One of the most common myths of psychology is that it’s just “common sense.” The trouble with this is that psychological research has helped show that many of the things we believe are common sense are not valid at all. After all, if common sense were as common as people say it is, then people wouldn’t engage in behaviors they know are bad for them like eating junk food or smoking.
Psychology depends on scientific methods to analyze problems and reach conclusions, unlike common sense. Scientists were able to discover relationships between different variables by using empirical methods. Psychologists use a range of techniques, including naturalistic analysis, tests, case studies, and questionnaires, to research the human mind and behavior.
Psychologists Approach Questions From Different Perspectives
It is possible to look at subjects and problems of psychology in various ways. Let’s take as an example the issue of violence. Many psychologists may investigate how genetic causes lead to aggression, while others may analyze how factors such as family history, relationships, social pressure, and contextual variables affect violence.
Some of the main psychological perspectives include the following:
• Biological Perspective
• Cognitive Perspective
• Evolutionary Perspective
• Humanistic Perspective
Each perspective adds to a new dimension of understanding of the subject.
For example, consider that psychologists are trying to understand the multiple factors that contribute to harassment. Some scientists may look at how genes and the brain relate to this type of behavior from a biological perspective. Another counselor can take a psychological approach to look at the various ways the climate promotes harassment behaviors. Other researchers can take a social perspective and examine the potential impact of group pressure on bullying behaviors.
No one viewpoint is “right.” It adds to how we interpret an issue and helps scientists to examine the various factors that lead to certain activities and seek multi-faceted approaches to combat problem actions and encourage better outcomes and healthy habits.