Saturday, October 22, 2016

Psychology, a science with growing pains

Psychology is a science that can help us understand the drivers of human behavior(one more tool to help you examine a life, if you agree with Plato) but like any other science it should be taken with a grain of salt, after all didn't the greatest scientific minds at one time think the Newtonian physics were absolute and concise?

Psychology is a young multi faceted science with many inconsistencies and gray areas waiting to be colored in. A science with multiple varied answers to the same questions. Like the way a wise tech enthusiast waits for the hiccups of a new consumer technology to be worked on, before he/she goes out and splurge a pile of cash, it is this writers opinion that its best to wait for psychology to mature as a science, for its varied facets to blend into one clear surface before accepting all of it as truth.

nature vs nurture; a debate in psychology between biological psychologists and behavioral psychologists is a good example of how different schools of psychology are now converging to form a complete picture.

In the past, biological psychologists who believe behavior is attributed to underlying biological processes and factors, would explain the case of the fairer sex being comparatively more empathetic to biological processes/phenomena such as structural differences between the male and female brain, genetic characteristics passed on from prehistoric times, hormonal differences between the sexes, so on and so forth. Where as a behavioral psychologist would attribute the same to factors such as social learning; where a women learned to be more empathetic by observing how other women behave in their childhood and operant conditioning; where empathetic behavior in women were reinforced and disdain behavior punished, habituating a more empathetic world view. Of recent times psychologists have come to understand that rather than nature vs nurture it is nature and nurture where biological and behavioral factors work hand in hand to explain the full picture. In this case social learning and operant conditioning working to establish empathetic behavior heightened by predispositions(found to be a more attractive behavior from an evolutionary point of view and so passed on genetically).

Aside its inconsistencies, psychology is a powerful science with implications to all aspects of our life and so it is something we should all know a little more of. 

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