My Understanding and Feelings Towards the Idea of Psychology as a Human Science

This essay will provide an example of my understanding and feelings towards the idea of psychology as a human science. The first section of the paper will lay out the positive aspects to human science insofar as it will provide some reasoning as to why a human science approach can be most beneficial. Subsequently, the second section of the paper will provide some of the elements missing (or lacking in part) in the humanistic approach. The third and final section will be dedicated to supplying my own personal feelings on psychology as a human science. Throughout the essay there will be general remarks and/or rebuttals made towards or from a natural science viewpoint. This is to show the importance of the two sciences existing in cooperation (such an idea will be explained more as the essay grows towards its finish) as a system of checks and balances.

To first gain understanding of what can be defined as a “beneficial contribution” from human science to psychology, one must first understand what it is that psychology needs to be benefitted by, or rather what is that psychology can benefit in and of itself. That being said, I shall lay out a brief map of what the profession of psychology searches for. Merriam-Webster defines psychology as “the science of mind and behavior.” This shows us that firstly, psychology is a systematical process and can stand on its own insofar as it is considered a science; secondly and most importantly, that is used to uncover the secrets inside the brain, the mind, and in the overall behavior and patterns of any being. Therefore, psychology would be most benefitted by an approach that can give the most information about the systematical process of the cognition and behavior of life and the living (some would argue that it is almost like philosophy but with science to provide a support system). From this one could say that it is most logical to ask for the emotional output of any psychological process because this gives an understanding of the reactions produced by the patterns or behaviors performed by the being. This is where the humanistic approach aids psychology. If one can agree that emotion is a key point to the understanding of “mind and behavior” they must believe that a humanistic approach is best because it offers insight into the being and asks the being to display its emotions openly.

Furthermore, how can one expect to understand a subject if they only give it the chance to explain itself by terms outside of itself? In other words, one cannot expect to gain substantial knowledge about psychology by simply observing and prescribing without first asking the “whys” and “hows” to be answered freely. In essence, this is what the humanistic approach to psychology calls upon. It provides a reasonable depiction of accounts in psychology by the being itself, which gives any and all data a certain amount of depth that the naturalistic approach simply cannot offer. Additionally, most humanistic approaches are often unbiased and allow results to create themselves without set guidelines to show all trends, as well as, outliers. The human science approach can attribute so much to psychology; unfortunately it is taken as childish and weak. However, this is not to say that the humanistic approach does not have true draw backs.

As strong as the humanistic approach may seem to be, it does have flaws. It was made a point that the humanistic approach does not weed out all of the “worthless” information in studies. This is as much of a con as it is a pro. For instance, in a study there may be a given radical exception that only throws the information off of any sort of logistical scale. Natural science provides guidelines that will constrain this from happening and cut out any “worthless” information by supplying a more true-to-the-study answer. Additionally, numbers are important for the purposes of any science. The humanistic approach tries to leave the numbers behind and to rely on the experiential aspect of a study. This just leaves the conductor of a study with information that is difficult to classify and to put given categories to. Studies without numbers are often disregarded as meaningless and poorly administered. This is not to say that all studies must have percentages or what have you, but they should at least contain reasonable categories or sections by which to examine the data gathered. These flaws may seem minor, but they are what mostly scare psychologists away from the humanistic approach.

Personally, I believe that it is absurd to say that the human science approach to psychology is a waste of time. However, I also believe that the natural science approach is an essential aspect of all studies. To say that one is better than the other and can exist on its own is like saying religion can survive without civilization and vice versa. Religion depends on civilization so that it may be organized and be planted in the society to grow and prosper among the people, whereas civilization depends on religion to gather men together and allow them to believe that their given structure is organized and also to govern themselves in a virtuistic way. If religion were to believe it could exist without civilization it would be failing to realize that without civilization religion serves no purpose for the simple fact that there is no one to preach to. Likewise, if civilization were to say that religion has no purpose in its life it would also be saying that man is meant to live for himself and act in and of himself, which is not civil in any form. Therefore, it is easy to see that natural science needs human science as much as human science needs its natural brother. One needs not only the numerical and categorical data of a study, but also the emotional depth of the partakers of the study. As stated in the introduction, one can see why I believe that natural science and human science work on a system of checks and balances. For me, it is difficult to comprehend how there are people who believe that these two methods are not compatible with one another. Each relies on the other to make sense of its opposite.

In conclusion, the information I have set forth in this essay has been a response to what I have felt and thought thus far throughout the semester. I do believe that human science is good, as well as, natural science. However, I did find it mind blowing that the human science approach was looked down upon in psychology. Psychology is a study of the mind, behavior, brain, reaction, interaction, and so on. Because of this human science has always played a role in understanding the processes that beings go through.

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