Psychology – The Myths & Facts

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Writer: Nadiah Shams, M.Sc. in Psychology, Eden Mohila College

Whenever someone hear that I am a student of Psychology, often everyone says, “Oh, I cannot come or stay in front of you, you can understand or read my mind…….” or asks me with interest, “Well, can you tell me what I am thinking now or what are the problems inside me…….?”

I laugh and think that, yes, there are problems and that is about the myths of Psychology, people actually doesn’t know what Psychology is or works for. Maybe I also used to think this way before studying in this subject. But why?Lack of knowledge about this topic.

First of all, let’s see, what is ‘Psychology’? Psychology is defined as the science that studies behavior and mental processes (E.R. Hilgard, R.C. Atkinson & R.L. Atkinson). The content of Psychology is ‘behavior’. There was a time when people thought that Psychology is the science of ‘soul’ or ‘mind’, but it was a misconception. Psychology is an analytical science of behavior and psychological processes. Another myth is that, Psychology is not considered as a real science.

Now, what is science?Some key characteristics of science are:

  • Uses empirical methods
  • Researchers control and manipulate variables
  • Objectivity
  • Allows for hypothesis testing
  • Results can be replicated
  • Generalization
  • Verification
  • Measurement
  • Findings allow researchers to predict future occurrences

Psychology relies on all of these methods in order to investigate human and animal behavior. Researchers utilize the scientific method to conduct research, which means that variables are controlled and operationally defined. Experimenters are able to test different hypotheses and use statistical analysis to determine the likelihood that such results are due merely to chance.

Psychologists also present their findings in a way that makes it possible for other researchers to replicate their experiments and methods in the future.Psychology might be a relatively young science in the grand scheme of sciences, but it is indeed a real science. However, it’s important to note that scientific Psychology does have some limitations. Human behavior can vary and change over time, so what is true in one particular time and place might not necessarily apply in different situations, settings, cultures, or societies.

Psychology is an important issue in each of us, which we cannot understand. We have lots of problems, different behaviors and different mentality. Problems can be due to various reasons like- personal, social, medical, education, industry, instruction etc.any things. How we behave, how we react to situations, how we perform, how we solve family problems, how we improve memory, how we can be goodwith friends, society, relatives and neighbors, how we maintain unity etc. are all associated with Psychology.Every person has mental stress, but the great problem is with the word ‘mental’.People often reacts wrong after hearing something related with ‘mental’ issues.

When someone suffers from excessive mental problems, it effects that person’s behavior and if the stability is long-term, then he/she cannot live normal life. It is necessary that every people have basic knowledge about Psychology, especiallymentally disturbed patients for proper treatment or step. But this is very sad that no one is interested in discussing mental problems or issues, if anyone has any problem, he/she thinks that it is better to keep the matter secret than trying to solve that problem.Even family members of that disturbed person do not want to talk about this issue or try to solve it. Due to the lack of medical or counseling help, the level of problem increases, which becomes risky for life. The solution is to take right steps on right time, which people do not know or understands.
Modern Psychology is a highly tested and research-based science. In all cases, Psychology is involved in various areas of study and application in different subjects, like-
1. General Psychology
2. Physiological Psychology
3. Test psychology
4. Education Psychology
5. Industrial psychology
6. Engineering Psychology
7. Developmental psychology
8. Child psychology
9. Social Psychology
10. Paranoid psychology
11. Medical Psychology
12. Instruction psychology

Modern psychologists are able to give many solutions by examining the behaviors. Solving problems or giving suggestion is not an easy task. Not only the person with the problems, also family members, friends, neighbors etc. needs to come forward or seeks for help, if the problem is not known to them, this is very important, because they can see the changes between that person.Fortunately, various psychological treatments have been developed for many mental issues. Best practices have been written down in treatment and diagnosis protocols.

Problems should not be neglected by anyone, everyone has problem. A misconception is, mental problems are due to the abnormalities of the brain’s function, in all cases it is not correct, environmental impact or surrounding effect can be the main reason.There may be many unknown reasons that are not understood or seen from outside. The tolerance of all people is not the same.

The aim of psychology is to understand, explain, and predict the thought, emotion and the behavior of human. With psychology, we are able to learn about ourselves. To fully understand ourselves we have to know about the causes of our own behavior and our perspectives in life. By knowing ourselves and learning our own personality, we can develop goals for ourselves. Also, by learning about ourselves, we are able to learn about other people and their differences. Gaining understanding of oneself and of others can help improve the way relationships and communications work. We can understand why people act strangely, learn about mental disorders and treatment option, we will learn not only about the general characteristics of human behavior, but also about the differences.

Writer: Nadiah Shams

M.Sc. in Psychology, Eden Mohila College.

Student of MPH in Reproductive and Child Health, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences

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