Is Psychology a Science Essay

2274 Words Jun 27th, 2011 10 Pages
Is psychology a science? Discuss using evidence from the five approaches.

To answer this question I feel it is important to understand the definitions of psychology and science. I will start with definitions of the terms psychology and science and will briefly review the methods of psychology. I will outline the behaviourist approach, the psychoanalytical approach, the cognitive approach, the humanistic approach and the biological approach. In order to confirm whether psychology can fulfil the definition of science I will outline the five approaches and use evidence from the approaches to support my findings.

There are numerous definitions for the word psychology, Benson (1998: 5) describes the discipline of psychology as ‘the
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The psychoanalytical approach focuses on how psychological problems could be understood and dates back to when Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) began his research. Freud used the term psychoanalysis to describe his techniques and theories in relation to finding and curing mental problems of his patients.

Not just concerned with mental disorders he also attempted to produce a set of theories to explain all human behaviour. According to Benson (1998: 48) Freud never achieved his goal of ‘One Grand Theory’ although there are some significant aspects to Freud’s theory. Firstly, the Conscious, Pre Conscious and Unconscious Mind, Freud describes this theory using the analogy of an iceberg. Benson (1998: 49) describes the Conscious as the top one seventh of the ice berg as ‘the awareness we have when we are awake’. The Pre Conscious or the boundary contains memories of dreams and Benson (1998: 49) refers to ‘slips of the tongue’ giving clues about thoughts and actions that appear in the Unconscious. The Unconscious is the remaining six sevenths of the iceberg and is explained by Benson (1998: 49) as ‘containing secret wishes and fears; traumatic memories of the past’. Freud believed that all thoughts in the Unconscious were completely hidden and inaccessible to us.

A further theory of Freud’s was that of Id, Ego and Super Ego. Freud believed the mind was made up of three parts, the Id developed at birth as the pleasure

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