Does Psychology Affect Our Lives Analysis

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The psychologist William James once said, "the greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind." James, a prominent figure in the functionalism branch of psychology, believed that psychology could alter a person’s view of life. Phillip Zimbardo argues in his essay “Does Psychology Make a Significant Difference in Our Lives” that psychology does in fact make a significant difference in our lives. He writes about how psychology has an effect on our lives by virtue of how it has made substantial and creative efforts towards the fight against various diseases and ailments, changed the way we view politics through political polling, helped put an end to segregation, gave rise to …show more content…
Kline would also add that "one black swan can falsify the entire hypothesis" (9). This could be a consequence of the study that Zimbardo did not include, as it has not been disproven. What Kline and McGuigan are arguing is that even the slightest error in the experiment and data can nullify the entire results. Furthermore, Kline argues that "...if progress is to be made in psychology...scientific methods must be used (Kline 8). The study that Zimbardo cites makes use of the scientific method, as it had a control group that did not have exposure to the TV dramas, so that way its effects on sexual behavior could be determined. Zimbardo also gives psychology credit when he says that it was researchers that were responsible of the colors on emergency vehicles and road signs changing in order to improve traffic safety. Zimbardo also cites a study in which psychologists found that massaging premature babies stimulated the production of growth hormones. Previously, those premature infants may have died due to their slow growth. Another problem was the …show more content…
On the contrary, Kline argues that psychology is not concerned about what it means to be human. Nowadays in our society, dreams, defense mechanisms, and motivations...." might convey important messages" and Zimbardo argues that it was psychology that brought attention to the idea "...that what we think and do is not always based on conscious decisions"(5). This changed the way we look at human behavior, dream analysis, and thought processing. While politics played the major role, psychology also had an important part in the desegregation of our schools. Studies done by Kenneth and Mamie Clark "...effectively demonstrated for the Court that the segregated educational conditions of that era had a negative impact on the sense of self-worth of Negro school children" (5). The Court and the people eventually bought into the idea that making one body of the school system feel inferior was not the appropriate way to handle the public school system. Had this study not been done, we might still have had segregation in our schools. Psychology was also credited with self-directed change. Zimbardo argues that the "self help books" that we see in stores "...empower people to engage in self-directed change", as these books give..." wise advice" (4). All these reasons are

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