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Introduction to the Science of Psychology

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From the initiative of Wundt, his student Edward Titchemer provided structure to the study of the human conscious experience through experiment and introspection. Max Wertheimer then introduced Gestalt Psychology that laid down the foundation of cognitive psychology through the use of observation of sensory and perceptual phenomena. Freud then later developed techniques for treating mental illness which we know now as Psychoanalysis. Unlike his predecessors, Freud delve more on the childhood of the person (with his regression analysis) than observation, sensory perception and laboratory. William James then expanded its use to practical applications such as child psychology, educational and industrial psychology (Truelove, 2007a). There are several practitioners of the science of psychology whose terminologies are often confusing. There is the psychiatrist, psychologist, psychoanalyst which can be quite difficult to distinguish from each other. The psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in psychology. Being a medical doctor, a psychiatrist can of couse, prescribe medications. The popular Psychologist on the other hand holds a doctorate of Pyschology but is not a medical doctor. Psychologists cannot prescribe medicines but they can treat clients independently. The Psychoanalyst are those psyhiatrist who are trained with Freudian theory and psychotheraphy. The other pratitioner of psychology are the Counselors which provide counceling (hence is their title) to minor psychological issues such as marriage problems but needs to be supervised by a Psychologist. Unlike the Psychologists who holds a Phd in Pyschology, their academic preparation is limited to Masters degree (Truelove, 2007b). The uses of pyschology also varies. In addition to diagnosis and treatment of patients with mental illness which falls into clinical psychology, psychology is also used to explain human behavior and its development on an individual level. Collectively, psychology can also be used to explain the phenomena of how people behaves in a group or situation. This type of psychology proved to be useful in in business as they are being used to administer aptitude tests to determine candidates who are best fitted for a certain job. Psychology can also be used to solve a crime and improve one’s health. In short, psychology can be used to treat mental illness, explain behavioral phenomena through research and improve performance in organizations and institutions (Truelove, 2007c). One of the most prominent use of psychology in addition to diagnosing and treating of people with mental illness, is its application to research about certain social or behavioral phenomena. Research are often carried out to test the hypothesis of an experiment to determine whether there is a causal relationship (or none) between two or more variables). Variables are the factors that can be manipulated to determine a certain behavior or condition. Often it involve a sampling population that is either exposed or not to an independent variable. Albeit the strict scientific approach of Psychology in its methodologies, it is not without problems in the conduct of its research. Psychological researches, if done without meticulous review of its methodologies and without scruplous regard of etiquette in research could be prone to