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Perspectives of Psychology
What is Psychology - and What is it not?
Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes, originating from the Greek roots psyche (mind) and ology (study of). The science of psychology is based on objective and verifiable evidence. In order to retrieve accurate information, psychologists use an empirical approach as the standard for the methodology of psychology. The use of careful observations and scientific research are examples of an empirical approach. Pseudopsychology, which does not follow the empirical approach, occurs quite frequently in society in the form of fortune tellers, handwriting analysts, and graphologists. An easy way to remember that pseudopsychology is "fake science" is to think about how the word "pseudo" is a tricky word, as it is spelled nonphonetically. People tend to believe pseudopsychology because of Confirmation bias, which is when people trust in evidence that supports their beliefs, but disregard evidence that does not. (Ex. Reading a daily horoscope: one day it fits your mood and you say, "Horoscopes are so true!" but the next day it doesn't and you ignore it.) During the 1990's, a dangerous form of pseudopsychology rose in popularity with the use of facilitated communication, an alleged treatment for the development disorder of autism.
There are three main categories of psychology occupations: applied psychologists (sports psychologists, school psychologists, clinical psychologists, etc.), experimental psychologists (researchers of basic psychological processes), and teachers of psychology (at high schools, colleges, and universities). Experimental psychologists do the basic research in psychology, then the applied psychologists take their findings and "apply" them to the real world. Often confused with psychology, psychiatry applies biopsychology and the study of medicine for treatments of mental disorders. Psychiatry is more of a medical practice because a...
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