Psychology is a field of science that studies the human mind and behavior. The discipline seeks to understand and explain thought, emotions and behavior. The scientific method is today used by psychologists to give more understanding, to explanation and to predict human behavior. The psychological basic research seeks to expand the existing theoretical knowledge while applied research seeks to solve the everyday problems that people face.
Hypothesis gives a clear understanding of the aim of the experiment and therefore directs the research which empirically tests the hypothesis to prove the correctness of a preposition. Theories provide the basis for any psychological research which enables the researchers to either generate a new knowledge or to add on the existing knowledge.
The American Psychological Association’s (APA) states the ethical principles and Code of Conduct guiding all the psychologists. The psychologists must adhere to general principles and the ethical standards.
The methods used in psychology include; Controlled Experiments method which directly manipulates a factor or variable and measures how the behavior is affected by the manipulation. It allows the conditions to be controlled but the experimenter can easily influence the result. The second method is the observational method which involves the researcher observing and describing the behavior in certain specific settings. It gives the researcher a grater insight into a behavior and thus leads to more accurate hypothesis. However, the method may make it difficult to separate cause and effect.
Third is the correlational method used by psychologists in studying the relationships between variables which they cannot control. It can study behavior in the natural environment and can help in structuring the future predictions. However, cause and effect is difficult to determine. Forth is the case studies which is a detailed study of an individual or an aspect of behavior. The method can help improve the existing theories though it doesn’t allow for generalization. Last is surveys and tests is used to study topics which can not be easily be observed such as people’s attitudes. It uses interviews and questionnaires which are relatively cheap. The method may attract biasness leading to inaccurate information.
Watson and Skinner are all behavioralists who attempted to explain the human behavior through observation and both share in the belief that man’s behavior is influenced by his environment. However, Watson is a classical behavioralist who uses purely objective experiments in his study while Skinner is a radical behavioralist who explains all the human actions in terms of environmental factors.
Today every psychologist who seeks to understand people’s behavior must seek to fast understand the roles of gender diversity, racial and ethnic diversity and culture of the targeted group. Such differences affect both attitudes and the subsequent behavior of people. The people’s cultural knowledge is necessary to understand the best ways of assisting people with their personal issues.