a scientific manner there would be a greater accuracy in understanding present behavior in predicting future behavior and most controversially in altering behavior through scientific intervention There are many areas of psychology each attempting to explain behavior from slightly different perspectives Social psychology is concerned with the effects of social situations on human behavior Physiological psychologists are concerned with the biological basis of behavior Developmental psychologists study principles and processes responsible for change throughout life Cognitive psychologists investigate memory thought problem solving and the psychological aspects of learning Learning is an area of psychology exploring how new behaviors are learned and maintained Clinical psychologists study ways to help individuals and groups of individuals change their behavior Industrial and organizational psychologists are concerned with the physical and social aspects
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