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Four Goals of Psychology - Essay Example

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It has provided solid information backed by years of studies to ensure the accuracy of the claims in the discipline (Kalat, 2010, p. 1). It has used science to seek for the explanations behind the workings of…
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Four Goals of Psychology Four Goals of Psychology Psychology has helped people understand the way they thinkand behave. It has provided solid information backed by years of studies to ensure the accuracy of the claims in the discipline (Kalat, 2010, p. 1). It has used science to seek for the explanations behind the workings of the mind as science goes beyond the physiological processes happening in the brain.
Psychology then separates mind from the brain as mind is the one responsible for the behaviors and motivation of people while the brain focuses on the biological aspect of the organ responsible for the workings of the brain (Graves, 2008, p. 17). With that distinction, psychology becomes an integral discipline that has goals to unravel information about the mind.
In connection to the direction and progress of the study of the mind, four goals will be presented in the paper regarding psychology. Each will be elaborated and their advantages and disadvantages will be explored. The author then will take a position as to whether the goals are helpful or harmful to human beings supported by facts.
The four goals of psychology are description, explanation, prediction, and behavioral change (Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian, 2010, p. 4). Description pertains to the objective of psychology to provide the details of the mind, behavior and motivation of people (Cutler and Penrod, 1995, p. 57). It also explores deep into the attitudes and emotions by conducting studies through surveys, observations, interviews and experimentation with the aid of equipment. On the other hand, explanation is the next step after description. It allows the psychologists to provide the information and analysis to other people and putting rational judgments on their findings (Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian, 2010, p. 4). Usually generalization is done to create principles and theories that will hold true for the majority of the findings. After explanation comes prediction which is an intelligent guess and differs from wild guess as the former makes use of science and past findings to predict the future. In the case of psychology, prediction is done based on the data or principles regarding past behaviors and attitudes (Cutler and Penrod, 1995, p. 58). With prediction, it allows people to make more accurate decisions. The last goal is behavioral change and it pertains to the act of intervening with the habits and actions of people using the techniques based on the findings about the workings of the mind (Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian, 2010, p. 4).
The advantages of psychology then are easily seen as the discipline allows people to understand one another even under rigorous conditions. Using science to explain the behaviors, people are able to understand them accurately and quantitatively. It allows people to make changes in organizations, education, and even society at large since the core operation of each person is identified and further demystified (Comer and Gould, 2011, p. 46). Despite of those, there are still downsides of psychology.
Those downsides may not be as significant as the advantages, but they are also important to explore. As science focuses on narrowing the conditions to control and accurately analyze the situations, it may become too specialized and miss out some important facts. Psychology may also become too generalized and forgetting about the rare cases that may come out from certain individuals (Pastorino and Portillo, 2012, p. 21). Biases and errors may occur in nature, but statistical analysis and controlled experiments allow the psychology discipline to go further and develop.
In terms of the stand of the author, he still thinks that psychology is of big help to people as it brings about its own development as guided by the goals to bring beneficial understanding and solutions to behavioral and motivational issues. It also provides scientific explanations on the workings of the emotions and their roles in the actions of human beings.
Comer, R. and Gould, E. (2011). Psychology around us. USA: John Wiley and Sons.
Cutler, B. and Penrod, S. (1995). Mistaken identification: The eyewitness, psychology, and the law. USA: Cambridge University Press.
Graves, M. (2008). Mind, brain and the elusive soul: Human systems of cognitive science and religion. USA: Ashgate Publishing.
Kalat, J. (2010). Introduction to psychology. USA: Cengage Learning.
Pastorino, E. and Portillo, S. (2012). What is psychology? USA: Cengage Learning.
Plotnik, R. and Kouyoumdjian, H. (2010). Introduction to psychology. USA: Cengage Learning. Read More
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