How can you distinguish scientific psychology from the popular notions about the discipline of psychology? 

  • Swyam Mehrotra, Subject Matter Expert at EDUMARZ


    The differences between scientific psychology and the popular notions about the discipline of psychology are as follows- 

Scientific psychology 

Popular notions about the discipline of psychology 

For example – the pavlovian conditioning concept is tested and is based on scientific principles. 

  • Psychology as a science quest for patterns of behaviour that can be predicted and not explained after the behaviour occurs.

  • In-depth explanations are available 

  • Very little information is available as it’s based on common sense.

Moreover, scientific knowledge that we gain through the psychology discipline often runs against common sense. For example Dweck(1975) study on children who gave up easily when faced with difficult situations and failure. She wanted to help them. ( please refer you NCERT: pg-7)

  • There are many notions based on common sense that are not at all true. For example- men are more intelligent than women, women cause more accidents than men etc. 

  • Common sense also postulates that one may not be able to give one best if you are asked to perform before a large audience, however psychological studies have shown that if you practice well you may end up doing great.

Thus, these are grounds on which we can distinguish the scientific psychology and the popular notions about the discipline of psychology.

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